The Santa From That Old ‘They Do Exist’ M&M’s Ad Has Earned A Ton Of Money In Residuals

Christmas is only a week away, which means every time you turn on the TV, you’re being barraged with the same five commercials: anything Walmart with Anthony Anderson (c’mon, man, you’re on a good sitcom now!) and Melissa Joan Hart, Creepy/Hairy/Ugly/Albino/Leprous Rob Lowe, Karen O singing about marshmallows for Target, and two classics, Hershey Kisses playing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and the red and green M&Ms running into Santa.

(Note: not be confused with the ad where the sexy redhead takes Red home.)

That last one has been running every December for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure of the exact date, and the M&M Wiki isn’t any help, but one Redditor claims it’s been 18 years. How does he know? Because his friend is in the ad.

My friend is the stuntman who does the fall in this M&Ms commercial.

Actors (including stunt performers) are supposed to get a small payment any time their work is shown (“residuals”), but for commercials it’s pretty typical to just get paid 2x your rate up front in exchange for giving up your residuals.

When my friend shot this commercial, he refused the extra up-front money and instead chose to keep his residuals. So for the last 18 years he’s been getting somewhere between $5000 and $10,000 in residuals every Christmas. Extra presents for everyone! (Via)

Here’s hoping the Cadbury Bunny made the same decision. He’s got a family of 45,000 to look after.

Via Reddit