RIP, Bubba Smith: The 10 Best Miller Lite "Tastes Great" Ads

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Yesterday was a bad day for Miller Lite.

Ad Age reported

they're in a serious sales slump, and ex-NFLer

Bubba Smith died


The defensive end (who spent some time with the Oilers) was part of Miller Lite's famous "tastes great / less filling" ads, which featured retired athletes and offbeat semi-celebrities.

Here are the the 10 best:

10 Yogi Berra, co-starring Jason Alexander George Costanza, who would eventually go on to work for the Yankees, gets befuddled by franchise great Yogi Berra.

9. Dan Fouts and Kenny Stabler Two QBs not trading insults.

8. Dick Butkus and Mike Roberts The most hilarious thing about this one? The idea that a Welsh rugby player would appreciate Miller Lite for anything other than the check he's getting from them.

7. Joe Frazier

Smokin' Joe's musical career didn't fare too well, but it paid off in this ad.

6. The bowling tournament Eventually these things became so popular they did extended ads featuring a slew of the characters essentially reprising their greatest hits.

5. Mickey Spillane An author hawking beer? Well, Spillane readers were more likely to be beer drinkers than Proust readers, we guess. Also, Spillane completely mis-emphasizes the "and less" part of the slogan.

4. Bob Uecker and Tip O'Neill Uecker's classic Miller Lite ad was, of course, "I must be in the front rowwww," which gave us a phrase still heard today. But in 1988, former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill did one with him.

3. Steve Mizerak

This one

took an astounding 191 takes

to get perfect.

2. Boog Powell and Jim Honochick Another classic, one that no doubt provided a nice retirement nest egg for unknown former umpire Jim Honochick, who briefly became a celebrity.

1. George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin Maybe you had to be there for the tempestuous Bronx Zoo Steinbrenner-Martin era, but this one is classic. They had to do voice-overs at one point after Martin was yet again rehired.

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