VIDEO: Blackhawks anthem singer stars in wonderfully tacky local ad

Jim Cornelison is a local celbrity in Chicago. (USATSI)
Jim Cornelison is a local celbrity in Chicago. (USATSI)

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Thanks to the Chicago Blackhawks two Stanley Cups in the last four years, many members of the team have become local celebrities. Several of the players have parlayed that regional fame into local endorsement deals. But it’s not just the players who are benefiting now.

Jim Cornelison, a local opera performer who has been the team’s official national anthem singer since 2007, has also become a well-known figure in the Chicago area. The Blackhawks fans’ cheers throughout “The Star-Spangled Banner” has become one of the more famous traditions in Chicago sports. Cornelison, as a result, has become a local celebrity himself.

Now he’s a local celebrity with an endorsement deal.

Cornelison now appears to be the face and voice of Tinley Park, Ill., based Orland Toyota and is featured prominently in the dealership’s most recent advertisement. It is just awkward and wonderful…

First off, how great is it that the anthem singer is famous enough to star in a local ad? It’s pretty great, right? It’s definitely weird, at least.

Plus, if you’ve got a world class opera performer, you’ve got to let him sing right? Sure enough, Cornelison belts out the Orland Toyota jingle. Worth every penny at that point, lip-syncing aside.

But wait, there’s more! Instead of ending on a literal high note, the ad needed to have a little comic relief.

“Hey, Hector, you goin’ to the game tonight?,” asks Cornelison to a dealership employee. Hector replies in the affirmative revealing his teeth are missing (classic hockey stereotype good for a couple of cheap yucks). Then a similarly toothless Cornelison slyly turns to the camera and lets out a Mr. Kool-Aid-esque “OH YEAH!” Why? I don’t know.

I do know that this image will be a lasting one.

It seems the Blackhawks' popularity in Chicago might be getting just a little out of control. Either that or the local baseball and basketball situations are worse than we could have ever imagined.

CBS Sports Writer

Chris Peters has been a hockey writer for CBS Sports since 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for numerous outlets and edited the United States of Hockey blog, covering the sport at all levels. Peters also... Full Bio

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