The Life of Cuervo Man: Then and Now

Recently, an old piece by John Hodgman (of “The Daily Show” and Mac/PC commercials fame) re-aired on This American Life. The subject of the story: The life of “party catalyst,” Cuervo Man.

In case you aren’t familiar, Cuervo Man was basically a real-life version of “Duffman” from “The Simpsons.” A man, dressed up in an incredibly ridiculous outfit, whose job was to get people drunk on Jose Cuervo Tequila and get everyone partying.

According to Hodgman, Cuervo Man had a shaved head, a goatee and wore speedos, mirror shades, a red superhero cape, a toilet seat around his neck and a plunger on his head. He would notify people that they were “entering a party zone” via megaphone. He would often balance shots on his bald head and convince people to take it. He performed popular rock songs with the lyrics changed so that they were about Jose Cuervo.

The man behind the plunger hat and toilet seat necklace-wearing hype man was Ryan McDonough, an aspiring actor. The suits at Cuervo described his job as “interactive promotions designed to introduce consumers to the responsible enjoyment of the various Jose Cuervo Tequilas” which loosely translated means “we’ll pay you to make an ass out of yourself.”

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McDonough, a Princeton alum who originally started looking for a job in finance, decided that getting paid to party was a once in a lifetime opportunity. So, he gave up any other plans and took on this dream job when it was offered to him. And thus began his career as Cuervo Man.

So what has become of the man behind Cuervo Man since? According to McDonough’s blog in a post titled “Do I Miss Being Cuervo Man,” he has simply moved on. It was a very fun time in his life, getting paid to party, but around the time the John Hodgman piece hit the internet, Cuervo decided it was time to go in another direction. They wanted to be known as a more sophisticated type of booze, not the kind that is a first step towards spending the night spooning with your toilet.

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McDonough has gone on to pursue his original love of acting. His website calls him “The Original Party Catalyst” and boasts endless acting, voiceover, and hosting reels, such as this one which happens to highlight some of time he spent as Cuervo Man:

For the final word on this story, we’ll go to the source himself. Here’s how McDonough recapped his time as Cuervo Man on his blog:

To be honest, I don’t. It was a hell of a lot of fun while it lasted, and it definitely had its perks (or perqs, if you prefer), but I’m sincerely happy to have moved on. And yes, John Hodgman’s piece on “This American Life” may have had something to do with the imminent end of my run as Cuervo’s official party catalyst because of its perceived portrayal of the brand as an irresponsible employer (the piece was truthful and accurate as well as entertaining, but probably not in Cuervo’s best interest), but my time was almost up anyway.