KFC Introduces New Celebrity Colonel Sanders

KFC has found its newest Colonel Harland Sanders in Seinfeld alum Jason Alexander.

The former Seinfeld star was announced as KFC's latest Colonel Sanders on Monday morning, when the fried chicken chain released a new ad on YouTube.

Alexander, who portrayed George Costanza on the popular series Seinfeld, is set to promote Kentucky Fried Chicken's $20 Fill Ups — value meals available in four different varieties, including original recipe chicken, extra crispy chicken, crispy tenders, or filet. Beginning on Monday, Alexander will be featured in a number of ads airing nationwide to promote the value meals.

The Seinfeld alum is taking the reins from former Colonel Sanders actor Reba McEntire, who became the brand's first female lead when she donned the white suit and wig in January. According to Alexander, McEntire's performance as the Colonel was his favorite.

"You know, all the other guys, you sit there and you go 'Who is that?' Sometimes the voice just gives them away," Alexander said. "I was looking at Reba ... and I know it's a woman and that's really interesting, and I'm thinking 'Who is that woman?' It took me about almost five, six, seven viewings to get it," he told TODAY Food. "I just thought it was inspired thinking to go that far out of the box for someone to play the colonel — just to have a woman do it. That is what I thought was brilliant."


Alexander joins the ranks of a handful of celebrities who have taken on the iconic role. Before McEntire and Alexander, there was Rob Lowe, WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler, Vincent Kartheiser, George Hamilton, Ray Liotta, Billy Zane, Rob Riggle, Norm Macdonald, Darrell Hammond and Jim Gaffigan, all of whom donned the white hair, beard, and suit to promote the "finger lickin' good" chicken. The chain, best known for its "Original Recipe" seasoning with 11 herbs and spices, even once chose an unknown actor to take on the role.

Along with its Colonel Sanders-centered marketing campaign, launched in 2015, KFC is also leading a turnaround in sales. It is introducing major changes to its menu with the goal of cutting calories by 20 percent by 2025. The chain is also hoping to appeal to non-meat eaters, with a vegetarian "fried chicken" reportedly set to be tested in British KFC locations later this year.