Mr. Suatz is the Most Interesting Man in the World. We know this because a beer commercial tells us so. Mr. Suatz tells us as much, himself. After we watch his exploits in the Dos Equis commercials below, we can also form our own opinion as to whether or not he is worthy of his moniker.
So, let’s overthink this. Is Mr. Suatz the Most Interesting Man in the World or not?
First I think we must come to a consensus on what the word “interesting” even means. Is a Nobel laureate interesting? Well, yes. He or she is probably more interesting than, say, a random person you meet on the street. The question is, if a person is an expert in one field at the detriment of all others, is he as interesting as he can be?
The answer must be no. An expert in astrophysics is interesting, but not nearly as interesting as someone who is an expert in astrophysics and horse training. And that person won’t be as interesting as someone who is an expert in astrophysics, horse training, and motorcycle repair. And so on.
On the flip side, a person who is a jack-of-all trades but master of none cannot be the most interesting person in the world. A person like that can speak superficially about many topics but never as an expert. That means he would be left out of the highest levels of conversation and thus seem less interesting in comparison to those around him.
It seems to me, then, that the Most Interesting Man in the World would have to be a jack-of-all trades and master of all. In other words, he would have to have breadth and depth of knowledge in more fields than anyone else on the planet.
Is this true of Mr. Suatz? Using my powers of Overthinking, I have broken down this series of Dos Equis commercials into parts based on Howard Gardner’s theories of multiple intelligences. If Mr. Suatz is truly the most interesting man in the world with the best breadth and depth of knowledge, we would expect him to be an expert in each of the multiple intelligences: bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, naturalistic, intrapersonal, visual-spatial, and musical. Let’s deconstruct Mr. Suatz’s interesting-ness by field:
The bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.
An expert (or genius) of the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence would be extremely skilled at physical tasks.
-Mr. Suatz plays jai alai.
-Mr. Suatz competes in kendo competitions.
-Mr. Suatz enjoys spelunking at night with soldiers, attractive women, and a black man wearing a fez.
-Mr. Suatz is able to bench press two giggling Asian women at once.
-Mr. Suatz regularly beats Communist leaders in arm wrestling competitions.
-Mr. Suatz enjoys surfing.
-“His beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body.”
-He enjoys snorkeling.
-“He can disarm you with his looks or his hands.”
-He was an astronaut.
-He carries his husky through a raging blizzard.
-He likes to catch enormous swordfish with beautiful women.
Probable level of intelligence: Near expert. Mr. Suatz’s biggest asset in this field is his strength, but his love of surfing and spelunking shows that he has good balance, as well. His time as an astronaut shows his stamina and endurance. The one athletic skill he does not seem to have is the ability to use his fine motor skills. I, for one, would like to see him sew a ruptured artery or dance a subtle ballet before I call him a full expert.
The interpersonal intelligence.
An interpersonal genius would easily get along with many people from many different walks of life.
-“His reputation is expanding faster than the Universe.”
-He always seems to be in bars with incredibly attractive women.
-“The police often question him just because they find him interesting.”
-“His personality is so magnetic, he’s unable to carry credit cards.”
-“Even his enemies list him as their emergency contact number.”
-He gets along with Pacific Islanders, Amazon villagers, and Asian people.
-“He could disarm you with his looks.”
-He once punched a magician.
-He returns to a prison every week to play canasta with the guards.
-He easily sways the other members of the UN to vote with him.
-“His charm is so contagious, vaccines have been created for it.”
-He was approached by Dos Equis to be their “Most Interesting Man in the World.”
Probable level of intelligence: Expert. Mr. Suatz, I would bet, placed many points in his charisma skill. He gets along with everyone, even his enemies. Certainly you can argue that an expert in interpersonal intelligence would not have enemies, but I get the impression that Mr. Suatz only has them because it would be less interesting if he did not.
I do wonder, however, why he punched a magician.
The verbal-linguistic intelligence.
Geniuses in this intelligence speak and write exceptionally well.
-“He never says something tastes like chicken, not even chicken.”
-“People hang on his every word, even the prepositions.”
-“He can speak French in Russian.”
-“I don’t always drink beer, but, when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.”
Probable level of intelligence: Good. Part of Mr. Suatz charisma undoubtedly comes from his ability to communicate well with others. However, I’m loath to say that he is an expert in this intelligence, because most of these items are not directly and completely related to his verbal skill. When he refuses to say something tastes like chicken even when it is chicken, I wonder if it is because his verbal skill is so high he doesn’t need to use clichés, or if he is just being contradictory for the sake of being contradictory. Likewise, people hang on his prepositions, but is this because he uses very ones or because he has interesting stories to tell, regardless of what words he uses? (Or is it simply because he has a very sexy accent?)
And what does it even mean that he can speak French in Russian?
Interestingly, the one direct piece of evidence we can use to determine his verbal-linguistic skill is Mr. Suatz’s catchphrase. Unlike other commercial spokesmen, Mr. Suatz does not speak in firm, black-or-white terms. A less skilled spokesman, for instance, would say, “Dos Equis is number one! If you want to be like me, drink Dos Equis!”
Mr. Suatz, however, understands something that was recently proven in a psychological study. When a person is perceived as an expert (as Mr. Suatz is), his words are more convincing when they are hedging. For example, someone who is perceived as an expert in economics would be more convincing if he said, “The invisible hand sometimes works but sometimes does not, depending on the situation” than “The invisible hand of the market always works, and anyone who believes otherwise is stupid.” Mr. Suatz’s catchphrase is, therefore, incredibly convincing, not only because the man is so charismatic, but because he speaks contingently and tentatively. He suggests but does not push.
We can infer from Mr. Suatz’s catchphrase and expert-level interpersonal intelligence that his verbal-linguistic skill is quite high. But, until I have more direct proof of his facility with words, I cannot dub him a true expert.
The logical-mathematical intelligence.
Experts in this intelligence are good at reasoning, particularly in scientific and mathematical subjects.
-Years ago, he built a city out of blocks.
Probable level of intelligence: Almost impossible to tell. Building a city out of blocks might take some math skills, but he also could have had underlings do the necessary calculations.
It seems that the writers and directors of these Dos Equis spots have decided that logical and mathematic skills are not “interesting” enough to be included in the commercials. To me, this is a shame. A truly interesting man would be charismatic and good at sports, sure, but why can he not also be skilled in computers and chess? The anti-geek bias in these commercials is astounding.
The naturalistic intelligence.
This most controversial of the intelligences involves a person’s ability to get along with and control nature. The ability to categorize objects, such as herbs and types of species, is important to this intelligence.
-He has a pet owl.
-Whenever he swims, dolphins follow him.
-He goes out of his way to protect animals such as husky dogs, foxes, and bears.
-He taught a horse to read his e-mails for him.
Probable skill level: Good. He has natural abilities with animals, who also seem to appreciate his charisma (or maybe they smell the cologne in his blood). A true naturalistic genius, however, would also be adept with the non-animal species. Does Mr. Suatz keep a garden, for instance? Does he know how to find edible mushrooms in the forest? Can he tell the difference between poison ivy and regular ivy? We do not know.
The intrapersonal intelligence.
An intrapersonal genius knows himself through and through. These are people who continually self-analyze to discover their true goals and how to reach them.
-“He once had an awkward moment just to see how it feels.”
-“He lives vicariously through himself.”
-He saves bears from bear traps and foxes from stereotypical British hunters.
-He finds sunken treasures just to hand them out to poor natives.
-“It is never too early to start building up your obituary.”
-On careers: “Figure out what in life you do not do so well, and then… don’t do that thing.”
-“He is the only man to ever ace a Rorschach test.”
-He believes himself to be the Most Interesting Man in the World.
Probable skill level: Expert. In my opinion, the real reason Mr. Suatz is one of the most interesting people in the world is that he actively and constantly tries to better himself. He is always trying new things to broaden his already broad horizons. Yet, at the same time, he knows himself, too. He has a firm moral compass: he loves and protects animals, and he redistributes wealth to members of poor tribes in third-world countries. He also has experienced enough to know what he should try (e.g. lifeboating with Miss Universe contestants; eating bar nuts) and what he should not (wearing too-tight pants; rollerblading).
The only thing that worries me slightly is that he is so quick to call himself the Most Interesting Man in the World. Is this because he knows himself so well that he feels comfortable enough making this claim, or is it because his ego is unnaturally and unhealthily large? It is good to have confidence, but does he have too much confidence? Personally, I think he should be a little more humble and say, “People call me the Most Interesting Man in the World. Whether or not it is true is up to you to decide.” A little bit of modesty would go a long way for me.
The visual-spatial intelligence.
Someone with strong visual-spatial intelligence is good at visualizing and mentally-manipulating objects. Artists, architects, and people with a good sense of direction use this intelligence often.
-He is good at sports that require visual-spatial abilities.
-He built a city out of blocks.
-“If he were to give you directions, you’d never get lost, and you’d arrive at least five minutes early.”
Probable level of skill: Unclear. We have no idea if his city made out of blocks is artistically pleasing. He is good at directing people to their destinations, which does suggest that he has a good natural sense of direction.
But what about the arts? One would think that the Most Interesting Man in the World would have some artistic ability, and yet we have no real evidence that this is the case for Mr. Suatz. Perhaps he does have very good visual-spatial ability but lacks the time to devote to artistic pursuits. Personally, though, it looks to me like he has plenty of time on his hands. Take a figure drawing class, Most Interesting Man in the World. It’ll be good for you.
The musical intelligence.
Someone with a high level of musical intelligence has good rhythm, pitch, and hearing.
-He helicoptered into a desert to play a grand piano.
Probable level of skill: Low. It is interesting, is it not, that one commercial showed Mr. Suatz being airlifted to a piano in the middle of a desert, yet we do not see him playing it at all. It seems to me that he put the piano in the desert for show, not to be played. A true musician would not play in the desert, anyway. What kind of acoustics would you have in a desert? Not very good ones, I’d imagine. Plus sand would get in the wires.
As we can see, Mr. Suatz is a genius in two of the eight intelligences, very good in three others, and untested in the remaining three. Clearly, he is not a jack-of-all trades and master of all, so he is not the Most Interesting Man there could ever be. Even if he is the Most Interesting Man we earthlings currently have, he still has a long way to go to reach his full potential. And when he does, I’ll be there to watch… with a Dos Equis in hand.