In New York City, the popularity of the bearded Brooklynite look means that you often ask yourself, "Is that Zach Galifianakis or just some hairy hipster?" You shrug, assume the latter and go on with your life.
But in Las Vegas, that uncertainty allows a guy named Thaddeus Kalinoski to party like an A-lister -- and even to make a living from it.
For years now, Kalinoski has been impersonating Galifianakis. (Well, to be specific, impersonating his most famous creation, Alan Garner.) The first time Kalinoski hit a casino in character, "I easily posed for a hundred photos and I took four girls back to my hotel room that night,” he tells BroBible in a new interview. "There’s a whole performance to the night now..."
He takes his tribute act to the Las Vegas Strip every day of the week, and gets treated like Hollywood royalty. “I don’t remember the last time I paid for a drink," Kalinoski says. “I sit in VIP far too often for a dude who’s not actually famous."
People hand him all kinds of gifts -- not all of it legal -- or just hand him money as a tip once they realize they've been tricked. Kalinoski reportedly makes six figures from his resemblance to the actor. The two have spoken, and Kalinoski tells CBS Philly, “[Galifianakis] loves the idea, he’s very amused. He just said ‘as long as you make sure it’s clear you’re not me.'”
Here's Galifianakis discussing it with Conan O'Brien:
Strangely, Kalinoski's roommate is also a Galifianakis lookalike (although a slightly less convincing one, if you ask us). They pooled their resources and "shelled out for an animatronic baby," Kalinoski says in the BroBible interview. "It looks so damn real I sometimes forget it’s fake."
For the sake of his sanity, let's hope that doesn't also happen when he looks in a mirror.