Meet the Regular Guy Star of Bud Light’s Super Bowl Ad

By ABC News

Feb 3, 2014 5:07pm

Meet Ian Rappaport, the regular guy who unknowingly got his 15 minutes of fame and the night of his life in a celebrity-filled stunt that was filmed for Bud Light’s Super Bowl ad.

“It’s just so wild,” Rappaport, 27, told ABC News  about the wild-and-crazy night that included an elevator run-in with Don Cheadle and a llama, a ping-pong showdown with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a VIP OneRepublic concert. “I could have never in a million years imagined it would have amounted to this.”

The night the commercial was filmed in New York City, Rappaport showed up at a bar thinking he was participating in focus group for a $1,000 paycheck.

“I’m just a regular 27-year-old dude living in Manhattan, trying to pay rent anyway that I can. Another source of, way to money for me is I do some focus groups,” he explained. “They said they would give me $1,000 to go out for the night. It would be a more social atmosphere and I did not know what to expect, but I knew I needed that $1,000.”

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Enter Kelly, an attractive woman who approaches Rappaport at the bar and offers him a Bud Light and an once-in-a-lifetime proposition: “If I give this to you, are you up for whatever happens next?”

His answer is — “I think I can do that” — and he’s immediately whisked away in a stretch hummer limo with Reggie Watts as DJ and taken out for an epic night. The first stop: a wardrobe consultation with Minka Kelly. Next an elevator run-in with Cheadle and the llama.

“I’m a huge animal fan. Don Cheadle is the man, but I didn’t notice it was him,” said Rappaport, who had no idea he was being filmed. “I looked over to the llama and say, ‘Oh it’s Don.’ …What a great guy.”

Rappaport then faced-off against Schwarzenegger in a table tennis competition – a skill he honed at sleep away camp, he said, and had listed in a survey in an earlier round for the focus group.

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After winning the sudden-death ping pong match, the wall falls down and a stage appears taking Rappaport to a OneRepublic concert.

“Arnold is pushing me up the stage and I get up there and I’m on with everyone – Minka Kelly, Don Cheadle, Reggie Watts, Arnold Schwarzenegger. And at that point, I think Arnold whispers into my ear and says, ‘This is all for you.’ At that point I realized this and started freaking out,” he said. “I was so thankful and grateful and excited and pumped.”

Rappaport has no regrets, agreeing with the Bud Light tagline that it was indeed the “best night of my life.”

“I happened to love it. All eyes on me,” he said. “I took a chance and this all happened for me.”

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