It's not really a problem; more of a curiosity, really. But for the past few years people all over the place have been mistaking me for Steve Martin.
It usually goes something like this: A few months ago I was at the Dallas airport renting a car, and the rep was walking me to the Compact (Cheapest) Car Aisle. From the corner of my eye I saw him staring, and I knew what was coming next.
"Do people tell you you look just like Steve Martin?"
I gave him my best non-Steve Martin smile and said, "Yes, people do tell me that, but I don't really see it."
We walked a few steps in silence, and he spoke again, softer.
"So... are you?"
I picked up the pace.
"Well, if I were Steve Martin , do you think I'd be heading for the compact car aisle at Enterprise Rent-A-Car? In Dallas?"
The reasoning was iron-clad, I thought. My companion nodded slightly, then smiled conspiratorially.
"Got it," he said. " I get it..."
The moral (if there is one) seems to be that people dream about crossing paths with celebrity, and if there's a sliver of a chance it's happened, they'll hold onto the fantasy, even in the face of undeniable evidence to the contrary.
Sometimes the circumstances make the mistaken identity at least somewhat understandable: Walking along 50 th Street in Manhattan after a taping of Saturday Night Live ("There goes Steve Martin," a passing woman nudged her husband), or buying a hot dog at a Los Angeles food cart, near a some production company offices ("Here you go ...Steve," whispered the hot dog cart girl). But what about standing on a line at Walt Disney World ("Ohmygoddoyouknowwhoyoulooklike!?!?"), or sitting in a urologist's office in Washington, D.C.? What am I to make of that?
As I said, I don't really think I look like Steve Martin (judge for yourself).
Certainly not with my hat off-I'm nearly bald, and Steve has that wonderful shock of white hair. Maybe we have similarly deep-set eyes. Anyway, he's a good-looking guy, and I ought to be flattered (although he is also 10 years older than me).
As a footnote, my mother always thought I looked like John Davidson. She insisted on this until the day she died, despite the fact that I do not now have, nor have I ever had, a dimple. Also, late one night about 15 years ago I was riding the bus home, and I saw the driver glancing up and down between the road and my reflection in the mirror over his head. Finally, he turned around.
"Harrison Ford, right?" he said. I just gave him that famous Harrison Ford tight-lipped smile.
The interesting thing is that it appears looking like famous people runs in my family. Allow me to introduce my youngest son, Josh Groban.
- Josh Grobin...or is it???
No, that's not really Josh Groban. That's my son Zack. But I'm pretty sure even Josh Groban's mother would stop Zack on the street and demand to know why he didn't let her know he was in town.
Zack, who's a better writer than I'll ever be, has addressed his Groban-ness in his own very funny blog.
- How weird is that?
He's also a fine singer, and at his home base in Visalia, California, he recently starred as the handsome Prince in a children's theater production of Cinderella.
Zack briefly flirted with the idea of putting a video of his performance up on YouTube, and floating the rumor that Josh Groban was currently slumming in community theater in California's Central Valley. He didn't do it, which is a pity.
So, who do you look like? Come on, admit it; there's a famous someone friends say you have at least a passing resemblance to, right?
Let's hear about it. And if you think I'm being too forward here, well all I can say is, "Excuuuuuuuuuse MEEEEEEE!"