HOUSTON - So what happens when a guy who looks and dresses like Joel Osteen goes to a Joel Osteen “night of hope?”
He gets free parking, gets into the venue and poses with Joel fans, of course.
(Watch the video at the bottom of this story.)
For about 45 minutes, a Los Angeles comedian pretended to be Houston's very own Joel Osteen at an Osteen worship event in California on Oct. 28.
He got all the way from the parking lot to the stage just by pretending to be the popular pastor.
Is he or isn’t he? Well, that wasn’t even a question on their mind when dozens at the Joel Osteen event welcomed, hugged, and even took a selfie with who they thought was Houston pastor Joel Osteen live in person.
“It wasn’t a video that we wanted to do. It was a video that we had to do," said Mike Klimkowski, impersonator and comedian with the with the Dabs Den sketch group.
Klimkowski has looked like Osteen, well, you know, all his life.
“Everyday they look at me, and before they even say anything, I go, 'Joel?' And we both start laughing, and they go, 'Yeah, that’s it. Joel,'" Klimkowski said.
But he started acting like him six years ago and decided to put it to the test.
“Everyone sort of just believed that he was Joel. There was hardly any skepticism," director John Parr said.
Until the team basically got kicked out.
“Seeing how far we can get, and it almost led us to getting arrested," Klimkowski said.
But we wanted to know if this impostor would pass in Houston, so with KHOU 11 News reporter Janelle Bludau's camera and laptop, we stopped by Doshi Coffee House. And what we found out is when you play Klimkowski by himself, one can be fooled.
But side by side, Houstonians know the difference between Osteen and "Faux-Steen."
“He’s a lot younger, so it’s easier to tell," one customer said.
Klimkowski says he just hopes the real pastor finds a little humor in the fake one.
“I hope he would laugh about it, and I hope he would want me to come down there and do an opening 5-minute set for him with me and my boys," Klimkowski said.
KHOU reached out to Osteen's team for to get the pastor's reaction to the video. We haven't heard back on that yet, but the team did want to clarify it wasn't their security who escorted the comedian and his crew out.
(Editor's note: NSFW language toward the end of the video)
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