Goldblum, seated socially distant from Brown, described Christmas in his Jewish family’s home.
Funny or Die

Headshot of T.L. Stanley

By T.L. Stanley

2 hours ago

When the Emmy-winning actor Sterling K. Brown sits down for a socially distant visit with fellow celebrity and beloved pitchman Jeff Goldblum, their off-the-cuff conversation swings wildly from the Broadway production of “Death of a Salesman” to social justice issues to the Christmas tree hidden (“like Norman Bates’ mother”) in the Goldblum family basement.

And at the center of it all: cookie decorating.

This might sound like an oddball scenario, but it unfolds rather naturally, and delightfully, as the two performers star in a nearly 10-minute video for Kroger. It’s part of Goldblum’s ongoing digital series with the supermarket chain titled, “Cooking With Jeff.” (The name is a bit of a misdirect, since Goldblum has publicly admitted that he’s a passionate foodie, but definitely not a cook.)

For its holiday campaign, Kroger and Funny or Die have brought Goldblum together with Brown, a leading man on the popular weep-fest This Is Us, so the two can customize a few seasonal gift baskets for their friends. All the products come from the grocery chain, of course, which shows off its online ordering and contactless delivery service.

Loosely outlined—there was no script involved—the stars’ conversation involves comparing pandemic notes, with Brown saying he found an upside to the “mandatory pause” in regular activity by hunkering down with his wife and two young sons before heading back to work on the NBC drama.

They also chat about holiday gifts, with Goldblum noting that each day of Hanukkah usually meant “another pair of sensible tube socks” when he was growing up in a Jewish household that relegated its elaborate Christmas tree to the basement.

As it turns out, Brown’s father was a clerk at Kroger, so Brown feels a connection to the brand, he says in the video, which was shot recently in Los Angeles and captures the men attempting to brighten up some plain sugar cookies with icing, candy and sprinkles. 

Extending Kroger’s star-studded approach

The brand recently launched an 8-plus-minute video with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Shannen Doherty cooking their mothers’ recipes for a Friendsgiving meal (it snagged more than 3 million views on social channels in its first few days) and pitted Wayne Brady and his family against his talk show co-star Jonathan Magnum’s wife and sons for “A Very Brady Bake-Off.” 

For “Cooking With Jeff,” the retail giant and Funny or Die have returned a number of times to the improv master and frequent adman, Goldblum, who’s appeared alongside Bryce Dallas Howard, Tituss Burgess, Regina Hall and Jonathan Gold in the appetizing content.

Goldblum and Brown have an easy rapport in their sunny, outdoor setting, which fits with Kroger’s ongoing strategy of showing food as an experience and a way to unite people. Goldblum graciously says that Brown came up with “a whole bouquet of museum-worthy cookies” while Brown took cues from Goldblum’s “texturing” technique. The results? Well, it’s the thought that counts.

The video kicked off on YouTube, Facebook and other social platforms.