This Joel Osteen Impersonator Conned His Way into a Massive Church Event

VICE went to LA to meet Michael Klimkowski, a struggling comedian who made headlines with his spot-on impersonation of the televangelist.
April 10, 2018, 8:20pm

Joel Osteen is one of the world’s most famous televangelists. The Houston pastor fills arenas, draws more than 20 million monthly viewers to his televised sermons, and has sold millions of copies of his Christian self-help books. He also has a doppelgänger.

On this episode of Fame-ish, VICE meets Michael Klimkowski, a struggling LA comedian with an uncanny likeness to the famous pastor. He’s turned the resemblance into his most successful bit—impersonating Osteen in public, at the pastor's own book signings, and, most famously, at a sold-out Osteen event in 2017 where he managed to make it all the way up onstage. We sat down with Klimkowski to hear when he realized he could pull off the impersonation, what it’s taken to perfect it, and how his 15 minutes of fame have affected his comedy career.

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