Ever since Cosmo began prowling campus sporting events in 1953, people have wondered just who was behind the antics. In 1954 at the final home basketball game, the cheer team introduced a tradition of revealing the man behind the mascot, an annual ceremony that soon became dubbed the “beheading.” In one case, the man actually turned out to be a woman, Peggy Herron Mortensen (’56).
In 1960 the Cosmo head was removed only to reveal the last person students might have expected: their high-powered, down-to-business, future-senatorial-candidate president, Ernest L. Wilkinson (BA ’21), sporting an impish grin (the real Cosmo was revealed soon after). One of the students who helped remove the head was student body president Rex E. Lee (BA ’60), who in 1993, then himself BYU president, would be revealed in the Cosmo suit. In between, President Dallin H. Oaks (BS ’54) also appeared as Cosmo in 1979.
Today, Team Cosmo is known as much for dancing as for high-flying dunks and charming the crowd. The cat gained viral acclaim in videos performed with the Cougarettes. In a playful nod to the BYU-student- and -alumni-created Napoleon Dynamite, Cosmo here shows his stuff on stage. Watch to the end for the next reveal.