Alumni Profile: C.J. Toledano (’05)


Jaryn Simpson

Mr. C.J. Toledano graduated Cathedral Prep in the class of 2005. He also attended St. George for grade school. Although he lived only five minutes away from McDowell, he made the decision to go to Prep in high school to continue in Catholic education, following in the footsteps of his brother. For Toledano, this was quite an easy decision. All of his friends were going to be attending Prep, so he never put any other school into consideration.
Toledano’s favorite thing at Prep was that there were no cliques. The Cathedral Prep community acted as one unit. Yes, they would joke around and pick on each other, but it was out of love and brotherhood. They had each other’s backs, and that’s all you can ask for as a school. Toledano said that without girls in school, he didn’t feel like he had to impress anyone, so it was a outlet to be yourself.
Life after Cathedral Prep for Toledano took off. He has been a working stand-up comedian and television writer/producer for the last decade. He has toured clubs, colleges, and theaters all over the country as a stand-up comedian, written for Jimmy Fallon and Funny or Die (Will Ferrell’s website), and now he is the head writer and creative producer for the Detroit Pistons. He creates comedic content and experimental/clever marketing for his team on a daily basis.
Toledano believes his Prep career helped out dramatically for his life after high school. In school was where Toledano felt comfortable expressing himself. He was the class clown, and a lot of teachers actually did encourage him to follow his passion, while recognizing the humor as a talent rather than a disruption. Of course, there were also many times when they rightfully told him to be quiet. “I was still figuring out the right place and right time back then,” he said.
Toledano played football for three years but also was involved in theater. If he had an interest in something, he would do it to his full potential with support and no judgement. Today, Toledano works his humor and creativity into professional sports. His official job title is the head writer and creative producer for the Detroit Pistons. This is a perfect mix of what he was doing in high school. He has taken some of the qualities he had in high school and now uses them in his career.
Toledano’s interest in sports and entertainment started when we was young. Ever since he was a little kid he dreamed and wanted to play in the NBA. He has been playing basketball his whole life, but he only played CYO in high school because football was his main sport and he felt like he wasn’t as good as some of the kids on the high school team back then. However, Toledano also did theater and was interested in the arts in general. He ended up pursuing comedy during his senior year and hasn’t stopped since. Doing stand-up landed him jobs in comedy and television. Then, when the Detroit Pistons wanted someone to do that specifically for them, the organization approached Funny or Die who then approached Toledano to lead the project. “It’s the best job I’ve ever had,” Toledano said. “Sports and comedy. Can’t get any better than that.”
Toledano does a lot in his role with the Pistons. He comes up with and oversees a lot of the creative and unique marketing the team produces, such as videos, social media, and some in-game entertainment. He also manages a staff and runs meetings where they pitch ideas to the higher level executives in the organization. Once ideas are approved, Toledano then writes, directs, and/or produces the videos that are seen online and sometimes in the arean on the Jumbotron.
Toledano’s biggest project at the moment is Andre Drummond’s NBA All-Star campaign. Toledano and his team have been making videos to encourage fans to vote for him to start in the game this year. His team was responsible for the “Obama Sings ‘Jumpman’ For Andre Drummond” video that came out last week.
In addition to that video, the group been making smaller videos and doing social media stunts to bring attention to the monster season that Drummond is having this year.
“We’ve had a lot of victories in terms of successful videos and a lot of press, but you can never let up,” he said. “You have to keep working because if you let up, someone who wants it more than you can swoop in and possibly take your spot”
Toledano is a great example of a Prep man that continues to succeed throughout life with a positive attitude.