Hoffman's Houston
scott mcclelland's skills

Ken Hoffman grills H-E-B's personable pitchman on his showy skill

Ken Hoffman grills H-E-B's personable pitchman on his showy skill

Hoffman HEB Scott McClelland
The face of H-E-B boasts an impressive skill. Courtesy photo

Sure, I've sort of made a journalism career out of reviewing triple cheeseburgers in the drive-thru and finding homes for shelter dogs.

But it didn't start that way, or at least that's not how I planned it.

In my heart, I am a hard-hitting investigative reporter, digging for facts and asking the tough questions that no other reporter has to guts to ask. 

Finally, my chance.

Have you seen H-E-B's new commercial for "Select Ingredients" products made without artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, certified colors, and other synthetic ingredients?

The commercial finds legendary thespian and H-E-B president Scott McClelland standing in what appears to be a cornfield, surrounded by shelves of "Select Ingredients" products.

At the end of the spot, McClelland tosses a small piece of food into the air and catches it in his mouth — a skill mostly performed by seals at SeaWorld.

I put McClelland in the hot seat, with a lamp shining in his face, like they do at police headquarters. I broke him (and it didn't take much breaking):

Ken Hoffman (menacingly): What are you tossing into your mouth?

Scott McClelland: A pretzel nugget filled with peanut butter.

KH: How many takes before you made the catch?

SM: It took three tries. I think the fact that I have big mouth helped me.

KH: Who thought up that final scene for the spot?

SM: I did. This isn’t a particularly funny ad, so we tried to come up with something to make it lighter. Don’t you find it a little odd that there are grocery racks sitting in the middle of a field? That being said, I have always want to be 'out standing in my field.'

KH: That's hilarious, you're a regular Gilbert Gottfried. But seriously, are you good at catching food with your mouth. It is an art form.

SM: I wouldn’t say that I'm an Olympic practitioner at it, but I've done the usuals: popcorn, M&Ms, and peanuts.

KH: You have a new batch of commercials with Houston Astros stars George Springer, Carlos Correa and newcomer Jose Altuve. As founder of the Scott McClelland School of Dramatic Arts, how do you rate the Astros for their acting ability?

SM: I might have had the most fun shooting these ads of any we’ve done. You can tell Jose, George and Carlos genuinely like each other. They make each other laugh. Jose is really comedic. He’s just funny to be around. He doesn’t have to say a line to be funny; he’s just funny. George has a big personality. He’s the instigator of the joking around. This is the third year we’ve been with Carlos. He might be the youngest of those guys, but he’s the H-E-B veteran of the team.

I think what is great about these ads is that Houstonians get to see another side of the players outside of Minute Maid Park. The ads are loosely scripted, so what you see is who they are.

Behold McClelland’s skills.