Steve Martin Drops 'Nepo Baby' Bomb On Ben Stiller While Smack-Talking In Hilarious New Super Bowl Ad

While not everyone enjoys early releases for Super Bowl commercials going live days and weeks ahead of the big game, it certainly helps when those shortened promos and teasers are actually worth watching. So it goes for Pepsi’s new ad, which features the always fun and quippy Ben Stiller and Steve Martin trading insults as a way to promote the brand’s Pepsi Zero Sugar soda. And there definitely isn’t any extra sweetness to be found amidst the pair’s hilarious squabbling, which features Steve Martin calling out the Severance EP as a “nepo baby,” among other observations. 

Just under two weeks ahead of Super Bowl LVII pitting the Kansas City Chiefs against the Philadelphia Eagles, Pepsi unveiled two sneak peeks at its high-profile spot(s), which are delightfully low-key and focused on the comedic strengths of both Ben Stiller and Steve Martin. Check it out! 

Steve Martin has re-taken over pop culture in recent years, thanks in part to Hulu's boffo mystery-comedy Only Murders in the Building (which is currently filming Season 3 with some major guest stars), and also in part to his masterful partnership with co-star Martin Short. The duo have toured the country with a two-man act that relies heavily on roasts and barbs, and nothing is seemingly too sacred. Which is probably obvious given the “nepo baby” comment, reflecting on Ben Stiller having a pair of entertainment icons — the late, great Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara — as his parents.

Recent months have seen a larger spotlight being focused on the idea of nepo babies, i.e. famous children of famous parents, and the debate over how unfair such practices are, and whether genuine talent is/should be a considerable factor. Cindy Crawford’s daughter Kaia Gerber had a solid take on it, and Stephen Baldwin’s daughter Hailey Bieber made the phrase a fashion choice, while Tom Hanks seems fine with it. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

But the Super Bowl isn’t about nepo babies, even if the NFL is just as noteworthy for it as Hollywood. It’s about ads! And making fun of Ben Stiller! Well no, that’s not quite right either, but Pepsi did release another teaser featuring Stiller and "better actor" Steve Martin waxing witty. 

Given how much money companies spend each year on Super Bowl time-slots, there’s something so refreshing about seeing two funny people standing in a simplified setting and just being funny. Which probably means whatever airs during the game is going to be a big and expensive CGI shitshow. But extra cool points if it involves Ben Stiller literally trying to act his way into, or out of, a giant, wet paper bag.

To catch this ad and many, many other hyper-expensive promos, be sure to watch Super Bowl LVII, which will be airing on Fox on Sunday, February 12, starting at 6:30 p.m. ET. And head to our 2023 TV premiere schedule to see all the upcoming shows that’ll likely have commercial breaks featuring the same ads.  

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.