I know that face!

23:18, Jan 23 2013

So I have this thing where I think that my superpower is recognising people. Admittedly, this is quite a useless superpower in most aspects of life. It's a moderate-power, really. Although, at a stretch I suppose I could see some police procedural TV show where a character who has amazing powers of face recognition helped solve crimes until they got replaced by a computer program with amazing powers of face recognition. Having a skill set that makes them almost unemployable for any other job, the sacked consultant would then go on the rampage in the precinct building and one major character would receive a possibly fatal wound at the end of the last episode of the season. Gasp! Cliffhanger!

Where was I? Oh yes, I think that I have this superpower. Take movies and TV shows, for instance. I know absolutely, without having to check, that the woman who plays the b**ch in Don't Trust the B**ch in Apartment 23 also played one of Rory Gilmore's friends in Gilmore Girls. Not because I've made a point of remembering her - I don't even know what her name is. I just see her face in both places. So, yay. I have an uncanny ability to connect one TV show to another. I did say it was a moderate power.

But, sometimes the old facial recognition chip malfunctions. This can happen in one of two ways. Either I become mistakenly convinced that two different roles were played by the same actor, or I draw parallels between people who I know aren't the same person, but idly wonder if they might be related in some way. Thankfully I can illustrate both of these with examples.

Thinking that two actors are actually the same person is something that I've only done a handful of times but I generally feel quite let down by myself when this happens, so they do stick in the memory. The worst one was when I thought Darcy from Lost in Austen was played by Stephen Moyer (of True Blood fame). That part was actually played by Elliot Cowan, who does look similar to Stephen Moyer, but it's not like they're twins or anything.

More recently I became utterly convinced that Dr Benton's deaf son from ER, Reese (this is quite a long time ago, so I'll wait while your brain tries to spool back to the 90s), was Jake Puckerman on Glee.


Because, look. If that Glee dude on the right got a bit more sun, I think they'd look kind of the same, right? Enough to be brothers at least?

I still harbour suspicions that though they are demonstrably different people with no obvious family connection, they might somehow be related. Cousins? They have the same nose!

I'm having real issues admitting defeat on this one, as you can see.

Things are a bit more straightforward (and less psychotic) with the following examples, which are just people who I happen to think look alike, and for whom I'd like to invent a secret history that connects them.

Which is how we get to my theory that Kenneth the page/janitor from 30 Rock is the secret lovechild of Sergeant Carter from Hogan's Heroes.

I mean, look at them. Two peas in a pod. Let's break down their similarities:

* So white they probably get sunburnt if they stand too close to an uncurtained window.

* Tall and lanky.

* From the the middle of nowhere. In TV world, anywhere that isn't New York or Los Angeles is basically hicksville, so Muncie, Indiana (where Carter is from) is equally rural as Stone Mountain, Georgia (Kenneth's home town/hovel).

* Wear uniforms.

* Don't appear to mind deferring to a higher ranked, charismatic leader (Colonel Hogan/Jack Donaghy).

* Look gormless quite often.


True, Carter wasn't a complete twit whereas Kenneth is in a league of his own, but I'm only speculating that they might be father and son, not twins.

Closer to home, I have suspicions about the founder of Kiwi chocolate company Whittaker's. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't he look a bit like Joseph Stalin?

Obviously I've been using my shamelessly polished photoshopping skills again, but I think they could definitely be related. Stalin was born in 1878, and James Henry Whittaker appears to have been a bit older than that. Maybe J H Whittaker is Joseph Stalin's uncle. It does seem unlikely, admittedly... If only modern accounts of Stalin's life mentioned how he felt about confectionery. But they mostly are concerned with politics and stuff. Boo.

Are you similarly afflicted with the ability to see similarities between people? Do you come up with ridiculous scenarios that would explain it too? Are you good with faces? Someone tell me I'm not completely doolally about the Reese Benton/Jake Puckerman thing.

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