KFC celebrity Colonels ranked: Who played Colonel Sanders best?


As KFC unveiled the newest celebrity Colonel Sanders this week, it begs the question where do your favorite KFC celebrity Colonels rank.

The KFC celebrity Colonels have become a pop culture moment. While the original Colonel Sanders will always be associated with KFC and its 11 secret herbs and spices, that image has evolved over the years. The fast casual restaurant brand has found a way to parlay that image into something more.

Often the celebrity Colonel ads are an entertaining way promote a new menu item, highlight a new promotion or talk about a current trend. For example, look at the newest celebrity Colonel, Rudy (Sean Astin).

As the 100th NFL starts, this ad is a great way to bridge an iconic football image with KFC’s fried chicken. Football fans can instantly relate to the image and fried chicken fans enjoy the humor. Overall, it was a smart decision by everyone involved.

With this newest announcement, FoodSided decided to rank the KFC celebrity Colonels. This unscientific ranking is based on the opinions of our contributors. Feel free to agree, disagree or comment on this list.

7. Chester Cheetah

Earlier this year, Chester Cheetah became the Colonel as part of the Cheetos partnership. While this Colonel was just two dimensional, it was a nice connection to the sandwich launch. Plus, it was pretty cheesy, which is always a plus.

6. Rob Riggle

Football fans know Rob Riggle from his weekly NFL clips on FOX. For his version of the Colonel, he takes position that football fans will love, need, and must have fried chicken and football. It is the ultimate winning combination.

5. George Hamilton

In this commercial, George Hamilton pokes a little fun at himself, which is usually a good option for funny commercials. Using this infamous tan to promote the extra crispy fried chicken has people wondering if all that sun is really a good idea. Still, fried chicken should be crispy.

4. Norm McDonald

Norm McDonald did many, many KFC commercials as the Colonel. His personality really worked in this role. While you knew it was McDonald, you tended to like him as the Colonel. It was one of the more successful, long term KFC partnerships.

3. Reba McEntire

Reba got a big upvote from one FoodSided contributor. While this commercial is the only time a woman played Colonel Sanders, the catchy tune is entertaining. Although the Smoky Mountain BBQ might have left the menu, that jingle will get stuck in your head for a while.

2. Darrell Hammond

As the original “new” Colonel, Hammond nailed the role. There is a sense of humor to it, but also respects the legacy of KFC and Colonel Sanders himself. While KFC celebrity Colonels followed in his footsteps, it is hard to live up to the original.

1. Jim Gaffigan

To be honest, some people at FoodSided are big Gaffigan fans (maybe it is his obsession with food). Gaffigan captures how many foodies feel when their favorite limited time menu items disappear. It is a travesty, but hopefully, those foods will live on in our dreams.

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What KFC celebrity Colonels should have been on our list? More importantly, which celebrity should take over in the next installment?