Naked Cowboy

Robert John Burck (born December 23, 1970), better known as the Naked Cowboy, is an American actor, singer, songwriter, writer and street performer who sings in New York City's Times Square.[1] He wears only cowboy boots, a hat, and white briefs, with a guitar strategically placed to give the illusion of nudity.

Naked Cowboy
Naked Cowboy on Times Square.jpg
Robert John Burck

(1970-12-23) December 23, 1970 (age 49)
OccupationActor, singer, songwriter, writer, former political candidate
Years active1998–present
Spouse(s)Patricia Cruz Burck, The Naked Cowgirl (m. 2013)

On October 6, 2010, Burck formally announced that he was running for President of the United States in the 2012 U.S. election as a candidate representing the U.S. Tea Party movement.[2][3][4]


Burck was born in Cincinnati and attended Our Lady of the Rosary elementary school in nearby Greenhills, Ohio. He later earned a Bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Cincinnati. He began busking in December 1997 and first appeared on Venice Beach, Los Angeles.

He is currently best known as a fixture of Times Square in New York City. He made an appearance on January 25, 2009, where he performed at a Leinster Rugby game in Donnybrook, Dublin, Ireland, singing his theme song "I'm the Naked Cowboy" before 18,000 spectators.[5] In May 2014, Burck switched from his usual briefs to boxer briefs, after being sponsored by Fruit of the Loom.[6]


Burck has made appearances in three music videos, including Cake's "Short Skirt/Long Jacket", Tyler Hilton's "When It Comes", and Nickelback's "Rockstar". In 2007, Burck released an album of his own, signing to 4Sight Music Productions and recording the pop-rock album Year of the Cowboy produced by Lee Evans and producer Dante Lattanzi at JAMBOX Recording Studios in New York City. The album was featured on MTV News.[7]


On July 20, 2009, it was announced that Burck would challenge Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the 2009 election for Mayor of New York City.[8] At his announcement, Burck stated:

"No one knows how to do more with less than yours truly, and that's the kind of thinking I plan on sharing with my fellow New Yorkers when you elect me."[9][10]

In response, Jonny Porkpie, the self-proclaimed "burlesque Mayor of NYC" announced that he would run against him,[11] echoing Lloyd Bentsen during a campaign announcement that critiqued Burck's "man-panties":

"I know naked. Some of my best friends are naked. And you, sir, are not naked."[12]

On September 5, 2009, Burck withdrew from the race. On September 29, 2010, he announced his intentions to challenge President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election. At his announcement, Burck stated that he has a "very conservative policy" and that he had an "unapologetic commitment to our borders, our language and our culture", borrowing a well-known catchphrase of radio host Michael Savage. He changed his appearance by wearing a dress suit and had his hair cut.[13][14][15]

On October 6, 2010, Burck officially declared his presidential candidacy at a press conference in Times Square.[2][3][4] He stated that he was neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but rather "an American" and that he intended to lead the U.S. Tea Party movement into the Oval Office.[16]

Mayor Bloomberg referenced the Naked Cowboy during the tenth Democratic Party debate in Charleston, South Carolina on February 25, 2020. When asked whether he would support expanding his signature soda ban policy nationwide, Bloomberg stated that what is right for one city is not necessarily right for every city "otherwise every town would have a Naked Cowboy."

Infringement lawsuits filedEdit

Mars Inc.Edit

Mars, Incorporated created a short animation of the Blue M&M's character playing a guitar while dressed in a white cowboy hat, cowboy boots and underpants on the electronic animation display that hangs outside the M&M's store at Times Square. Burck, who owns registered trademarks to the Naked Cowboy name and likeness, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Mars Incorporated on February 15, 2008.[17]

Burck alleged that the ads infringe on his trademark by "using his likeness, persona, and image for commercial purposes without his written permission and by falsely suggesting that he endorses M&M's candy."[18] The Cowboy's lawsuit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, requests an injunction stopping Mars from using the Naked Cowboy's likeness to advertise M&M's products, up to $100 million in punitive damages, and attorney's fees.[19] On June 23, 2008, the court issued a decision that dismissed a portion of the suit relying on New York law but rejected a motion by the defendants to dismiss the trademark claims.[20] Burck and Mars Incorporated settled the lawsuit in November 2008, the terms of which were never disclosed.[21][22]


Burck filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against CBS in February 2011, saying the network's use of a 'Naked Cowboy'-like figure in an ad for a television show demeaned his image with its "drunk and sexually charged" portrayal.[23]

Personal lifeEdit

On February 15, 2013, Burck married Patricia Cruz, a woman from Mexico City who was aged 25 at the time. Cruz, a professional belly dancer and group fitness instructor, is also a licensed Naked Cowgirl franchisee.

Burck is a resident of New Jersey.[24]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Naked Cowboy runs for NYC mayor _ in his underwear". London, UK: The Guardian. July 22, 2009. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  2. ^ a b (October 6, 2010) "NYC's Naked Cowboy suits up for presidential run"[permanent dead link], Associated Press. Retrieved on October 6, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Bayer, Casey (October 6, 2010) "Naked Cowboy for president: Top celebrities (past and present) who aimed for the White House", Christian Science Monitor; retrieved October 6, 2010.
  4. ^ a b (October 6, 2010) "Naked Cowboy briefs NYers on his presidential bid", The Washington Post. Retrieved on October 6, 2010.
  5. ^ "". Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  6. ^ "New York's Naked Cowboy changes underwear after 12 years". New York City, NY: WLWT. July 22, 2009. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  7. ^ 1/10/07 (January 10, 2007). "Naked Cowboy: Behind The Bulge". Retrieved November 22, 2011.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ ProfileName (July 22, 2009). "Naked Cowboy Runs for Mayor". Babelgum. Archived from the original on November 5, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  9. ^ Parsons, Claudia (July 20, 2009). "Naked Cowboy for NYC mayor: briefs or Bloomberg?". Reuters. Archived from the original on January 16, 2012. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  10. ^ "Secaucus' Naked Cowboy runs for president". October 6, 2010.
  11. ^ "New York's 'Mayor of Burlesque' Wants to be New York's 'Mayor of New York'". Reuters. August 5, 2009. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  12. ^ "After Dark Inquiry: Jonny Porkpie". TimeOut. March 13, 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  13. ^ "Naked Cowboy on the Run ... for U.S. President", September 30, 2010.
  14. ^ "'Naked Cowboy' to run for US president", October 4, 2010. Associated Press.
  15. ^ "A naked cowboy president in 2012?", Washington Post; accessed August 8, 2014.
  16. ^ "'Naked Cowboy' to run for U.S. presidency", Toronto Sun, October 6, 2010.
  17. ^ "The Naked Cowboy Sues the Naked M&M" by Slater, Dan, The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2008.
  18. ^ Slater, Dan (February 15, 2008). "The Wall Street Journal Law Blog, "Cowboy's Lawsuit Drives M&M Out of Dodge", February 15, 2008". Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  19. ^ "Middleton, Ekin, "'Naked Cowboy' can sue makers of M&Ms"". June 24, 2008. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  20. ^ Archived January 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Naked Cowboy, M&Ms settle lawsuit". UPI. November 8, 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  22. ^ Fredericks, Bob (May 2, 2014). "The Naked Cowboy is finally changing his underwear". New York Post. Retrieved February 6, 2019. the terms were never disclosed
  23. ^ Martinez, Jose (February 14, 2011). "Naked Cowboy getting dressed for court: Files lawsuit against CBS for 'Bold and the Beautiful' promo". Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  24. ^ via Associated Press. "He's baaack — 'Naked Cowboy' belts out tunes in Times Square", Deseret News, July 29, 2001. Accessed January 25, 2020. "So why give up the excitement of the rest of America to settle down in New Jersey, and commute to Times Square every day? 'I get paid tons of money, but that's not important,' said Burck, who claims to make nearly $600 a day by charging a dollar to let people take his picture."

External linksEdit