Alex de Oliveira is well known in the world of Rio carnival, having been Rio’s official Rei Momo (king of Misrule) for 10 years.
During carnaval, the keys of the city are symbolically handed to the Rei Momo at midnight on the Friday of carnival weekend, and he hands them back on midnight of Shrove Tuesday. He represents the spirit of Carnival, and has to be everywhere; in the street blocos, the rehearsals, the parties and events leading up to carnival; and then in the street blocos and the parades of all of the samba schools. He has to be jolly, happy, fat, Carioca, and an excellent samba dancer.
The Rei Momo is elected every year through a competition, and in 1997, when Alex was first elected, the rules stated that Rei Momo had to be very fat, with a minimum weight of 130 kilos. This was no problem for he weighed 225 kilos.