Our hero, reluctant Ben Affleck look-alike Matt Welch, tells his mythic tale of Google, insidious blogger influence upon mass culture, and the relentless march of Reality TV (Idol finals this week – woo hoo!) through the ranks of the willing and otherwise:
- I — who have watched just three hours of reality programming in 34 years, and have no desire whatsoever to be on television — ended up under the klieg lights as one of 12 would-be Ben Afflecks on a new pilot called The Celebrity Look-alike Show.
To put it charitably, I am to Ben Affleck roughly what Bryan Adams is to Keanu Reeves (minus the fame and money, of course). Same basic gender and race, but the similarities run out quick.
Jennifer Lopez’s fiancé is dark and handsome, while I’m blond and … friendly. He’s got the six-pack abs; I’ve got the kegger belly. Instead of the world’s most famous dimple on my chin, I have the world’s most indestructible zit.
…. imagine my shock when I received the following e-mail seven weeks ago from a casting director:
“Hey Matt! Found your Web site doing a search on the Web and found that you were voted as a close look-alike of Ben Affleck. We are casting a new pilot for WB in Los Angeles and was [sic] hoping you would be interested in auditioning.”
Naturally, no such vote has ever taken place.
What happened, then? Chalk it up to the mysterious omniscience of Google.com. The Web’s most popular search engine uses an indexing system that’s heavily biased toward weblogs, and I happen to publish one.
So, for example, even though members of my own family are only dimly aware of what I do, if you type the name “Matt” into Google, my blog will be ranked sixth among the 20 million sites listed, just because it receives around 2,000 visitors a day (and is linked by lots of my dorky friends). Matt Damon, that rank amateur, limps in at 14th.
A popular blogger named Eric Olsen, of Blogcritics.org, has a running gag about how I look like Affleck, because his wife Dawn (also a blogger) once pointed to the grainy black and white mugshot on my site (taken the groggy day after my wedding, six years ago), and detected a vague resemblance in the jaw area. As a result, if you run a Google search on “Ben Affleck” and “look-alike,” the 155th response or so will be a Blogcritics post beginning with the phrase, “Matt Welch look-alike Ben Affleck….” [National Post]
The dude gets the call back, 11 hours of intense look-alike pressure, what does Simon have to say? (oops, wrong show) Must see TV!!