clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A Real Man’s Ranking of Denis Leary’s Ford F-150 Commercials

Slap a steak on the grill, crack open a cold one, and read this power ranking, you jabroni

Getty Images/Ringer Illustration


Yeah, you. Unlike every woman in every bar you’ve ever been to, I’m talking to you. Put down your nerd comic books and listen here. Did you even realize that this is the 10th year in a row that Denis Leary has yelled at you via Ford commercials? Of course not. That’s because you’re a dumb and pathetic loser. You’re probably too busy going to art museums with your wife or spending time with your kids instead of watching sports, drinking beer, BANGING CHICKS, and building shit with your bare hands. Well I got news for you, chief: Denis Leary is a goddamn MAN. He’s not some princess who whines when he gets his feelings hurt. He’s a man’s man’s man. He smokes cigarettes and doesn’t care if he gets cancer, he’s from Boston, he wears leather jackets, and he had sex with Smalls’s mom. And when Joe Buck season rolls around on the sports calendar, Denis Leary sacks up, hits you with some uncomfortable truths, and extends an invitation for you to ditch your sorry-ass life and join the club of real men who drive Ford trucks. Because goddammit, that’s what a man does.

There’s nothing better on Earth than trying to take a relaxing Sunday afternoon nap with football on the TV, only to be violently awoken by Denis Leary challenging your manhood. It’s the kind of thing that makes this country great and explains why we have our flag on the moon while those sissies in Europe can’t even ride their bicycles one kilometer (whatever that is) without their scarves blowing in their faces. A tear forms in my eye every time I think about how many lives Denis Leary has saved over the past decade by reaching through the TV to show the wusses of America how to be a man. (But I sure as shit don’t let that tear fall down my cheek because I am definitely a man and men do NOT cry.)

So what’s the best way to honor someone who has done so much for so many? I don’t know, pal, why don’t you tell me? Should I make a parody video of his commercials like College Humor did? Should I just live out a normal day in my super-manly life by killing a wild animal, barbecuing its carcass, and eating it at a football tailgate while surrounded by women in bikinis? Should I throw on some sports and try to drink as much cheap beer as possible as I yell at the TV? How about this instead: Why don’t I watch every Denis Leary Ford truck commercial made over the past 10 years and power rank them? Actually, forget power rankings—what we need here are TORQUE rankings, because “torque” is really just a better, more badass way of saying power. Hell yeah. Here are my TORQUE RANKINGS of the 10 manliest Denis Leary Ford truck commercials ever.

10. The 2016 F-150 Wake-up Call

Leary: “This is the Ford F-150. The only pickup with a high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy body bolted to a high-strength steel frame. It’s also a wake-up call for every full-size pickup in its class. No body rust, most towing, best payload, highest gas mileage. Yeah, it’s a whole new day. ’Cause in the truck game it’s either the aluminum age or the Stone Age. Cock-a-doodle-doo, pal. This is the Ford F-150 and every other truck is history.”

This one is pretty tame by Leary’s standards but saves itself from being just any old boring truck commercial by throwing in that “cock-a-doodle-doo, pal” at the end. That’s vintage Leary condescension right there. You can’t teach that shit to just any haircut off the street. It takes talent—ever heard of it?—and experience that only Leary has to pull that off.

9. The 2018 F-150 Football Analogy

Leary: “In your life, you’re the quarterback and your truck is your offensive line. Better make it the new 2018 Ford F-150. So powerful, it moves the things you need moved. So smart, it can detect the things you can’t detect. And so tough, it never, ever throws in the towel. Hut hut, gunslinger. This is the new 2018 Ford F-150. It doesn’t just raise the bar, pal. It is the bar. And it’s proud to bring you the Built Ford Tough Offensive Line of the Week on”

The crazy thing about this one is right before I saw it for the first time, I was wondering why anybody would ever need a truck. It just didn’t make any sense. I’d ask my friends with trucks why they had one, and their answers were always some complex nerd talk that put me to sleep. But then Leary came along and broke it down in a way someone like me—a REAL MAN—can understand. Life is football. I’m the quarterback, my truck is the offensive line. Boom. Done. I get it now. I’m the star of the show, my F-150 does my dirty work … and any wuss that drives a Prius is a punter!

8. The 2011 F-150 Pre-Emptive Attack on Chevy’s Shitty Focus Group Ad Campaign

Leary: “Look, everybody wants the same things in a pickup, OK? You don’t need a bunch of donut eaters at a focus group to tell you that. But only the engineers at Ford seem to get it. ’Cause they cranked out an all-new line of engines for the 2011 F-150 to give you the most torque, most towing, most horsepower, most payload. And you won’t be put in a chokehold every time you fill up, because you can also get the best fuel economy. Chew on that. This is the future. This is the new F-150.”

Leary comes out of the gate throwing flames with a “look” and an “OK,” all in the first sentence. This is a man that is pretty clearly pissed off, and with good reason. He knows that in just a few short years, those dorks at Chevy are going to roll out one of the worst ad campaigns of all time. That’s what makes this particular commercial so brilliant. When it first aired, it was just your run-of-the-mill version of Leary calling out all the donut eaters of the world. But when Chevy started doing its “real people, not actors” thing, this commercial aged like a fine wine (not that I’d know what fine wine tastes like, since wine is for chicks and I only drink beer). Plus, Leary mentions torque in this one, and if you know anything about me—again, a REAL MAN—you know I get amped up at the thought of some nice, strong torque.

7. The 2017 Super Duty Shot of Red Meat on the Grill and the Sound of a Bald Eagle in the Distance

Leary: “Look, anyone who thinks you gotta make a truck heavier to make it stronger has been working too long without a hard hat. Meet the all-new 2017 Ford Super Duty. They cut weight with a high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy body and reinvested a big chunk of it to beef up the high-strength steel frame, forging the most capable heavy duty pickup in America. Time to punch work in the face. This is the next level. This is the all-new Ford Super Duty.”


You know what, folks—I’m gonna take it one step further and say I oughta PUNCH MY BOSS IN THE FACE! That good-for-nothing jerk has me working my fingers to the bone for peanuts and it’s high time he gets a piece of my mind! And while I’m at it, HOW ABOUT I PUNCH THOSE FAT CATS IN WASHINGTON IN THE FACE FOR RAISING MY GODDAMN TAXES!!!!!

6. The 2012 F-150 Gamble

Leary: “Look, it’s OK to take the occasional gamble, as long as it’s something like switching from boxers to briefs. But you never roll the dice on your truck. So go with the sure thing: Ford F-150. J.D. Power and Associates just gave F-150 their highest award for initial quality. Add to that the best mix of torque and fuel economy you get with its EcoBoost engine and you’re money, baby. This is the future. This is the Ford F-150.”

I absolutely love this one for three reasons. First, there’s the hilarious boxers vs. briefs joke that all guys understand (am I right, fellas?). But then Leary busts out the big guns and shoves it right in your stupid face that Ford has a J.D. Power and Associates award, which is something that literally no other car company can say. And what’s the last thing about this commercial that I love? You guessed it, folks: That sweet, sweet torque. Which brings us to …

5. The 2013 F-150 Tour de TORQUE

Leary: “Alright, if you’re thinking about getting a new truck, you’re probably thinking about fuel economy. Well, you’re going to want some torque to go with it. ’Cause unless you’re using your truck to deliver pizzas, you ain’t getting anything done without it. Torque is power. It pulls trailers, hauls dirt, drags boulders. Torque is what gets the cap off your beer. And only the Ford F-150 with EcoBoost has the best combination of torque and fuel economy. Think about that. This is the 2013 Ford F-150.”

Holy shit, I think I just torque-asmed in my boxers (not briefs!). You wanna know what torque is? That’s fucking torque right there, pal. When guys like me are cracking open some cold ones with the boys, that’s torque. When I’m giving dweebs like you a noogie, that’s torque. When REAL MEN like me satisfy the babes (multiple) in our life, that’s torque. And when I’m torqueing it up with some torques and torque torquey torques torqueing torque, you bet your sweet ass that’s torque.

4. The 2009 F-150 Reminder That REAL MEN Work for a Living

Leary: “OK, odds are if you’re one of the people in America with a pickup truck, it ain’t a luxury—it’s a way of life. And chances are you’re not making your money pushing a pencil or hand modeling. You’re actually working for every dollar and need your truck. So at a time when gas is more expensive than bourbon and you gotta get more done in less time, it’d be nice if there was a truck that had more to offer than just payload, towing, and mileage numbers. Well, the eagle has landed. Say hello to the all-new ’09 F-150. It ain’t just about numbers and brute strength. It’s about doing things no truck has ever done before. It can help load cargo, find lost tools, connect you to the internet, squeeze more out of a gallon of gas, and keep your trailer from shaking like a plate full of Jell-O. This thing is 5,000 pounds of ‘Hey, can I give you a hand with that?’ And, oh yeah—guess what? Towing, payload, mileage—nobody’s got better numbers. The truck game has officially changed and your unfair advantage is right here. It’s not just a new truck. It’s a new F-150.”

What I love about this one is that it’s twice as long as every other commercial Leary has done. You just know he was on a roll the day he recorded this and some poor sap (probably a virgin) came in to stop him and he just flipped him the bird and said, “NOT NOW, CHIEF!” That’s the thing about all the white-collar hand models and pencil pushers out there: They don’t understand what it’s like to be in the zone. Whether I’m having sex, scoring touchdowns, or mowing down 12-point bucks, I can’t stop myself once I get going, even if I wanted to. The same is probably true for Leary when he’s in the studio talking about torque. It would have taken an entire army to pry him away from the microphone this year, and even then he probably only would have relented because he respects the troops so much.

3. The 2011 Super Duty Takedown of Hippies

Leary: “Hey, chances are if you’re towing 12 tons of something it’s probably pretty important to you. That’s your livelihood back there, OK? So you’re gonna want to keep it from swaying back and forth like hippies around a campfire. No sweat. Introducing the all-new 2011 Super Duty. It’s got the most towing power, and now an advanced trailer sway control system. And it’s standard. Yeah, that’ll take the white out of your knuckles. Kumbaya, baby. The all. New. Super Duty.”

I hate hippies. HATE them. Those lazy asses just sit around smoking (illegal!) drugs while trying to brainwash regular Joes like me with their propaganda. How sick in the head do you have to be to try to get people to buy into your warped agenda of peace and love? It’s disgusting. You want me to hug a tree? How about you hug my torque, you son of a bitch? REAL MEN like me (who have a job, by the way!!!) are the backbone of this country and these granola-eating, yoga-posing nature freaks are the assholes. If you’re telling me that buying the all-new 2011 Ford Super Duty will get rid of hippies, buddy, I’ll take two of them suckers.

2. The 2009 F-150 NERD ALERT

Leary: “I figure the engineers who built the all-new ’09 F-150 are probably the same guys we all cheated off of in science class. We’re thinking about pizza, they’re thinking about aerodynamic wake properties. Crazy smart. Take fuel economy, for example. They gave it 21 miles per gallon. You can’t get a truck with better mileage. And they didn’t give up an ounce of power to get it. In fact, they actually increased the horsepower. Now that is some A+ truck thinking. It’s not just a new truck. It’s a new F-150.”

I love the maturity Leary shows with this one. It takes a REAL MAN to step up and extend an olive branch. I mean, look, we all know that there is no place for nerds in our society. There just isn’t. They can’t hit a curveball or block a blitzing linebacker to save their lives. Their only purpose is to carry a ton of books through the halls of a high school so when they get body checked into a locker by some jocks, their books spill everywhere and all the cool kids get a hearty laugh. That’s it. Well, that was it, I should say, because it turns out that nerds are building trucks now too. I have no idea how it happened. I just know that those big brains are finally being put to good use. And I know that I respect the hell out of Leary for being the bigger man and admitting he may have been wrong about nerds. I’m not sure I can do the same quite yet, but anyone who can figure out how to get me more torque without making me spend more of my hard-earned money at the pump is OK in my book.

1. The 2017 Super Duty Commercial That Almost Has It All

Leary: “OK, anyone like coming in first place in EVERYTHING that matters? Introducing the all-new 2017 Ford Super Duty. The only high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy–body heavy duty pickup. It takes first place in every measure of tough: best-in-class towing, best-in-class payload, best-in-class horsepower, and best-in-class torque. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. This is the next level. This is the all-new Ford Super Duty.”

The only thing missing from this one is Leary directly calling out the wimps of America. You throw in a “listen here, pal” with this commercial and they’re giving the damn thing all sorts of J.D. Power and Associates awards. It’s got the strong start with an “OK” to grab your attention. It’s got the reminder that participation trophies are ruining this country and that REAL MEN only care about finishing first. It’s got military planes doing a fly-over, a guy in a cowboy hat using a chainsaw to carve a truck out of a log (hell yeah), and regular Joes earning a living at a worksite. It’s got a big-ass plate of meat, it talks about toughness, and there’s an eagle noise at the end to remind you that you’re living in the greatest country on Earth. And best of all, it’s got SOME MOTHERFUCKING TORQUE. This is what being a man is all about, folks. It makes you wonder why they even bother making Viagra when this 30-second commercial is really all you need.

So look, there you have it. Those are the manliest Denis Leary Ford commercials of all time, which basically just makes them the 10 manliest commercials of all time. And I know what you’re thinking—where does Denis Leary go from here? How can he raise the bar? Well, first of all, if you were paying any attention you would already know that this isn’t just raising the bar—it is the bar, pal. More importantly, that’s the genius (but not the nerdy kind) of Denis Leary. He always finds a way to deliver the goods, probably because he hauls the goods in an all-new Ford Super Duty with a high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy body that was named by J.D. Power and Associates as best-in-class horsepower, best-in-class towing, and best-in-class payload. So don’t you worry, snowflake. Denis Leary is going to keep cranking out the hits for the next 10 years, and the next 10 years after that. And when he does, you can be damn sure that he’s going to deliver the kind of torque that you thought only existed in your dreams. Chief.