Johnny, “The Bud Light Guy” (Rob Roy Fitzgerald) was a stubbly-faced moocher who snagged Bud Light beers from his family, girlfriend and ever a beer deliveryman with the now classic phrase “I love you, Ma-a-a-n!” on a series of commercial spots that debuted in the spring of 1995.
In one commercial, Johnny went fishing with his father and brother. Having finished his own supply of Bud Light Beer, Johnny cozied up to his father and in a bogus attempt at bonding says “I love you, Ma-a-a-n!” When his father says “Forget it, Johnny”, the beaten but not defeated Johnny used the same line on his brother, but to no avail.
The Johnny character made two cameo appearances on David Letterman’s CBS late night talk show in the fall of 1995 spoofing his character’s affectionate but insincere commercial catchphrase.
Before finding success in commercials actor Rob Roy Fitzgerald was a defensive back for the University of Missouri who was later signed by the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals in 1977. When he injured his hamstring, he abandoned football and headed to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career which included a bit part in the motion picture Thelma and Louise (1991) and a guest shot on the legal drama MATLOCK in 1993 (People Weekly 1/8/96 p.116)
Note: From 1977-1980 Bill Murray used the soppy phrase “I love you, M-a-a-a-n!” during skits on NBC’s late night comedy show SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.