Mormons Used Reno 911 Drag Queen in Their Ad

We caught a commercial on TV for/from the Mormons about their website. In the spot are average everyday people just chatting about their faith. When who would pop up on the screen but comedian, banjo player, magician and cult favorite, Phil Vantee.

Church was the original show business. So of course the Latter Day Saints could possibly end up in a fabulous crossover with the Comedy Central improv show Reno 911.

Did they know they were using the man who played a Jewish, 7-foot tall, hooker, “man with teats,” who’s capture won the scavenger hunt for the officer and secured him two tickets to watch the execution?

Drag queen pic after the break.

They may have not cared. Vantee tells FBLA, he saw the ad on “one of those actor breakdowns.” He answered the request and was asked to “say what he really thought.” Which he did and landed the gig at a $500 day rate. His segment was filmed near the Santa Monica pier by the Mormon’s in-house production company. “The Mormon’s are just about as nice as they can be,” says Vantee.

Of course when he signed the release they said the commercial would only air in Utah and Arizona. And it’s now in many many different markets and online.

Residuals? “No.”

But we wanted to know about the craft service table. Coffee? Coke? Was it like a Utah gas station/candy emporium? “I don’t think I was really there that long,” admitted Vantee.

We asked Vantee how he feels about playing a transvestite drag queen crack whore and then appearing in a Mormon spot. He told us,”Since my main focus is feeding myself and my wife, I’m real open-minded.”

If you’d like to catch Vantee’s act he’s playing banjo at the Pop Haydn’s Post Modern Medicine Show November 20 and 21. All info is here.

Publish date: October 19, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT