Watch Mikhail Gorbachev Hawk Pizza Hut in This Retro 1997 Commercial

Mikhail Gorbachev became an unlikely spokesperson for Pizza Hut in 1997.
Mikhail Gorbachev became an unlikely spokesperson for Pizza Hut in 1997.
Tom Darbyshire, YouTube

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, former leader Mikhail Gorbachev found himself adrift. Political jockeying with a new regime had resulted in his pension barely amounting to $2 a month. His Russian Federation was in desperate need of funding to keep the lights on. For Gorbachev, the answer to his problems came from an unlikely source: Pizza Hut.

In a longform piece for Foreign Policy, author Paul Musgrave details the bizarre marriage of a former world superpower and an American pizza chain that resulted in Gorbachev briefly turning into a spokesperson for the brand.

In 1997, Pizza Hut’s advertising agency BBDO began pursuing a directive from the company to execute a campaign that presented the franchise as having global reach. Through intermediaries, it became apparent Gorbachev’s money woes allowed him to consider an appearance. For an undisclosed fee—reportedly in the seven figures when adjusted for inflation—the onetime world leader would appear in the spot but not eat the pizza. (A family member did, however. Gorbachev’s granddaughter, Anastasia Virganskaya, took a bite.)

You can watch the spot above, which was shot at an actual Pizza Hut in Moscow and features Gorbachev as more of a supporting player. The real conflict is between two men—possibly a father and son—arguing over Russian ideals. But the hook was clearly the novelty of seeing one of the most powerful figures in the world joining the ranks of Mr. Whipple and Flo from Progressive Insurance.

While Gorbachev did refuse to eat pizza onscreen, he had no such reservations during the shooting of the commercial. Everyone in the cast and crew had pizza for lunch that day.

[h/t Foreign Policy]

Blue Apron’s Memorial Day Sale Will Save You $60 On Your First Three Boxes

Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

If you’ve gone through all the recipes you had bookmarked on your phone and are now on a first-name basis with the folks at the local pizzeria, it might be time to introduce a new wrinkle into your weekly dinner menu. But instead of buying loads of groceries and cookbooks to make your own meal, you can just subscribe to a service like Blue Apron, which will deliver all the ingredients and instructions you need for a unique dinner.

And if you start your subscription before May 26, you can save $20 on each of your first three weekly boxes from the company. That means that whatever plan you choose—two or four meals a week, vegetarian or the Signature plan—you’ll save $60 in total.

With the company’s Signature plan, you’ll get your choice of meat, fish, and Beyond foods, along with options for diabetes-friendly and Weight Watchers-approved dishes. The vegetarian plan loses the meat, but still allows you to choose from a variety of dishes like General Tso's tofu and black bean flautas.

To get your $60 off, head to the Blue Apron website and click “Redeem Offer” at the top of the page to sign up.

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Never-Shown-on-TV Digital Shorts From The Office are Now Available on iTunes

Oscar Nuñez, Brian Baumgartner, Jake Lacy, Paul Lieberstein, Angela Kinsey, Phyllis Smith, Craig Robinson, Ellie Kemper, Kate Flannery, Ed Helms, and Leslie David Baker in The Office.
Oscar Nuñez, Brian Baumgartner, Jake Lacy, Paul Lieberstein, Angela Kinsey, Phyllis Smith, Craig Robinson, Ellie Kemper, Kate Flannery, Ed Helms, and Leslie David Baker in The Office.
NBCUniversal Media, LLC

It's a good time to be a fan of The Office. The NBC series may have ended nearly seven years ago, but the cast still manages to surprise us on a regular basis. Whether it be an impromptu reunion, or sharing some details about the sitcom in new interviews, fans are still able to reminisce on a daily basis. But the best gift yet for those running out of things to watch while stuck at home may have just arrived: A collection of digital shorts from the beloved series is available to purchase on iTunes, and it's full of never-before-seen-on-TV content.

The collection includes 10 episodes of hilarity from your favorite The Office characters, including Michael Scott, Jim Halpert, Pam Beesly, Angela Martin, and Kelly Kapoor. One of these shorts is actually an Emmy winner titled "The Accountants," which sounds pretty intriguing.

So grab some popcorn (be sure to clean out the microwave when you're done) and a few of your fellow The Office fanatics, because this is your chance to re-live the Dunder Mifflin days all over again. You can access all of the episodes here.