The man behind the mask: Why Mr. Redlegs has some extra moves this year

When Andy Christianson is Mr. Redlegs... just cranked up to a ten.

The man in the mascot: Mr. Redlegs

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - There’s a new man behind Mr. Redlegs in Cincinnati, and he’s a certified dance machine.

“The whole thing is extremely fun to do,” Andy Christianson said. “Because you have this crazy suit on, you can walk around and dance around.”

Andy Christianson is Mr. Redlegs.

By that we mean he’s the man in the suit, the man behind the wild-eyed, mustachioed (dare we say, slightly deranged-looking) mask. But he also inhabits the character in a way that suggests a fungible divide between person and the persona.

“It’s like a Bruce Wayne-Batman thing,” Andy said. “You’re yourself outside of it, but when you put it on, you get into this character.”

The journey began when Christianson young, according to his father, Eric Christianson. Then Andy became Tommy Mo, the mascot at Thomas More University.

Said Eric, “He would find videos of James Brown and Michael Jackson and watch them over and over again. He could do the drop split and Michael’s moon walk in those gigantic Tommy feet.”

Andy remembers perfecting his routine late into the evening.

“I remember it was the middle of the night, and I went into where the dance team used to train,” he said. “I was in there with music blasting, and the security guards were like, what is going on? I was in there in the middle of the night trying to practice things.”

Andy climbed his way up through the ranks until, years later, he donned the Mr. Redlegs attire — mask and all.

“When that mask goes on and Andy’s face is hidden, the inner, dynamic nature of him flows,” Eric said.

“I just enjoy being able to, I guess, be me,” Andy added. “It’s just cranked up to ten, and it’s ok, because you have this suit on.”

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