This is a follow-up to my blog post from February last year where I talked about Guy Fieri lookalikes. In that post, I wrote about how I found these people fascinating and wanted to know everything possible about them. I even got in touch with one and had a little chat.
Since then, one of the other guys (Guys) that I featured got in touch. He also offered to share his experiences with me. So, here’s what Guy Fieri lookalike Ken Brodman has to say.
Tell me about yourself. What do you do for a living?
My name is Kenneth E Brodman. I live in Altoona PA. I was born in Reading PA. I grew up in foster homes from the age of six months old till the age of 16, not a very easy life. But all that is in the past, where I would like to leave it. I have always had a interest in cooking – it was a way that i could be creative. I work for a drug and alcohol rehab. I have been there for many years.
How long have you identified as a Guy Fieri lookalike?
The funny thing is that I never really set out to look like Guy Fieri, it happened by accident. My job takes me all over the state of PA. So the very first day I started looking like him, I had maybe ten people tell me “hey you look like that guy!” Well of course it made me feel good, but then it started happening everywhere I went. I would have fifteen to twenty people telling me that I looked like him and asking to take my picture with them or “hey can I get your picture to send to my wife, daughter, husband etc.”
And then of course you have the people that are too scared to approach me. I would hear them whisper ‘hey isn’t that the guy from dinners drive-inns and dives?’ I would just smile and give them a hello.
I would be lying to you if I told you I didn’t like the attention. It helps me with the fears of not being accepted as a child. Besides, Guy is a perfect role model. So I would say that I have been a Guy Fieri look a like for about five years now.
Are you often mistaken for the actual Guy?
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t have at least five to ten people approach me, and even pictures on a daily basis.
Are you in contact with other Guy Fieri lookalikes?
I do have contact with another Guy Fieri lookalike. I believe you spoke with him. His name is Vinny Prescott. Real nice guy. We both got to meet the real Guy Fieri at Mt Airy casino. It was the best experience I have ever had.
Most importantly, how’s your cooking?
I still love to cook and be creative. Everyone that knows me loves my cooking. I also do 90% of the cooking in my home on a daily basis. I have never done it as a profession only as a hobby.
I’m so pleased that Ken shared his story with me. It’s a fascinating insight into a life that, at first, seems quite strange. Guy Fieri himself is a truly surreal figure, and my thinking was always that people choosing to actually look like him must be pretty crazy themselves.
But Ken’s clearly a great guy. I’m genuinely glad that it’s bringing him such daily happiness. Turns out, looking like Guy Fieri isn’t the burden that I assumed it might be. It can actually help you feel accepted by those who might not otherwise give you the time of day. It might actually be a blessing.
Just ask Paul Hollywood. He clearly knows the score.