Since its debut 2012, State Farm’s series of Cliff Paul commercials has been a staple of NBA and college basketball broadcasts.
The premise is simple: Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul has an identical twin brother named Cliff Paul who works for State Farm. They were separated at birth, but now they both help people — Chris by dishing out assists in the NBA, Cliff by assisting people when they get in car accidents.
“When assisting is in your blood, you know it,” the first of these commercials stated.
Earlier this week the writer Chuck Klosterman went on Bill Simmons’ podcast and pointed out a plot hole in the commercials.
The plot hole: Since Chris and Cliff were separated at birth, they should not have the same last name.
“Explain this to me: They’re separated at birth, right? They were selected by two different families? Why do they both have the same last name, ‘Paul?’ So they were adopted by different families who both had the same last name? That doesn’t make any sense at all. Why doesn’t [State Farm] have them both be named ‘Chris’ but one has a different last name?”
These commercials have been running throughout March Madness, and now I can’t watch them without thinking about this last-name thing.
Here’s the original commercial. The voiceover reads:
“On May 6, 1985 identical twins were separated at birth. Despite their different upbringings they shared one invaluable trait: they were both born to assist. Chris Paul was destined to become the ultimate team player. Cliff Paul was destined to lead a life of helping others, and that led him to become a State Farm agent.”
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