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By May 5, 2015March 6th, 2021Culture, Film & TV

“Hey, isn’t that … oh crap, you know from that old show … damn, what’s his name … Alan Thicke?” “Nope,” your friend declares, and thinks, “Welcome to Hollywood, you rube.”

There is a phenomenon that occurs with remarkable regularity when walking the streets of Hollywood (and to a lesser extent New York City.) You see celebrities – or at least you think you see celebrities. More often than not they’re just unintentional look-alikes, or doppelgangers.

If the anti-social behavior were diagnosed, the cause-and-effect would be something like geographic proximity creates heightened expectations, which in turn distorts vision and common sense.

For example, do you actually believe the “Michael Douglas” you saw buying condoms and a pack of Pall Malls at a Walgreen’s in Hollywood was really the actor? Or, that was “Sarah Jessica Parker” who you spotted at NYC’s midtown Famous Footwear and again later lunching with Ellen Page at Burger King?


People’s perspectives get so distorted that even I’ve been accused several times of being the actor who plays the dead guy from “Weekend at Bernie’s.” Other times, I’ve been recognized as “Steven Spielberg” and once, awhile back, flattered by passersby’s whispers of “that’s Steve Jobs.”

I suspect everyone’s got a celebrity look-a-like or two. Take the test. On your next visit to Hollywood or the Big Apple, put on a baseball cap and trendy sunglasses; and walk with intention around Beverly Hills, always careful to avoid eye contact. Then, be prepared to half-acknowledge TMZ tour bus passengers when the host gleefully anoints you “Kate Winslet” or “Jack Nicholson” … or “the guy from that show.”

Of course, the real problem with this whole thing is, there’s no name for it. Whenever it happens, perpetrators should be called out and ridiculed or at the very least roundly teased.

This is why I propose the term “celebritease.” Used as, “You moron, that fool is not Randy Quaid, he’s a celebritease!


  • Jim "Makes Me Mad" Campbell says:

    Love this! Leave it to you to sport a new name and create a “thing” for this crazy occurrence! See you later Mr. Jobs….

  • Gary says:

    I saw Ray Romano on the streets of Lake Tahoe. It was exciting and I am sticking to my story.

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