From 'Letterman' guest to 'Jeopardy!' host, 15 of Aaron Rodgers' most memorable Packers pop culture moments

Aaron Rodgers showed up in all kind of State Farm commercials over the years, sometimes with Clay Matthews, sometimes with a dog and sometimes with his double.
Aaron Rodgers showed up in all kind of State Farm commercials over the years, sometimes with Clay Matthews, sometimes with a dog and sometimes with his double.

Pop culture in Green Bay just took a major hit with the trade of Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets.

Say what you will about the quarterback during his 18 seasons with the Green Bay Packers, and there's plenty to say, but he had a way of showing up on game shows, talk shows, awards shows, TV shows and in a whole bunch of commercials that put Green Bay in the national entertainment spotlight. That's something that doesn't happen a lot when you're the smallest NFL city.

And OK, dating two Hollywood actresses and a race car driver didn't hurt, either.

So crank up the Creed, wear your favorite "The Office" T-shirt and do the Discount Double Check, as we look back at a few of his more memorable pop culture moments as No. 12.

Super Bowl XLV MVP sits down with David Letterman, Ellen DeGeneres

Before podcasts and “The Pat McAfee Show” became his appearances of choice, a young Rodgers, fresh off the Packers’ Super Bowl XLV win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, made his first rounds on TV talk shows in 2011. Was he a natural? Uh, no.

He awkwardly danced his way out to the couch on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to meet his "celebrity crush" for the first time and gamely played along with her running joke about a lovers triangle with second-year Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, who DeGeneres had made it known she was sweet on. Rodgers made her laugh with a cute G-rated explanation of how trash talking works on the field. “They say really mean things, Ellen.” Like what? “You’re a really bad player.”

On the “Late Show,” Letterman put him on the spot by asking if Brett Favre’s indecision about retiring was a distraction and then pulled a WWE championship belt out from behind the desk and asked how it became his signature celebration move. “It’s just a a celebration that started in practice really and the fans love it, so you gotta give them what they love,” Rodgers said. He also obliged Letterman’s request to throw a pass to him in the audience. “Don’t hurt me,” Letterman pleaded.

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In more recent years, Aaron Rodgers' State Farm commercials have sometimes paired him with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
In more recent years, Aaron Rodgers' State Farm commercials have sometimes paired him with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

'Rodgers!' Becomes the face of Discount Double Check for State Farm

Girlfriends Olivia Munn, Danica Patrick and Shailene Woodley all came and went, but Rodgers’ relationship with State Farm has been going strong since 2011. It started with the Discount Double Check spots with the young couple doing the championship belt move, a bewildered Rodgers, a dancing B.J. Raji and — the perfect punctuation mark at the end — the “Rodgers!” guy outside the window in the Cheesehead.

When State Farm tapped Clay Matthews as Rodgers sidekick in future spots, it was commercial comedy gold. Who could forget Matthews in a bathrobe annoying a sleeping Rodgers in the hotel room next door by singing Nelly Furtado’s “I’m Like a Bird” in the bathroom mirror? Add an adorable dog to the mix for the 2017 spot set to '80s hit "Believe It or Not" and there's something almost sentimental about it all now.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Jake from State Farm, Gabe the agent and a body double have all starred alongside Rodgers in more recent years, but the cleverness has waned significantly.

Makes his TV acting debut alongside Clay Aiken on 'The Office'

There's no escaping Rodgers' love for “The Office.” He has talked about the show in countless interviews, he’s buddies with Brian Baumgartner (who played Kevin Malone) and he wore that “The Office” chili spill T-shirt for his will-he-or-won’t-he return to Packers training camp in 2021.

So imagine how geeked he must have been to count himself among the Dunder Mifflin crew for a cameo in a 2013 episode. Alongside the very random casting of Clay Aiken and Santigold, he’s one of three judges of spoof talent show “America’s Next A Capella Sensation” who breaks the news to Andy Bernard (played by Ed Helms) that his rendition of the Cornell fight song is “just not good enough” to make the cut.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers won "Celebrity Jeopardy!" in 2015.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers won "Celebrity Jeopardy!" in 2015.

Wins 'Celebrity Jeopardy!' but drops ball on Harley-Davidson question

Never underestimate the power of an NFL MVP in a cardigan sweater on “Celebrity Jeopardy!” Rodgers beat out “Shark Tank’s” Kevin O’Leary and astronaut Mark Kelly to win the game show in 2015. The victory netted him not just all-important bragging rights that would come in handy when he guest hosted “Jeopardy!” six years later, but also $50,000 for Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer Inc.

He’ll forever have to live with whiffing a Final Jeopardy! question that was about Wisconsin company Harley-Davidson, but getting host Alex Trebek to do the championship belt on camera? That was an MVP move.

In on the Creed joke on 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon'

When Fallon invited NFL players to read superlatives about themselves in 2016, Aaron Rodgers showed up and delivered this one with a straight face: “I’m Aaron Rodgers, quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, and I was voted most likely to put $50 in the jukebox and only play Creed.”

Walks Oscars red carpet with Olivia Munn in, oops, Chicago Bears colors

If you’re going to go Hollywood, there’s no higher-profile place to do it than the red carpet at the Academy Awards. Rodgers and actress and then-girlfriend Munn held their own as a power couple among all the A-listers at the 2016 Oscars, even if his bowtie was slightly askew when they stopped to do an interview with "Entertainment Tonight" and he photobombed Common.

It was all very high glam ... until the official Chicago Bears Twitter account couldn’t help but notice their colors as they stood side by side for photographers. He was in a navy blue Isaia tuxedo, and she was in a tangerine Stella McCartney gown. “Everyone wants to wear the #BearsBlueandOrange,” the Bears account tweeted. Brilliant, even for the Bears, you have to admit.

Jordan Rodgers spills the tea on 'The Bachelorette' and it gets messy

Rodgers never appeared on Season 12 of the reality dating show in 2016, but his younger brother, Jordan Rodgers, did, and let’s just say the drama got real, real quick. With Jordan one of the 26 men vying for the attention of JoJo Fletcher, what started out as a fun weekly watch to see if the topic of the “other Rodgers” might come up turned a little dark when Jordan dropped the bomb that he and his brother were estranged. When it was time for JoJo and Jordan to head to his hometown of Chico, California, to meet his parents and other brother, Luke, it was clear there would be no Aaron.

“Me and Aaron don't really have that much of a relationship. It's just kind of how he's chosen to live his life,” Jordan said. That airing of private family matters on prime-time TV sent off a feeding frenzy about Aaron’s reportedly fractured relationship with his family, a topic that has come up long after Jordan received the final rose. He and JoJo married in May 2022. Rodgers never publicly commented other than to say he “always found that it's a little inappropriate to talk publicly about some family matters.”

Aaron Rodgers and host Danica Patrick attend the 2018 ESPYS in July in Los Angeles.
Aaron Rodgers and host Danica Patrick attend the 2018 ESPYS in July in Los Angeles.

Embraces his inner nerd for spoof with Danica Patrick at ESPYs

Not only did Patrick seem to have a way of getting Rodgers to share glimpses into their personal life and globe-trotting travels together on social media, she also talked him into going full-on dweeb at the ESPYs in 2018. As the first woman to host the awards, she and Rodgers starred in a movie trailer that hilariously parodied the Tonya Harding biopic “I, Tonya.” For "Me, Danica,” Rodgers embraced the nerdy sweater, fake mustache and glasses for a comedic take on Harding’s husband Jeff Gillooly. It was proof he can be funny playing someone other than himself.

Faces his fears during Shark Week

Rodgers has said he has two fears: heights and sharks. He took on the latter hand first, and without a cage, when he touched a blue shark in the Pacific Ocean for “Monster Tag,” a 2018 special that aired during the Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week programming.

Suits up, slicks back to guest host 10 nights of 'Jeopardy!'

Where do we start? Was it the very Rodgers-ish endless hours and notebooks of research to get ready? Dropping the "Turd Ferguson" reference? The contestant who so expertly trolled him in Final Jeopardy! about the Packers’ decision to kick of field goal in the final minutes of the NFC championship game? The podium covered in sticky note reminders, like “Stand up straight” and “Don’t pick your nose/butt”? The impeccable suits and the slicked-back hair before it got long and un-game show-y?

Take your pick, but for 10 nights in 2021, Rodgers stepped into the mighty shoes of Trebek and did one of his idols proud by guest hosting the game show he’s loved since he watched it as a kid with his grandparents. By all accounts, not the MVP of the roster of famous faces who tried their hand at the gig, but it was an interesting look at another side of No. 12. It also feels like it was 10 years ago.

Shows up on final season of HBO's 'Game of Thrones'– barely

For all the speculation, his own cryptic hint-dropping (see also Halloween costumes) and hype leading up to it, Rodgers' appearance in 2019 on the penultimate episode of the final season of "Game of Thrones," another of his favorite TV shows, turned out to be kind of a bust.

Even eagle-eyed viewers who thought they saw him in the blink-and-you-miss-it moment missed it. He was not, as many thought ,the guy seen running through the alley who gets lit up by dragon fire. Nor was he one of the archers. That's him in a scene where Arya is running through the streets, and even when Rodgers did play-by-play of the scene afterward to set the record straight, it's hard to tell.

But Rodgers did sit upon the show's iconic Iron Throne at Lambeau Field to shoot a social media campaign for the show as "Lord Aaron of House Rodgers of Greenwater Bay, the true King in the North." That was kind of cool and came in handy for trolling NFC North rivals.

Grows out hair for year just to go all in as John Wick for Halloween

It was a lot of drama over one Halloween costume, but then again, drama has become a Rodgers hallmark in recent years. After mentioning on “The Pat McAfee Show” in September 2021 that his long hair had been a year in the making for a Halloween costume of someone who is a hero of his, the guessing game was on. “The Dude” from “The Big Lebowski,” musician Scott Stapp, Obi-Wan Kenobi of "Star Wars" and Nicolas Cage's character in "Con Air” led the guesses, but Rodgers went all in as Keanu Reeves' professional hitman character in the "John Wick" film franchise.

He impeccably re-created the “good dog” scene in the back of the cab from “Chapter 3,” complete with a dog on loan from Packers outside linebacker Preston Smith.

Gets parodied by Pete Davidson on 'Saturday Night Live'

Probably not the "SNL" debut Rodgers had in mind. Instead of joining the ranks of Tom Brady, Joe Montana and Peyton Manning as NFL quarterback greats who have hosted, Rodgers showed up by way of Davidson in the opening sketch on Nov. 6, 2021, that skewered him for an appearance the day before on "The Pat McAfee Show" in which he addressed his unvaccinated status after testing positive for COVID-19. Davidson portrayed Rodgers as a guest on Fox News program “Justice w/Judge Jeanine," with Cecily Strong as Judge Jeanine Pirro introducing him as “an American brave enough to say, ‘Screw you, science, I know Joe Rogan.'"

Who knows, maybe landing with the New York Jets gets him a couple of steps closer, at least logistically, as a host.

Cheers on Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd on 'DWTS' dancefloor

Looking back it seems like the most uncomfortable trio in the most unlikely place, but in 2012, when Packers receiver Donald Driver and dance partner Murgatroyd were waltzing their way to the finals on "Dancing With the Stars," it made perfect sense to see Rodgers, Matthews and Packers head coach Mike McCarthy sitting together in the front row of the audience and cheering on their performance to "Kissing You" from "Romeo + Juliet."

It's game on for ABC's 'The $100,000 Pyramid' and 'Big Fan'

Never one to let his competitive streak hold him back from a good game show, Rodgers did two of them on ABC in 2017. He went up against friend and Fox Sports sideline reporter Erin Andrews on “The $100,000 Pyramid” and beat her, helping the player he was partnered with win the big money. For “Big Fan,” he challenged three superfans of his to see who knows the most about him. It’s where we learned important stuff like his SAT score is 1310 and he once bought Speedos for his two fellow Packers quarterbacks as a joke.

Kendra Meinert is an entertainment and feature writer at the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Contact her at 920-431-8347 or Follow her on Twitter @KendraMeinert.

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This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: 15 of Aaron Rodgers' most memorable pop culture moments with Packers