Celebrity Comparisons, Cave People, and The Brady Bunch


My friend Kaela is cool, so it sucks that I accidentally offended her a few weekends ago.  We were chillin’ in a bar, cracking jokes, when something about her struck me.  “You know who you remind me of?” I asked her.  “You remind me of Jan Brady.”

She smiled and laughed.  “Thanks, but I’ve never been hit in the nose with a football.”

I shook my head.  “No, that’s Marsha Brady.  I mean the other one, Jan, the middle sister.”

Kaela frowned.  “You mean the crazy one?  The one with earlocks that goes ‘Marsha Marsha Marsha!’?”

“Yes!” I said, happy that she understood.  “That one!  Come on, Kaela!  Say ‘Marsha Marsha Marsha!’”

“I’m not saying that.”

“How about just ‘Marsha Marsha!’?  You don’t have to say the third one.”

“Not gonna happen.”

“‘Marsha’?  Once?”


After this conversation, I realized something important: It’s risky telling a person that he or she looks like a celebrity.  Especially when the celebrity in question is a Brady other than Marsha.  For the youngsters who aren’t familiar with Jan Brady, imagine if Khloe Kardashian was the middle sister and was a bit quieter.  That’s sort of a similar dynamic.  Only the Brady’s weren’t rich, and all of them were rather flat-butted.

DJ Qualls - Sex Symbol

Personally, I’ve been told I look like a whole bunch of different people.  On rare occasions, a nice person will tell me I look like Topher Grace or, better yet, Tobe McGuire.  That’s cool.  But the bulk of the time, I’m told I either look like Steve Buscemi or DJ Qualls.  People typically don’t know DJ Qualls’ name, though, so I get “the guy from Road Trip,” “the New Guy,” or “the DJ from Hustle and Flow.”  They’re all the same dude, and they’re all ugly.  I’ve also been compared to Rush frontman Geddy Lee and comic icon Mr. Bean.  Hopefully my voice will stay the same as it is now, because if it goes up or disappears completely, I run the risk of actually becoming one of those guys.

So since I’ve been both the offender and the offended when it comes to bad celebrity comparisons, I’ve decided to take it upon myself to create a few handy rules for everyone.  Follow these simple rules and you won’t be the jerk whose fun pop culture reference ruins the party.  I’m not being shallow…I’m looking out for you.

Rule #1: Just Because the Person Seriously Does Look Like Someone, It Doesn’t Mean You Have to Point That Out

Rosie is cool, but scary

Okay, so let’s say your new coworker happens to look like she was cloned from the cells of Rosie O’Donnell.  Being a human, you are anxious to share this observation.  Don’t do it!  Have you seen angry Rosie O’Donnell on The View?  Is that what you want?  Of course not.  Let it go and try to refer to her by her actual name.  Similarly, never, ever cross gender lines.  If some girl you know gets a new pixie hairdo and comes out looking like Justin Beiber, tell her she looks like, I don’t know, Isabella Rossellini.  It’s all about being nice, man!  Our bodies are engineered for us to be nice anyways…that’s why we have to go through the hassle of verbally saying something in order to communicate, as opposed to just thinking it.

Rule #2: It’s Okay to Lie to Family Members as Long as it isn’t Embarrassing

This dude looks like DJ Qualls

When I was in high school, my Grandfather would rant and rave about how much I looked like Leonardo DiCaprio.  At that time in my life, I was setting a new standard for unpopularity at school and my interactions with girls were pretty much confined to group work in Spanish class.  I appreciated that Grandpa was being nice, but it made me uncomfortable.  Things got even more uncomfortable when, on Christmas, one of my presents was a Leonardo DiCaprio picture book.  There weren’t even any words in it, just page after page of dreamy Leo pics.  Why my Grandfather thought I would want that, I have no idea.  I tried giving it to my sister.  “Take it, please,” I begged.  “What am I going to do, gaze at Leo all day?”  Unfortunately, my sister was going through a big time Marilyn Manson phase, and DiCaprio wasn’t what she was into.  My Grandfather nodded proudly as I sat there with my Leo picture book.  If I needed a confidence boost, this wasn’t it.  All that is to say, if you have kids, sure, build them up.  But don’t embarrass them.  And, by the way, if your kids dig Leo DiCaprio, I’ve got a book they might like up on Ebay.

Rule #3: If You’ve Already Put Your Foot in Your Mouth and the Person Disagrees, Don’t Agrue

“Yes, you DO look like Carrot Top!  Look at yourself!  Where are your props, Carrot Top??!”

Just let it go, man.  And see our final rule.

Rule #4: Stick to Safe Celebs

Bradd Pitt.  Megan Fox.  Johnny Depp.  Beyonce.  Madonna circa 1985.  These are safe people.  They won’t elicit any response other than happiness and celebration.  People try to look like them.  On purpose.  Stick to them, or someone of their ilk, and everything will be fine.  Conversely, I advise against comparing somebody to any of the following: Whoopi Goldberg, Newman from Seinfeld, John Goodman, Donatella Versace, Clint Howard, Lyle Lovett, Mo’Nique, Jerri Blank, Ron Jeremy, or current Madonna.  Add to both lists as you see fit.

Billions of years ago, we were all cave people and we all looked the same.  Hairy with poor posture.  As we evolved, new things were created, like the wheel and, eventually, notions of beauty.  Today we have a catalogue of images in our heads that help us draw connections, a context for others to fit into.  Underneath it all, though, we’re all the same, as if our cave-person-oneness has been sucked inside.  We all want to be told we look nice, that in our human family, we are Marsha.

This guy, this DJ Qualls look-alike, feels Jan’s pain.  Poor Jan.  Why does Marsha get all the socks, she asked?

Natural selection, I guess.



55 thoughts on “Celebrity Comparisons, Cave People, and The Brady Bunch

    • Haha – Catherine O’Hara. That’s not bad…she’s pretty, funny. Danced around the table memorably in Beatlejuice. But I can see how it can get old. And the worst part is, seeing she’s mildly obscure, everyone who tells you that probably thinks it’s completely original.

      Thanks for sharing Kitchen Slattern!

  1. Yeah, I have been compared to lots of celebrities, some beautiful and some not so much. Once I was compared to He-Man after getting less than optimal haircut. This was not one of my greatest moments but I laughed at it, then included a pic of me besides one of he-man in the blog I had at the time.

    I generally don’t tell people who I think they look like unless it’s someone I am almost certain they will find handsome/pretty.

    • He-Man! Hahaha! I mean, he was Master of the Universe, so you could do worse. At least it was only a reference to the haircut. He-Man…pretty good abs…hair…not so good.

      Awesome comment, Hyperhege! Thanks! : )

      • I know, it could have been worse 🙂

        Hey I wanted to thank you as well, because it wasn’t until I commented on your blog today that I found out my gravatar hyperlink was wrong and sent people to my old blog written in Norwegian only! Who would want to go there? And I managed to fix that after some cursing and growling I hope (I guess we’ll see now, won’t we..)

      • You write in Norwegian only? If I went to that site, I would be impressed. Granted, I wouldn’t know what the heck you were talking about, but that doesn’t matter. I would nod in approval for the entire ten seconds I stayed on that page.

        Haha – glad you fixed it! I’m swinging by and checking it out, He-Man. : )

    • No, I do not! I have very lovely brown eyes. I like the song “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” though, and think that’s a clever play on words.

      That’s all I got. How you been kit kat? Good to hear from you. : )

      • Brown eyes for the win! Brown are best. 🙂 I just couldn’t think of any other similarities between Topher Grace and Steve Buscemi…

        I’m A-ok! (whatever that means) Keep in touch, WordPress friend!

  2. I’ve actually caught myself starting a “Wow, you totally look like…” then realizing they may not like the comparison and abandoning mid-sentence. “… like, uh, you’re hungry. Ya’ hungry?” And it wasn’t that I thought they looked like an Orc from Lord of the Rings or anything, but they may just not like the person.

    I agree, stick with complimentary or keep it to yourself.

  3. Loni.Found.Herself

    Great post!

    I constantly get told I look like Kirsten Dunst. Constantly. I don’t see it, but that’s okay…she’s not so bad as far as all that goes. But my favorite is when someone, I kid not, says “You look like Kirsten Dunst!” and then, about 5 minutes later, after the requisite conversation about Kirsten Dunst occurs, will say “You know, I just don’t think she’s that attractive.” Or “She has a weird face.” Or “What’s with her shitty teeth?”

    Thanks, jackass.

    • LOL! Yeah, I was picking up a pizza once and this dude working there goes, “Shit! You look like The New Guy! (DJ Qualls yet again, I roll eyes) I love that dude! He’s BUTT UGLY!”

      Man, I just want a pizza. DJ Qualls is starvin!

      Actually, I have a friend who looks like Kirsten Dunst, and she used to have a “Marie Antoinette” movie poster hanging in her living room. I thought that was an interesting move. Look-a-like pride.

      Thanks for the funny comment, loved it! Peace Loni!

  4. BAHAHAHA!! DJ Qualls. (I’m not laughing because people say you look like him, I’m laughing because you have heard of “The New Guy” AND because I have seen it–what a terrible movie that has left a lasting impression on me throughout the years). I wish I could contribute to the list of lookalikes. Sadly, the only thing I got was one of my students told me I looked like a vampire (I have fangs, the non-removable kind given to me at birth). So, I bit her.

    • Bahaha – nicely done. : )

      Yeah, all the DJ Qualls stuff has carved out a soft spot in my heart for him. I’ve seen The New Guy more than once and think it’s pretty wicked. Granted, my opinion is tainted.

      You rule! I love you, Cara!!

      • I think I will start shouting, “Cara Rules” like on “Billy Madison” at everything I do now. Not sure if my useless database of movie quotes/knowledge makes me lovable or pathetic 🙂

  5. Funny post because it’s true for three reasons. Reason one, in Korea people said I looked Mariah Carey. Reasons two and three, when I lived in Japan, they said I looked like either Whoopi Goldberg or Whitney Houston, 2 – 3 times a week. So there.

    • Hahaha – that’s um, quite a leap. I’m sure you’re more on the Mariah Carey end of the spectrum.

      The first week I got to Korea, some guy told me I look like Michael Douglas. It has to be the most inaccurate thing anyone has ever said to me. I look NOTHING like Michael Douglas. I look more like current Kirk Douglas.

      Thanks for the comment, Sharon. Go Mariah, you on fi-ya!

  6. gaila15

    Hmmmm DJ Qualls. I think you may weigh the same. Your hair with Buscemi, so yeah there’s a connection to both. Haha 😛

    I had people tell me I look like Didi Con and Susan Dey. I see no resemblance between the two of them much less myself.

    Loved DJ Qualls as Johnny on my fav show LOST.

    • You have two good ones! Susan Dey was the bomb! Better than Marsha, even. And Didi Con is cute, don’t you think? The 70s were pretty fantastic. It was a simpler time and the girls were really beautiful.

      DJ Qualls was on Lost? I had no idea. Good for him! Did they accept his skinny looks and good nature, or was he left on the island?

      Thanks for the comment, Galla!

  7. One time my friends and I were playing the “who would play us if they made a movie about our life” game, and it was suggested by one guy that one girl be played by Rosie O’Donnell. Same guy suggested that my husband be played by Louie Anderson. Yeah, the guy who made those suggestions got evicted from our clique that very day. It was brutal.

    Great post!

    • Wow…sorry but I burst out laughing at Louie Anderson. That IS brutal. Louie Anderson’s not even funny. At least Rosie O’Donnell is kind of funny…Louie Anderson is rough. I’m sure your husband bears no resemblance!

      Awesome comment. Thanks a ton Waiting. : )

    • Completely hilarious! I can sort of see a young guy looking like Princess Di. And I love that he went so far to show you a picture to prove it. Look-a-Like pride! I hope the paparazzi leave the poor guy alone.

      Great comment, MJ. Cracked me up!

  8. I think the worst thing that I said, ever, was when I asked a friend whom I have not seen for 3 years, since HS, if she was pregnant. She wasn’t… she just got fat. I wanted to disappear from the planet when she answered no. She was smiling, but I could tell she wanted to kill me.

    • Hahaha. Nicely done, Renx! I think that’s fine. As a skinny person, I’m constantly asked if I eat and/or if I’m anorexic. Maybe you get the same thing. It’s annoying, man! I mean, granted, I don’t eat…but you get the point. Anyways, the next time some chubby person asks me if I’m anorexic, I’m going to steal a page from your book and ask the person if he/she is pregnant. Regardless of gender/logic.

      Always good to hear from you Renx. : )

    • Joan Jett is pretty cool, though. She’s aging well, also. I went and saw Lita Ford in concert a few years ago (don’t ask me why), and the years are catching up to poor Lita. Sounds to me like your daughter has good sensibilities. Plus, it’s good that she doesn’t think “I Love Rock N Roll” was originally a Britney Spears song.

      Good to hear from you Books!

  9. I used a celebrity look-a-like face generator once and it matched me up with a man. D: Usually people say I look similar to a koala. (How do you feel about animal comparisons?) Good thing or bad thing? I’m not sure….

    • The koala is a nice animal. I guess it just depends on if you’re an attractive koala or not, and I’m sure that you are. Don’t go to Australia, cause you might get unwanted advances from dodgy koalas. If one takes you to dinner, only go if it’s a really nice tree.

      Yet again, I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. Thanks for your comment, Renee!

  10. A good public service message. I hope everybody reads it. I have been told I look like some weird people which I am sure you have not heard of ( I am an Asian so I believe you may not know any Asian artists).

    • Since you’re my fellow skinny brother, I’m hoping nobody has told you that you look like, I don’t know, Sandara Park or someone. That would be low. Although it’s better than DJ Qualls I think.

    • Lol! That’s really funny. She, um, didn’t look so good in that movie. Maybe my grandfather thought I looked like Leonardo DiCaprio…in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Lovely. : )

  11. Hahaha. Hilarious post! Its funny when people say you look like someone isn’t it? I’ve gotten all the way from Angelina Jolie to Miley Cyrus. Bizarre. I have to say though, it does annoy me when people feel like they have to compare you to a celebrity. I have a friend who does that. Kinda takes the compliment away. Haha!

    • I wonder if people go up to celebrities and are like, ‘Hey, anyone ever tell you that you look like my friend Al?’ You know, kind of the reverse of it. ‘You’re Angelia Jolie! You look just like my friend from Melbourne!’

      Just a thought. Thanks for the compliment, Set In Motion. : )

      • Hm, I never thought about it like that. Although it does seem unlikely that anyone I hang out with is going to be hanging out with Angelina Jolie sometime soon…

  12. Life as Mia

    Darn…. Ive just realised something baaaad… XD

    Ive only been called ”safe celeb” names…. o.O” Not really ones I thought looked hideous.. Aka. – LIARS all of em’ XD Dammit..

    Someone even said I looked like ”Jennifer Love Hewitt” – SUCH a lie..
    I have seriously nothing in common with that woman… Nothing. But yea, she is pretty, in a doll sorta way.. But I dont look like her at all!

    Pressed *like and +follow on your blog, its awesome, I love it! 🙂

    • Yeah, you can’t complain about Jennifer Love Hewitt. I was going to try and compare you to someone based on your picture…it’s tough cause you’re upside down. I think I hurt my neck trying to turn you rightside up. And after all that, I got nothing. That’s cool you’re from Denmark though…I like Christoper Boe movies (that’s, um, about all I know about Denmark).

      So…basically I don’t know who you look like and I’m ignorant about your country. Not a winner of a comment reply here! But I really appreciate the comment and the compliment! Thanks Mia!

  13. You Read It Right

    I once had a friend who said, “Someone told me I look like Matt Damon.” She – yes, a woman! – said it so nonchalantly that we all sat there silent for a few minutes. Try we might to find any Matt Damon in her, we couldn’t find it. To this day, we call her Matt just for kicks. She doesn’t mind. 🙂

    • That’s awesome! She must be a cool chick. It would be funny if she started dating a guy that looked like Ben Affleck. Sort of like Good Will Hunting…but a couple.

      Love the comment! Thanks Read it Right!

  14. I take this to a much creepier level – mannerisms.

    I was dating this guy and went out with him and his dad for dinner. At the dinner I couldn’t stop staring at his 60-something year old father. I was mesmerized. In the car afterward, I told my boy toy (hate the phrase) that his dad had similar mannerisms to Bob Dylan, and then went onto compare their laughs, facial expressions, and weird blinking habits. Having watched 4,000+ hours of Bob Dylan youtube footage to feed into my obsession, I felt like I was the authority on this.

    I suppose this is just as bad?

    • No, I think that’s pretty cool. Especially if he looked nothing like Bob Dylan. I guess that’s sort of like when people tell me I don’t “look like Steve Buscemi” but I have a “Steve Buscemi vibe.” Having a Bob Dylan vibe is pretty neat, I think. It would’ve been interesting if your boy toy had similar mannerisms to Jacob Dylan.

      Great comment! Thanks Girl With THE Blog!

  15. First of all I would like to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question that Id like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I have had difficulty clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Appreciate it!

    • Hi Andrew. Thank you so much for the compliment. Really appreciated.

      Now, I’m really no professional here…but I’ll throw out two things that I find helpful:

      1) Know where to start – Whether it’s a short story or a blog entry, if I don’t have a good place to start the story, I’m in trouble. I spend a lot of time trying to come up with good starts. The beginning is really important, not only because it pulls people in, but also because if you have a good beginning written, that tends to motivate you to write on. For me, the bulk of the effort of writing goes into the beginning. Don’t worry about the rest…it will write itself.

      2) Write it, Fix it Later – Some people can stop and start, or edit as they go, but personally I can’t. I need to write the whole thing in one go. If I don’t, it likely will never get finished. So a lot of the time I write something, sit on it for a couple days, then read it and begin fixing it. I find that once I have something out on the page, I can go back and make it read more like I want it to. So go, write, and while you write don’t worry one bit if it’s good or not…making it good comes later.

      Like I said, I’m not really one to be giving writing advice, but if that helps at all, right on! Best of luck Andrew – keep writing!

  16. I seriously don’t know how I missed this post… now, you may have to pay for my denting and painting as I fell of my chair reading this. How do you get to be this funny and still single? Humor is one thing a man must have. Keep Rocking!

    • You keep rocking, Bitter Charm! And how do I stay single? Two words….

      Bad hair.

      I mean, that must be it. Absolutely no other explanation. Thank you for putting a smile on my face, rock star. : )

    • That’s not bad. Especially if you’re funny. I would put her in the neutral category.

      For the record, I think you’re better looking. She, however, is more famous. Anyways, thanks for reading and commenting, 21st Century Love Triangle!

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