Off-Campus Life

Summer Internship Spotlight: “I Worked for A Guy Who Played the Kool-Aid Man in Commercials 20 Years Ago”

Summer internships are always a hot topic on campus. With the summer coming to an end and the school year just beginning, the Dealer felt there was no better time to sit down with some of UChicago’s best and brightest and have them tell us all about their summer internship adventures. Today we spoke with third-year Dylan Glass, who had a particularly interesting summer working with Chaz McBrownton,  erstwhile performer of the iconic “Kool-Aid Man.” 

Glass found McBrownton on Craigslist, where he had posted an ad that read “HELP ME HELP ME PLEASE. I am a famous TV star.” Glass, who was reportedly “getting desperate” in the search for a prestigious summer gig, found the ad intriguing. When he called, he was hired immediately during the initial phone interview. “I thought he would at least ask me questions or something,” said Glass, “But he just said, ‘Oh thank God someone finally saw that ad,’ and gave me his home address.” 

At McBrownton’s residence, which was apparently a sizable “McMansion” located in West Los Angeles, Glass’s duties included tidying up the house, pouring Kool-Aid in the pool, and being his partner at ping-pong. “He kept getting mad at me because I kinda sucked. I wasn’t a great partner,” said Glass, “But this dude has played ping-pong against a wall for four hours every day for the last twenty years, so I don’t really know what he expected.” 

Glass reported that every Wednesday night, McBrownton would have the “Juice Boys” over, friends who were also former beverage commercial stars. During such gatherings, he would order Glass to bring them beers, which they would chug before pelting cars with the empty cans from the roof of McBrownton’s residence. “He would always ask me to bring him 30 PBRs ‘extra crisp,’ which I’m pretty sure didn’t actually mean anything,” said Glass. “He made me shake up two thirds of them and he’d give those ones to his friends so they would be sprayed by beer when they opened them. They fell for it every single time. This happened every week.”

When asked about his thoughts on the internship now that the summer has come to a close, Glass stated, “The job was okay, the dude was okay, but the pay was friggin’ great.” Glass reported that he was paid a startling salary of $3,000 a day. “Initially, I had no idea how he had that much money, but he said later that the Kool-Aid company just kept throwing millions of dollars at him, thinking he had some special talent for playing that goddamn pitcher of juice. He said that when they realized the commercial campaign’s success was just because of the giant suit, they fired him and started paying teenagers they found loitering outside TJ Maxx minimum wage.” 

“It was a good job, but I probably wouldn’t come back next summer,” said Glass, “The worst part was having to repeat the mantra, ‘You’re still famous. Everybody knows who you are. The public loves you,’ to him first thing every morning. Just too weird.”

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Maisie. Maisie is a copy editor and a staff writer. Like a well-maintained orchid, Maisie will live indefinitely. "Reach for the stars, kid." -Maisie Thompson