By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – I’ve worked for CBS Philly since January of 2012. In those eleven months, I’ve written hundreds of stories. None of them are as silly as this one, so be forewarned.
Kevin Matuszak works across the hall from me, where he’s a salesperson for SportsRadio WIP. I’ve followed Kevin on Twitter for a while, and noticed that he has a penchant for the ridiculous, so when I saw that he was starting a campaign to become the spokesman for Applebee’s, I played along and didn’t really think twice.
Campaign is really a strong word. Kevin just asked Applebee’s to hire him, and other people started to chime in.
The difference between this ridiculous campaign, and every other ridiculous campaign that Kevin has launched, is that this one, for one amazing reason or another, seems to be working. It’s impressive when you consider the amount of noise on Twitter and Facebook every day.
The original request he made to Applebee’s to hire him on Facebook now has 440 likes and 356 comments.
When you search the hashtag #HireKevin on Twitter, you’ll notice hundreds of mentions, including many from Applebee’s themselves.
The campaign video he made and put on YouTube has over 5,000 views.
There’s also this song about Hire Kevin.
Then there’s this weird video with Brad Pitt that is somehow sort of about Hire Kevin.
And there’s this Hire Kevin song from a guy with a mustache:
You get the point. In any case, I decided to sit down with Kevin and ask him some questions about his pursuit of his life-long dream; working for Applebee’s.
Alright Kevin, I just saw you in the hallway. Tell me why you decided to ask Applebee’s to hire you?
Thanks for reaching out. **Please note that I am currently taking my lunch**
The reason why I asked Applebee’s to hire me is because they need a face and I think that I could be that face.
Don’t you already have a job? What about that job?
Yes, I do have a job. I work at SportsRadio 94 WIP selling advertising space to local businesses. If I were to be hired as the face of Applebee’s, I would have to leave my cubicle and I’m ready for that. Becoming the face of a company is a long shot. My chances are as good as Andre Iguodala hitting a free throw (a complete question mark).
So if you could describe your dream job (for Applebee’s of course), what would that job be?
My dream job for Applebee’s would involve me going neighborhood to neighborhood to see who really is eatin’ good. To find out what the consumers love and kind of blog about my journeys through social media outlets. I’d be a face for the company, get to travel, and get to promote a great brand like Applebee’s.
What’s your favorite meal at Applebee’s?
My favorite meal at Applebee’s right now is the new Napa Chicken & Portobellos. It’s absolutely delicious AND under 550 calories. If I’m going to become famous, I need to look good.
What sort of career does the face of Applebee’s pursue AFTER he becomes the face of Applebee’s? A steakhouse of some sort?
I haven’t really looked much into the future for post face of Applebee’s. Maybe I can keep it going for my entire life? If not, I guess maybe write a book and go on a book tour?
What’s your favorite color?
My favorite color is blue.
What’s your favorite number?
My favorite number is 22.
What’s your all-time favorite sitcom character?
My all-time favorite sitcom character is Michael Scott. I have an obsession with watching reruns of The Office every night. Close second is Gob Bluth. Will Arnett is awesome in everything.
What was your favorite movie when you were 10 years old?
Favorite movie at the age of 10 was probably Homeward Bound. Michael J Fox played one witty pup! It also made me cry.
What do your parents think of #HireKevin?
My parents and family love #HireKevin. I think my dad created a Facebook just to write #HireKevin on Applebee’s Facebook wall.
What do your friends think of #HireKevin?
My friends are huge #HireKevin supporters. They actually just threw a campaign party for me on Friday night at The Standard Tap. Without my friends, #HireKevin would not be where it’s at.
If Andy Reid loses his job as Eagles coach and also wants to be the face of Applebee’s, who do you think would get the job?
If Andy Reid gets fired, I think he has a better shot at getting a job with Subway or WeightWatchers. Let’s not kid ourselves though; Andy will be back next year. #CoachReidIsMyCoach
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I like to write comedy things and complain about the NHL lockout.
What are your turn ons and turn offs?
Turn ons: Big eyes, brunettes, and fine Mexican dishes
Turn offs: Mustard and bad pet owners
What about your promising stand-up comedy career?
As for my “promising” stand-up comedy career, I think this will catapult me to the next level. My favorite comedian, Michael Ian Black, endorsed Sierra Mist and look what happened to him and the product itself. This could be huge!
So has Applebee’s really talked to you about hiring you?
Applebee’s reached out to me, but it was just to tell me that they loved the #HireKevin video. There has been no discussion of employment, but they have been promoting everything I put out there. It’s like an awkward chess match right now and I’m sweating uncontrollably.
If you worked for Applebee’s would you be allowed to eat at other restaurants?
I’m sure I could eat at other restaurants, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to promote the special at a corner bar. I’m all about brand loyalty.
About how much sleep would you say you get a night?
On a good night I sleep about 5 hours.
If you could change one thing about Applebee’s, what would it be? Not including your employment of course.
If I could change one thing about Applebee’s, I would probably try to sell them on the idea of 4 for $40. For some reason I think that people look at the 2 for $20 and it scares away the idea of a group dinner. That’s not a knock on Applebee’s, I’m just saying this because I work in advertising I know that people probably think that. Here’s an example as to how someone would react to a 4 for $40: “WHOA, babe! Call the neighbors! Applebee’s now has a 4 for $40! COUPLES DATE NIGHT IS BACK, AMERICA!”
I sort of hope Kevin gets the job, and I sort of don’t. I hope Kevin gets the job because he’s a funny guy and I’d be glad something good happened for him. I don’t want him to get the job because I’d be furious that he’s the spokesman for something and I’m not.
Follow Kevin on Twitter @Tooozy.