Back in our parents’ day, there was a song called “A Town Without Pity.” It was a decent song, but I kept wondering why someone WOULDN’T want pity? Having pity means that Mr. T is around, with his pitying every fool he meets! So in honor of his “jibbah jabbah,” enjoy these 11… no, 12… no, 13 clips from Mr. T’s television appearances.
Perhaps Mr. T’s most recognized role was as B.A. Baracus in the TV series, The A-Team, which debuted in 1983. As the team’s mechanic, B.A. fixed their getaway van and equipment more times than anyone can count. But as their resident badass, B.A. (short for “Bad Attitude”) was the one who kept everyone on task. He was particularly insulting to funnyman Murdock.
I have to admit that Rocky III really isn’t the best movie in the Rocky series, but Mr. T’s part in it certainly made my brother and me think that it is! As Rocky’s caustic opponent Clubber Lang, Mr. T gets all up in Rocky’s grill, challenging him to a bout and suggesting that Rocky’s wife come over to his apartment for some sexy time with a “real man.”
Way back when homes had phones with cords, you needed a way to make a call when you didn’t have any money but were out on the town. Calling “collect” via the operator was one of these ways until phone companies started their own special “collect” processes. Mr. T made several appearances in the 1-800-COLLECT commercials for MCI, often using his brash persona to make people feel stupid for previously calling the operator.
Mr. T used to be a nightclub bouncer and bodyguard to the stars, so it comes as no surprise that he played Ricky Schroder’s bodyguard in a guest appearance on the 80s sitcom Silver Spoons. Dreamboat Ricky was having trouble with bullies stealing his $100 in daily milk money, so his dad brings Mr. T on to protect him teach the mean guys a lesson.
Be Somebody… or Be Somebody’s Fool!
Knowing that his television popularity was giving him an audience of all ages, Mr. T. felt the need to educate kiddos. He made a video called “Be Somebody… or Be Somebody’s Fool!” that talked about respecting your mom, staying away from drugs and making personal fashion choices – ALL VIA SONG. “Everybody gotta wear clothes,” you know.
For some reason, Hollywood decided that what Mr. T really, really needed was to star in a cartoon where he coaches racially-diverse gymnasts and solves mysteries with the help of a dog named Bulldozer. Hollywood also decided inexplicably to change his name, turning “Mr.” into “Mister,” thereby confusing word-conscious kids everywhere.
Pass the Courvoisier
Even when Mr. T seems like he’s over and out, someone pulls him back into the entertainment fold. He played a bartender in the video for “Pass the Courvoisier” by Busta Rhymes – they got to compare neck bling and become BFFs.
I Pity the Fool
T really is a motivational guy, so in 2006, he parlayed his pushy skills into a reality show called I Pity the Fool. His goal? Help different organizations find their hidden, sunshiny team spirit hearts and achieve their dreams. Did he do it? The show only lasted one season, so I’d say no. But it was entertaining, anyway, and had a damn catchy theme song.
World of Warcraft Commercial
Would you love to slay orcs with a night elf mohawk? Well you can’t. But Mr. T can! In 2007, T starred in a commercial for this massively popular MMORPG. There’s not really much else to say about this, other than it’s yet another example of T being a badass.
Late Night with Conan O’Brien
“Hey, apple! You’d better fall down!” Who wouldn’t want to hear these words in an apple orchard? Mr. T shared them with Conan O’Brien as the two went apple picking in a long sketch, complete with yelling at insects, singing the A-Team theme song, carving pumpkins and taking a hayride. I’m unable to embed the video into this post, but you can watch it here.
Mr. T’s Flavorwave Oven Infomercial
I’m an infomercial junkie, so you probably can imagine how excited I was to see Mr. T with his very own late-night shilling program. I quite nearly bought the Flavorwave Oven just because I loved watching Mr. T break through that door to the fake kitchen, his tummy yearning for food. I’m a vegetarian, but when T sensually describes how good a ribeye tastes after being cooked in the Flavorwave, I start getting the shakes.
I loved The A-Team as much as any good 80s kid, but when I think of Mr. T, I don’t first think of helicopters and grenades. I think of… chipmunks. Yes, Mr. T’s appearance on Alvin and the Chipmunks is one of my favorite cameos EVER, and he’s helping with – what else? – bullies. Enjoy some of it here. You’re welcome.
Can’t get enough of the T-man? Need some guidance in your life? Check out these inspirational tidbits from Mr. T!