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Isaiah Mustafa

Isaiah Mustafa
Isaiah Mustafa
No. 18
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1974-02-11) February 11, 1974
Place of birth: Portland, Oregon
Career information
College: Moorpark College (1993–94)
Arizona State (1995–96)
Debuted in 1997
Last played in 2000
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics
Games played

Isaiah Mustafa (born February 11, 1974) is an American actor[1] and former NFL practice squad wide receiver.[2] Mustafa is widely known as the main character for a series of Old Spice TV commercials, The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.


  • Early life 1
  • Football career 2
  • Acting career 3
  • Personal life 4
  • Filmography 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Mustafa was born in Portland, Oregon, the youngest of seven children of Shahidah Mustafa-Davis and John Wali Mustafa, who owned and ran a limousine service in Laguna Hills, California in the early 1980s.[3] Mustafa studied history at Arizona State University,[4] and, in 2000, owned a restaurant called Jo Jo's Barbecue on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.[5] The restaurant has since closed.[6]

Football career

Mustafa played basketball and ran track at Santa Clara High School in Oxnard, California.[2] He did not play high school football, but he tried out for Moorpark College's football team hoping for an athletic scholarship;[6] he became a free safety, later becoming a wide receiver.[6][2]

After transferring to Arizona State University in 1995, Mustafa was a starting wide receiver for the Arizona State Sun Devils but had an unspecified "confrontation" with a coach and was benched his senior year.[2] Mustafa played during the 1997 Rose Bowl between the then-undefeated Sun Devils (led by Mustafa's friend Jake Plummer)[4] and the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Although Mustafa expected to become a high school teacher after graduation, a sports agent suggested that he try out for NFL teams. The Tennessee Oilers signed him to the practice squad, then sent him to NFL Europe's Barcelona Dragons in 1998.[2] After a season on the Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns' practice squads in 1999, he attended the Seattle Seahawks' training camp in 2000.[5][7]

Acting career

After the Seahawks, Mustafa pursued an acting career, playing small character roles on various television programs. He gained sudden fame in February 2010 as the result of the popular The Man Your Man Could Smell Like advertising campaign for Old Spice, which featured his monologues.[4][8][9][10] Mustafa's first commercial in the series was directed by Tom Kuntz.

Subsequently, a three-day session created a series of humorous, personalized YouTube videos, with Mustafa reprising the character from the original Old Spice commercial. These were directed at members of the public and celebrities, who had asked him questions on websites such as reddit, Facebook and Twitter.[11][12]

On July 26, 2011, Old Spice launched a new campaign on YouTube featuring a challenge between Isaiah Mustafa and Fabio entitled Mano a Mano in el Baño. Mustafa said he wasn't worried, even though Fabio has been "the epitome of the sex symbol as a pitchman." Mustafa emerged as the winner.[13]

Mustafa signed a talent deal with NBC and appeared in the film Horrible Bosses.[14][15] He hosted the TBS special Funniest Commercials of the Year for both 2010 and 2011.[16] He has also appeared as a guest panelist on the late-night talk show Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld.[17]

In April 2013, Mustafa did a commercial for Israeli beer Maccabee.[18]

Mustafa resumed his work for Old Spice with a series of ads released in January 2014. The theme was 'Interneterventions,' and featured several webpages selling false products directed at men, which were interrupted with Mustafa suggesting that men buy Old Spice instead. [19]

Personal life

Mustafa is a comic book fan (with Spider-Man and Batman among his favorites), which has related to key events in his life. His knowledge of Doctor Doom's first name incidentally helped him win $47,000 on The Weakest Link for a question on the first name of Doctor Frankenstein; the money helped him pursue his post-restaurateur goal of becoming an actor.[6] Mustafa named his daughter in reference to the Batman character Harley Quinn. He has expressed interest in playing comic book superhero Luke Cage[20] and appeared as Cage in a Marvel Comics web short styled after his Old Spice commercials.[21] He is also a fan of the animated series The Venture Bros.


Year Title Role Notes
2006 The Last Supper Moses Short film
2006 Even Money Basketball Player
2007 Football Wives Football Player TV
2008 Ugly Betty Bailiff TV; one episode
2009 Days of our Lives Cleveland Cop TV; two episodes
2009 NCIS: Los Angeles Brent Duffy TV; one episode
2009 Eli Stone Newlywed Husband TV; one episode
2009 NCIS Oliver Newcomb TV; one episode
2010 Castle Team Leader TV; one episode
2010–2011 Chuck Greta/Rick Noble TV; two episodes
2010 Funniest Commercials of the Year: 2010 Host TV
2011 Madea's Big Happy Family Calvin
2011 Horrible Bosses Police Officer
2011 Hot in Cleveland Coach at Cleveland Cavaliers TV; one episode
2011 Love Bites Astronaut TV; one episode
2011 Gears of War 3 COG Gear Video game
2011 Charlie's Angels Detective Ray Goodson TV; recurring
2011 Funniest Commercials of the Year: 2011 Co-host TV
2012 The Three Stooges Moe's Hip Executive TV
2012 Rags Reginald Worth TV
2012 Nikita Cyrus TV; two episodes
2013 Crush Coach
2014 Back in the Day T Comedy film
2014 Anger Management Paul TV; one episode
2014 Sirens Danny Pre-production


  1. ^ Isaiah Mustafa at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ a b c d e Wharton, David (April 18, 1998). "Beach Ball".  
  3. ^ Dominguez, Fernando (1993-10-09). "Like Bo, Moorpark's Mustafa Has Found a Hobby : Junior colleges: A standout in track and field, he gives football a go and winds up as the Raiders' starting free safety". Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^ a b c "It's the guy in the Old Spice commercial: Isaiah Mustafa".  
  5. ^ a b "SEAHAWKS CAMP: The long road to the NFL » Kitsap Sun Mobile". August 9, 2000. Retrieved March 3, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Wednesday 28 July 2010.
  7. ^ Farnsworth, Clare. "Hey, he smells familiar". Seattle Seahawks, 15 July 2010.
  8. ^ "That great Old Spice TV ad: 'I'm on a horse' and how he got there".  
  9. ^ Grant, Drew (February 20, 2010). "Old Spice’s Spicy Ad Campaign". Mediatite. Retrieved March 3, 2010. 
  10. ^ Barol, Bill (February 18, 2010). "The making of ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’". True Slant. Retrieved March 3, 2010. 
  11. ^ Old Spice Guy' takes pitch to YouTube, Twitter"'". Retrieved July 17, 2010. 
  12. ^ Zoe Kleinman. "See Also: Tech Brief". BBC. Retrieved July 17, 2010. 
  13. ^ MSNBC: Old Spice guy wins online hunk-off over Fabio
  14. ^ "Old Spice Isaiah Mustafa Signs Talent Deal with NBC". 
  15. ^ "Isaiah Mustafa cast in Jennifer Aniston movie". CNN. 
  16. ^ Stanley, T.L. "Isaiah Mustafa hosting TBS funny-ads show". AdFreak. Retrieved February 5, 2011. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Old Spice, Isaiah Mustafa Stage 'Interneterventions' on 9 Fake Websites for Manly Products Mistakes you shouldn't make Adweek, January 21, 2014
  20. ^ "Isaiah Mustafa Reveals Secrets Behind Old Spice Commercial". July 1, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  21. ^

External links

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