Did GoDaddy hire a real geek for its Super Bowl ad?

CNET writer Amanda Kooser investigates Jesse Heiman, the supermodel-kissing actor from GoDaddy's buzzy Super Bowl ad, and weighs his geek cred.

Still from GoDaddy Super Bowl ad
Actor Jesse Heiman looks the part, but does he live it? Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

The first time I saw GoDaddy's geek-smooching supermodel ad during the Super Bowl, I silently cheered for the curly-headed geek in a "Revenge of the Nerds" sort of way. The second time the ad came on, I was reading Super Bowl articles on my iPad and only heard the lascivious slurping sound effects. Ewww.

This got me thinking. We're supposed to root for the geek who gets the hot girl. We know the woman in the ad, Bar Rafaeli, is a real supermodel. Is the actor, Jesse Heiman, a real geek? Let's investigate.

Exhibit A: Heiman on IMDB. Heiman's a professional actor, but that doesn't mean he's not also a real geek. Looking over his IMDB credits, it seems Heiman has been typecast. In the 2012 movie "Noobz," he's listed as "Computer Guy." He has six different nerd-related credits including "Nerd #1" for an episode of "Entourage." He clocks in with 31 mostly uncredited appearances on geek-fest show "Chuck." So far, Heiman is passing the geek sniff test.

Exhibit B: Social-media action. Heiman's Facebook page is suspiciously quiet. He uploaded a bunch of photos back when he joined in 2010, but his Facebook presence has been pretty low-key since then. That might lead me to question his geek cred, but wait... there's more. Heiman is also over on Google+. He's still not very busy posting, but it's a plus that he's there at all. Like many actors, Heiman has chosen to express his social-media self mostly on Twitter, where he lets his followers know he's single. That sounds pretty geek-like to me.

Exhibit C: Visual evidence. Heiman got the Super Bowl ad role because he looks the part. He looks like a guy who spends a lot of time sitting in front of a computer. Consider his uncontrolled curly hair and buttoned-to-the-neck shirt. He's one step away from sporting a pocket protector. From what I can tell, he really does wear glasses.

According to his YouTube account, he collects hats. That's not particularly geeky, though. What is super geeky is a 15-minute-long handheld video of his analog wall clock adjusting itself for daylight savings time.

I decided to ask him myself. "I would describe myself as a 'lovable nerd,'" Heiman, reached through GoDaddy, told me today. "I play that role regularly in films and TV shows. In my personal life, I'd say I'm a nerd because I like 'Star Trek' and professional wrestling."

Conclusions: Heiman proves his "Star Trek" fan claim by having posted not one, but two William Shatner Shatoetry videos to his YouTube account. Adding that to all the other evidence, I figure this makes him a pretty good stand-in for guy geek fantasies the world over.

 

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