Is Michael Cera his own genre now?

At the risk of sounding completely insane today instead of my typical "partially," I'm convinced that the kid in the backseat of AT&T's new Family Plan commercial was cast solely because his voice sounds exactly like Michael Cera's. Listen and learn.

Well, "learn" was the wrong word. But it's worth asking: Has Michael Cera — or Michael Cera's high-pitched, uneasy voice — become his/its own genre at this point? I'm noticing more and more that certain products incorporate a certain offbeat "type" to sell things. In the latest Verizon/LG commercial, I get a distinctive Clark Duke or possibly Jonah Hill vibe from the sloppy-looking, sarcastic guy who claims "I would never use that stuff!" but is secretly jonesing for a new enV cell phone so he can start using all the cool apps ASAP and become a Twitter tool like his two gushing friends. I suppose if you can't have a T Mobile-shilling Catherine Zeta-Jones show up at the potential customer's doorstep, a surrogate voice-alike or act-alike is the next best thing. It's refreshing, actually, to see more relatable people on-screen than the perfect, plasticine 'bots we're used to.

Maybe I just watched too much* Arrested Development on DVD this weekend and am all George Michael'ed out.

*Wrong; Impossible

Comments (21 total) Add your comment
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  • jb

    That kid has been in those commercials for a couple of years now. I think you just have Cera on the brain.

  • Chase Misenheimer

    That kid was hilarious as an annoying friend in “Adventureland”. He was Michael Cera opposite in that so it took me a bit to beg this kid as the same actor.

  • Cole9219

    Oh my gosh i just watched all the episodes of Arrested Development too…but I don’t think he sounds anything like Michael Cera

  • Kevin

    Is this newsworthy??? That kid sounds nothing like him.

  • ericalina

    i love this kid. this is about the fifth at&t commercial he has been in.

  • Chris

    Are you just trying to get people to watch AT&T commercials? I’ll bet AT&T will be sending me some text about EW subscriptions in some diabolical cross-promotional-you scratch-my-back-we’ll-scratch-yours kinda of way.

  • Kate

    I like the rollover minutes kid, but he doesn’t seem particularly Cera-esque to me.

  • pai

    It can’t be Arrested Development, ’cause who could ever be George Michael-ed out? He’s George Michael!

  • Gary Wilcox

    Agreeing with jb here– the kid who talks has been the same in all the commercials and has been doing these commercials through his puberty. I think the dad has changed, but the kid is the same.

  • Jennifer

    I know this adds nothing to the conversation, but I just want to say that I hate Michael Cera. He plays the SAME role the SAME way over and over and over again. And there’s nothing special about him; I went to high school with about a dozen guys who could be his clone… Michael Cera. Ugh.

  • Adam

    AMEN JEN! :D
    I hate Cera too, so freaking overrated. Wait until he turns 30, his career will be over. Can’t play the awkward teen at 30.

  • Binky

    I don’t know if Cera is a genre, but when I listened to this Terry Gross interview with a dung beetle specialist (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103775784 ) I was not sure if it was real or if the dung beetle specialist was Michael Cera and the whole thing was an elaborate joke.

  • Sarcastic 2

    Cera may do the same role, but he does it well. And you have to admit, he created that role for this new generation. Awkward silences, stuttering, cute smiles. I love Michael Cera because he acts that role well.
    And about this post- he does sound a little like Cera, but there can only be one. :) . And I agree, you can NEVER watch too much Arrested Development.

  • Friggin Tommy Noble

    I don’t really have a problem with Michael Cera; I mean, yeah, he plays the same role over & over again, but he still does it very well. You can’t blame the guy for trying to capitalize (Wouldn’t you be psyched if you got rich & famous for just acting like yourself on screen?)
    The only thing that does bother me is the offbeat Michael Cera genre/type that I’m also starting to notice- particularly in those animated comcast commercials w/ the young adults walking in their own ‘world of entertainment’ singing a tune in a very monotone, dry, cutesy fashion much like every… single… song on the Juno soundtrack. I just find it kind of annoying. I can’t really explain why. I guess I’m just not as keen to this kind of emotionless, ‘like, whatever’ attitude that these ads are displaying.

  • J.

    I like Michael Cera, but I didn’t get a MC vibe off the kid in the backseat. He was too aggressive in his taking back to his mother. MC is all about passive/aggressive approach to everything.

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