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the man behind the mash

Life inside the Mr Tayto costume – an exposé

We spoke to the real people behind the iconic potato head.

Pictured is Tayto Park wit Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

MR TAYTO IS an iconic national crisp institution.

That oversized potato head and surprisingly formal attire is instantly recognisable around the country.

But what about the men and women behind the giant yellow face? What are their hopes and dreams and fears? What have they seen and been through? spoke to two former Mr Taytos to find out what it’s really like inside the suit.

The nation asked for it, Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

“You’re kind of carrying it on your shoulders all day”

One was a veteran of, having spent three summers as the character at Tayto Park. We asked him what it’s like to be inside the costume on a day-to-day basis:

It is very, very sweaty. It’s very warm in that costume. You’re kind of carrying it on your shoulders all day. But the shoes are so big it actually makes it easier to balance in. It’s an experience, anyway.

It didn’t work out for this Mr Tayto on Australian TV, but the takeaway here is that all Mr Taytos out there should be stable on their feet, if a little hot under the oversized collar.

mrtayto1 Youtube Youtube

“Shoves, punches to the back of the head…”

Does Mr Tayto get loads of attention from pranksters looking for mischief? Our second Mr Tayto shed some light on such daily struggles:

Most children are polite, friendly and just want to say hello but I have seen Mr Tayto bring out the worst in people – children and adults alike. It ranges from shoves, punches to the back of head, jumping on your toes, trying to climb inside the suit, slapping you, squeezing your hands and trying to knock you over because they know you won’t be able to get back up.

The remarks from the public were cutting as well:

The more generic insults are “you’re not real” and “what are you? Some kind of giant potato?”

Well, yes.

Tayto Park has lots on thi Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Some people picture Mr Tayto as a cross between a Minion and Mr Blobby in terms of what he sounds like. Our first Mr Tayto revealed that they are instructed that he doesn’t speak at all:

You’re told to keep to quiet. Mr Tayto doesn’t speak. You have to wander around the park and make sure everyone gets a look at you, but you’re not supposed to make a noise.

Our first Mr Tayto, despite having a good run of luck in the fabled costume, did detail his worst experience in the suit:

One day before I went out I forgot to tighten the trousers on it and it was raining so we were all inside. I somehow had to let someone know I needed to get out the door to fix them – without making a noise. Eventually I got someone’s attention by waving and pointing and they opened the door up for me. It was a close call, though.

. Singer Samantha Mumba arriv Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Our second man behind the mask also had one harrowing experience in the suit, which he recalled in vivid detail:

The worst thing was when a child tried to dig his teeth into me and tried to take a bite out of my arm. He had been threatening to do it earlier on in the day so I should have listened to him.

Tayto Park GAA. Pictured at Photocall Ireland Photocall Ireland

Still, both former Mr Taytos agreed that meeting the famous potato man is one of the highlights of Tayto Park and most people are extremely nice and friendly to him whenever they see him – as is befitting of any national institution.

Every person who dons the Mr Tayto costume is taking their place in a rich crisp tradition.

We salute your fine work.

mrtayto2 Youtube Youtube

Written by Nicola Byrne and originally published on

DE Syndication

More Mr Tayto’s stumbling Australian television debut is magnificent>

More Mr Tayto’s evil twin has been spotted in Malta…>

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