Obama Look-Alike Larry Graves In Demand For Inauguration Season

Obama lookalike Larry Graves

The lanky man has the security detail, the prominent ears and the U.S. flag pin, but substitute teacher Larry Graves is no Barack Obama. He's a professional look-alike. Graves and the president have something else in common, too: a frantic schedule leading up to the inauguration.

"It's definitely a busy time," the Obama look-alike said in an interview. "Between the campaign season and the inauguration, it's been prime time. Barack Obama is a respectable guy. People want to have him at their parties."

Recent weeks have seen a flurry of events for Graves, from corporate gatherings to special appearances and photo-ops. According to Graves' manager, companies can pay around $1,100 per appearance as an Obama look-alike; Graves has been averaging about two to three requests each week before the inauguration. In a Marriot hotel in Chantilly, Va., a security detail with earpieces worked the crowded rotunda, hotel guards whispering into their sleeves. Necks craned, and there were gasps as Graves emerged through the door.

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"Whoa. That's not ... is it? Obama?" someone asked. A smattering of cheers, a few boos, and a fusillade of camera flashes greeted him.

"Are you fired up?" Graves shouted in mock-Obama voice. He worked the crowd, flanked by two other actors dressed as Secret Service members, shaking hands and posing for cellphone pictures.

It's been a busy four years for the Montgomery Village, Md., resident, who realized during the 2008 primary campaign that he had a peculiar resemblance to the Illinois senator who was running against Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. He submitted a photo to a management company called Cast of Thousands and has since been augmenting his income as a substitute art teacher by appearing as Obama.

Graves' preparation goes beyond a physical resemblance and a nice suit decorated with the flag pin. He adds makeup, darkens his eyebrows and lips, adds a prosthetic mole to the side of his nose and even dusts a little white paint into his hair.

"I find people want to believe, and so they go along with it. And there are other people who want to judge and say, 'Oh, he's not Barack.' "

Graves stresses that he's not an Obama impersonator but strictly a lookalike, though he tries his best to mimic the president's manner and speech.

"That voice, that voice -- Barack has a very distinctive voice. He has a very loud voice, a very distinctive vocal pattern, and I have to really think about conserving and using (it)."

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Not all events go smoothly for the faux-Obama.

Graves once traveled to Hong Kong to film a commercial for Kentucky Fried Chicken. In the ad, "Obama" delivered a speech when an enormous sandwich landed on his head. It was later deemed controversial and pulled off the air, according to Graves' manager, Jan Kearney.
Graves said that he has also fended off the occasional drunken diatribe from people at events.

At home, things are less posh than Obama's White House digs and presidential motorcades. Graves lives with his six dogs in a modest town house and drives a Toyota Corolla to his engagements.

Graves, who will turn 58 on Wednesday, enjoys the work: "I am glad to be in this country, and glad to be an American. And to be able to, in some small way, relay that to people, it's an honor, it really is. It's fun, but it's an honor."

Graves says he hasn't met the real Obama, but would like to challenge him to some one-on-one basketball.

"I think I could take him," Graves said. "He better practice."

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So what’s the point? Adolph Hitler had a look alike. His name was Charley Chaplin. Just because they have those … ears, Dombo can fly, can any of these two? Why argue about a look alike while the real one is taking the country to hell in a hand basket.

January 21 2013 at 10:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Can he say "I am a friendly fellow and my wife and I are very nice to lowlifes who do not suscribe to scialism"?

January 16 2013 at 7:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

One thing you must remember, Obama is not real. He is a computer generated image that is destroying America. He is doing what no enemy has been able to do, destroy us from within. All kidding aside, this arrogant, ego maniac is determined to turn the USA into a third world socialist state. He has violated the laws of congress and the Constitution and should be impeached. His attack on the Second Ammendment is an impeachable offense and congress should start the impeachment process.

January 15 2013 at 11:14 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bigbwsp's comment

If as you say, Obama can destroy this nation in 8 years, it wasn't much of a nation to begin with. Stop with the nonsense. You and your man, Willard, lost. Deal with it.

Whining is not a very attractive trait, and even less attractive for Republicans who use the elephant as its mascot.

January 16 2013 at 4:54 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to we84599's comment

You're absolutely right. It wasn't much of a nation to begin with or at least that's what is has turned into.

January 16 2013 at 7:36 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down

I don't see it either???

January 15 2013 at 10:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LA is Best

Poor Guy! I'd rather look like a lizard than look like Dear Leader!!

January 15 2013 at 9:27 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Steve's Stuff

I don't see it, but even if I did look like THAT MAN, I sure as Heck wouldn't bost about it.

January 15 2013 at 6:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I'm not seeing it.

January 15 2013 at 5:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


January 15 2013 at 3:57 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Personally I would be AFRAID to look to much like him. What with him trying to take US Citizens guns away. Plus you have to almost close your eyes for this guy to look like Obama. Not even a close match.

January 15 2013 at 3:13 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

What? because he is black and lanky he "looks like Obama" - how ridiculous - does not look like him at all!

January 15 2013 at 1:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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