It's my understanding that the original "Jake" from the "Jake from State Farm" ads which first appeared back in 2011 was an actual State Farm employee who answered a casting call and landed the spot which many viewers found mildly amusing a few times (in television lexicon, that means "captured our hearts" and "became a cultural icon," because of course Television.)
And it's also my understanding that when State Farm decided to bring the character back (sort of; he's so different, I kind of wonder why they even went with the name "Jake" and didn't just invent a new character) they decided to go with someone with acting experience, because apparently being a grinning toady stalker who bleats the same lines in every single ad requires acting experience- more acting experience than that original guy could have ever hoped to achieve. I mean, just one viewing of any of the "new" Jake from State Farm Commercials should convince anyone that the guy playing Jake probably has at least a decade of theater experience, probably even Broadway, am I right?
And State Farm is so determined that the new Jake become as iconic as the old one (how hard could that be?) that a recent State Farm-sponsored "story" about the new guy playing Jake (Kevin something. I don't care) "assures" us that he's "here to stay," like we're supposed to be concerned, or something.
But my question is, what is it about this role that made State Farm believe it needed to be filled with a "professional actor" in the first place? Jake has one look- a squinty eyed, bemused level of smarm delivered with a grin that makes any sane person want to punch him square in the face. He has the emotional range of Michael B Jordan or his female equivalent, Alicia Vikander. He has at most three lines. The same three lines. In every ad. This requires talent?
Oh, but this guy is in much better shape than the original Jake, who didn't hang around with celebrities like a starstruck lickspittle but just sat in his cubicle doing his job. I'm guessing that when it comes to actual employees, State Farm would prefer that they act like the first Jake and doesn't really care if they have good muscle tone because- well, they're just supposed to be answering calls, not f--king off with Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers (I bet he wishes he had worn a mask) or anyone else on the company's time.