Jack Black, who’s celebrating his 46th birthday on Friday, has cemented himself as Hollywood’s affable, maniacal (yet lovable) goofball over the past decade or so. The Tenacious D guitarist’s recent parts in The Brink, and as children’s author R.L. Stine in October’s big screen adaptation of his book series Goosebumps, also show that he’s capable of being more than just an onscreen dimwit.
Before making his name, however, Black was pigeonholed into an entirely different persona… big, bad, bully. Aside from an adorable ’80s commercial, Black didn’t begin to work steadily until his early 20s. And of that work, many of his early roles had him playing the tough guy. Let’s take a walk down memory lane, and actively try to avoid a locker room swirly from Gulliver.
Pitfall! commercial (1983)
Fourteen-year-old Black would be a video games enthusiast. In a commercial that often crops up during the star’s late night appearances, young Black touts the adventures of Pitfall Harry, the main character in the Atari 2600 video game Pitfall! Clad in an explorer’s hat, Black details his “exciting” adventures with the 8-bit game.