The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl, but Fancy Ray McCloney says Taco Bell is the real winner for including him in a regional halftime ad Sunday night.
To promote its new Quesalupa — a quesadilla-chalupa monstrosity — T-Bell hired McCloney and a few other regionally famous ad-weirdos from Oregon, Virginia, Texas, and Ohio to pitch the new hybrid taco.
McCloney’s halftime slot featured the self-proclaimed “Best Lookin’ Man in Comedy” parodying his 2012 ad for Minneapolis record shop Treehouse Records. In the Super Bowl spot, halfway through touting Treehouse’s selection of gospel and viking metal records, the pitchman pulls a ... it feels weird to use this word, but whatever ... Quesalupa out of a custom Taco Bell record jacket.
McCloney says the widespread exposure is nothing new.
“Man, every day’s as busy when you’re as pretty as I am,” McCloney tells City Pages. “You’ve got to remember, I’m already big. I’m bigger than anything you can imagine. This makes Taco Bell big because they got the best-known, most loved, charismatic personality in Minnesota to sell their product.”
McCloney owns and operates his own advertising agency, for which he writes, directs, produces, and stars in commercials. He’s done work with local businesses for years, as well as ones in Illinois, Florida, and Sweden, among other places. For the Super Bowl ad, McCloney ceded production duties to Los Angeles ad firm Deutsch, Inc.
“We scoured the Internet and found some of the most famous and beloved local advertisers, including Fancy Ray," Brett Craig, executive creative director at Deutsch, tells the Star Tribune. "He’s a local legend and one of the premier pitchman for local businesses, not to mention he’s hilarious, so we thought he’d be a perfect fit."
Fancy Ray hopes the Taco Bell fame will convince other multinational companies to work with him.
“I’m looking for Best Buy, I’m looking for Target, I’m looking for Menard’s: They’re companies right here that are sitting on a goldmine,” McCloney says, referring to, of course, himself. “If someone’s out there with something to sell, I make it better.”
Though he hasn’t met his T-Bell counterparts — Mr. Appliance in Eugene, Oregon, Norton Furniture's Marc Brown in Cleveland, Bryan "Texas Law Hawk" Wilson in Fort Worth, and Mack Mack in Virginia Beach — McCloney says their fame can’t compete with his.
“I wish them all great luck,” McCloney says. “Remember, everyone has an appeal — I’m a star everywhere. My appeal is everything and to everybody.”
But Fancy Ray wasn’t always famous. He tried his luck in Los Angeles for five years in the mid-'00s before returning to Minneapolis, where a friend told McCloney that “Hollywood will find [him].”
“Well guess what? I came back to Minneapolis, and they put my face on billboards, they put my face on mills, and Taco Bell came and found me in Minneapolis,” McCloney says.
When asked what’s next, McCloney reports, “cover of City Pages’ Best Of [issue]," a claim City Pages cannot confirm or deny.