Picks and Pans Review: Spotlight
DAN TANENBAUM'S EXISTENCE IS DEFINED by one theme, and all you have to do is look to the picture below to know its name. The 24-year-old freelance copywriter, a lifelong Toronto resident, is what one might call close DNA buddies with Jerry Seinfeld, 41.
In fact, claims Tanenbaum, not a day goes by that he doesn't have to deal with the double takes of people who mistake him for the NBC sitcom star. "They gush, 'We love your show' or 'What are you doing in Toronto?' " he says. "Or they tell me, 'I never realized how short you are.' " (He is 5'8", versus Jer's 5'11".) In bars, Seinfeld fans send over drinks. They insist on being photographed with him. "The more I deny it, the more they don't believe me," says Tanenbaum. "So, I take the pictures. Who is it hurting?" The never wed Tanenbaum has even had "Pig!" bellowed at him by a woman who assumed he was the one dating 20-year-old Shoshanna Lonstein.
Tanenbaum isn't complaining. After all, he considers himself a fan. But he contends that the similarities between himself and the famous comic are more coincidental than calculated. Yes, he does the same hand-swipe-through-the-hair thing as Jerry, and a row of old Nikes do neatly line his closet. "I've always dressed this way," Tanenbaum says of his preppy-casual wardrobe. He does, however, sometimes milk the connection. His business card imitates Seinfeld's logo.
Comic and clone met once, three years ago, when Seinfeld was playing Detroit's Fox Theatre. "It was a little discouraging," Tanenbaum recalls of the moment when he realized this would not be a Vicki Lawrence-Carol Burnett kind of thing. "I had let my imagination run away. He just glanced at me and said, 'Yeah, he kind of looks like me.' That was it."