You may not know the name Jay Maynard, but thanks to a costume made for a science fiction convention back in 2003, he became the Internet sensation known as Tron Guy. Jay has since become a pop culture fixture, appearing on a number of shows, including Jimmy Kimmel Live and Tosh.0. Jay most recently appeared on America’s Got Talent and, despite being “X-ed” by all three judges, was invited back to be a part of the always entertaining “Audition All-Stars” during the show’s season finale. I got to spend a few minutes chatting with Jay about life as Tron Guy and his America’s Got Talent experience, including a spontaneous belly rub from the show’s host, Nick Cannon!
Socialite Life: What has been the coolest thing that’s happened to you since you became an Internet sensation?
Jay Maynard: I’d have to say the Aero-G flight that Jimmy Kimmel Live sent me on. There have been a bunch of cool things that have happened to me that wouldn’t have happened any other way, but that tops the list.
More with Jay Maynard…
SL: You’ve met a lot of celebrities, who has been your favorite?
Jay: I’ve met a lot of neat folks, too. I learned some important things about how to handle fame from (Tron star) Bruce Boxleitner, and Quentin Tarantino said I as the most uncool guy he’d met – and from him, that’s a compliment! Jimmy Kimmel’s a great guy, and quite a geek himself. But I’d have to say that I’m really pleased to be able to call Cindy Morgan a friend with a straight face. She’s a great lady, and we’ve helped each other when we’ve needed it.
SL: Do you have any regrets about putting yourself out into the web-o-sphere as Tron Guy?
Jay: Now, not really. At first, when all I was hearing was a flood of negativity from what seemed like every corner of the ‘Net, I thought I’d made the mistake of my life, but the positive attention I’ve gotten since then has made up for that many times over.
SL: Since you never got to show us, what was your “talent” that you wanted to showcase on America’s Got Talent?
Jay: I was going to do 90 seconds of stand-up comedy. There have been lots of things that have happened to me since I became famous that I think would draw a laugh, but I never got the chance.
SL: When they approached you to be a part of the “Audition All-Stars”, what was your first thought?
Jay: I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it, because I was disappointed in the reception I got the first time around. But I decided – with Cindy’s help – that I’d go out there and do it, and enjoy it, and let that be my answer to the folks who’d criticized me the first time around.
SL: How, overall, was your America’s Got Talent experience?
Jay: I don’t recommend getting booed off the stage to anyone. With that said, though, the Audition All-Stars appearance made up for it. At this point, my reaction is “been there, done that, don’t need to do it again”.
SL: Did you make any new friends at AGT?
Jay: The other All-Stars are good folks who didn’t deserve the treatment they got the first time around either. I don’t have their contact information, but I wouldn’t mind going tout to dinner with any of them, either.
SL: What was it like to have Nick Cannon rub your belly?
Jay: A bit strange. He wasn’t the first, though. Mike Tyson did it when we were recording the 2004 Jimmy Kimmel Christmas special. I’m not sure why it’s so attractive for some folks…
SL: What other plans do you have for Tron Guy?
Jay: I do plan to make a costume from Tron Legacy, but aside from that, it’s mainly a matter of answering questions and doing things as they come up.
SL: What’s next for Jay?
Jay: I have no specific plans for myself, either, beyond trying to get employed again and get back on my feet financially after the economic crash wiped me out.
SL: Do you have a message for your fans?
Jay: Don’t let naysayers tell you what to do. Go out there and have fun your own way…as long as you don’t hurt anyone else in the process, of course.