Blast from the Past: Kevin Costner’s 1983 Apple Lisa ad (with video)

Just for fun, TV Squad has an article today about a long forgotten commercial from 1983 for the Apple Lisa, starring Kevin Costner, “long before his big screen success in movies like The Untouchables, Bull Durham, and Field of Dreams.”

MacDailyNews Take: And Waterworld! Never leave out the under-appreciated Waterworld! “I’ve sailed further than most men have dreamed…”

Bob Sassone writes for TV Squad, “[Costner] plays a cool business guy who bikes to work at his leisure, trusty dog companion by his side. He gets to his nice office and turns on the Lisa and then gets a phone call from his wife (I’m assuming), and he tells her he’ll be home for breakfast. I’m not sure if this is supposed to mean he biked to work early in the morning before she got up or he’s been out all night ‘inputing’ ‘data’ into ‘Lisa,’ if you know what I mean.”

MacDailyNews Note: Those familiar with Apple’s iconic “1984” Mac commercial will recognize the voiceover talent as Edward Grover:

The ad via YouTube:

Direct link via YouTube:

TV Squad’s article is here.


  1. Boring commercial, especially for Apple. Doesn’t reflect them well, even in the early ’80s.

    But, seriously… Waterworld under appreciated? What for? Being the biggest flop in major studio history?

    Honestly, if Windows Vista were a film, Waterworld would be it… Massively over budget, over-hyped, and lousy quality through and through. But, hey, I guess someone has to buy the DVDs, so ore power to you. Better you than me.

    Come to think of it, if Waterworld were a computer, it would be the Lisa. Over budget, Overpriced, overhyped and an embarrassing failure.

  2. What most people don’t realize is that Waterwold actually made more money at the international box office than it cost to produce. Yes, it’s a bit of a mess in places, but still a very enjoyable flick.

    If you look at its history, most of the over budget was because “director” Kevin Reynolds (then still a friend of Costner’s) made the terrible decision to film the huge ocean sets during typhoon season off of Hawaii. If memory serves, the set was destroyed not once, but twice.

    Costner actually took over the film to get it finished, but out of solidarity with his buddy Reynolds, left Kevin Reynolds on the film as director credit.

    Also, you’re not watching the film very closely if you can’t appreciate Dennis Hopper chewing the scenery in the best tradition of Snively Whiplash. It’s awesome.

    One should also mention The Postman as another under-appreciated Costner flick. There is an awful lot of fun there, as well.

    But, each to their own. Some people think Michael Bay can actually direct.

    On Topic: I remember seeing this ad actually airing on TV. When you consider what was out there at the time for computers – when I saw this, I was blown away. Most people thought of computers as huge monster machines steaming away in the bowels of universities and big corporations. I remember at this time grabbing time on the University of Calgary computer to play a very, very primitive Star Trek game where the graphics were made from printouts using only alpha characters. The Lisa was a true revelation. The thought that a “normal” businessman might actually use his own computer was so totally cool at the time, you just cannot imagine.

    While not quite in the same league as “1984,” this is a watershed advertisement for the computer industry.

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