When Michael Klimkowski heard that Houston megachurch pastor Joel Osteen was going to preach at the Los Angeles Forum October 28, he knew he couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Klimkowski is a comedian and part of the Dan Dabs Sketch Group. He also happens to look a lot like Osteen and he longed for a chance to emulate the folksy charmer with the ageless plasticine features and $50 million bankroll.
Klimkowski and his film crew arrived for “Night of Hope” without tickets, but the security people at the gate waved them through when they were greeted by the fake Osteen, who asked if he had to pay to park at his own event.
Once out of the vehicle, fake Osteen made his way toward the huge arena waving and calling out, “God bless you,” over and over. He stopped several times to pose for selfies with fan as his own crew filmed it all. Being a comedian, Klimkowski couldn’t help throwing in a zinger here and there. He asked where he could get a beer and said he didn’t want a soda. Then the fake multi-millionaire asked where he could buy a Loteria ticket.
Once inside, he made his way down toward the stage as more fans approached. He even accommodated one woman by holding her camera. “I’ve long arms. I’m six-three. Jesus was five-five.”
If anyone was concerned that Osteen’s megachurch had not initially opened its doors to Hurricane Harvey flood victims in Houston, no one mentioned it to the fake Osteen, even though the hurricane had hit just weeks earlier.
As he neared the stage, more fans left their seats and approached him. His crew urged him to take the stage, but Klimkowski didn’t think that was a good idea.That was when Osteen’s security chief moved in and ejected Klimkowski, who kept asking, “What did I do? Can you tell me what I did?” The security chief is heard turning vulgar as he tells Klimkowski he’s going to be arrested.
Even as he was being detained in the parking lot and the police arrived, more fans approached still thinking that they were seeing Osteen up close. The police thought it was funny and no arrests were made.
Klimkowski had hoped he would hear from Osteen after the You Tube video appeared and that the pastor would tell him that he thought it was hilarious. Maybe he would even invite the fake Osteen on stage with him at the beginning of one of his sermons for a few light-hearted minutes. Apparently, that was a fantasy that was not going to come true. It seems that the feel-good prosperity gospel Osteen preaches doesn’t have room for a second trickster on stage.