The actor behind the original Geico Caveman speaks out – Do you recognize him?

In 2004, a Geico commercial featuring a caveman character named "The Caveman" aired for the first time, capturing the attention of viewers. But do you recognize the actor behind that iconic role? It’s none other than John Lehr.

When John first appeared in the commercial, dressed as a caveman with his rugged appearance, crooked teeth, disheveled hair, and Neanderthal-like features, he instantly became famous. It not only brought him recognition but also filled his bank account with some extra cash.

John shared in an interview with Interviewing Hollywood, "It’s the perfect job for somebody like me, a character actor. I make a lot of money on these commercials, and nobody knows it’s me. It’s a perfect blend of real and absurd, which aligns with my sense of humor. And it worked out well for me."

He added, "I’m stunned by the response. My wife recently Googled ‘GEICO caveman blogs,’ and it’s unbelievable. There’s a whole group of people out there who are fascinated with these commercials."

However, being the caveman character was not without its complications for John. It required hours of makeup and improvisation to portray the hairy, prehistoric figure.

John explained, "I just lay there and let them glue stuff on me. It doesn’t bother me. I mean, after about eight hours, all you’re thinking about is, ‘Let’s get it off!’ It’s a peculiar experience. You have to find your zen place."

He continued, "The only part of me that was truly me was my eyes. Everything else was transformed. It’s the greatest job ever because you get to be the spokesperson for a product, but nobody knows it’s you. You don’t get pigeonholed. I ended up shooting over twenty-five national spots, which is just unheard of. It was truly a phenomenon."

Interestingly, the popularity of the caveman character even led to a sitcom series in 2007 called "Cavemen," based on the character. However, it wasn’t a hit, and John Lehr did not appear in the sitcom.

Appearing in the Geico commercials changed John’s life in ways he couldn’t have imagined. He even had the opportunity to attend the Oscars, rubbing shoulders with A-list stars and working with other notable brands.

John reminisced in an interview with Forbes, "They sent me to the Oscars in full makeup and even arranged for a beautiful model to be my date on the red carpet. The funny thing was that all the stars wanted to take pictures with me. Gary Busey, John Voight, you name it. And then this stunning actress comes up and starts hitting on me. I dropped character and told her, ‘You do realize I’m not actually a caveman, right? I’m an actor with glued-on hair, and I’m married.’ She responded, ‘I don’t care. Let’s have sex.’"

Today, John lives a fulfilling life with his wife, Jennifer, whom he married in the early 2000s. Together, they raise their children and cherish the memories and opportunities that the Geico caveman role brought into their lives.