With his extreme crew cut, chubby cheeks and a penchant for black button-up shirts and shiny brogues, Kim Jong-un is one of the world’s most recognizable dictators – and one of the most memed and mocked .
It’s good work if you can get it. One impersonator, who asked to be identified as Howard, hung out with pop star Katy Perry at this year’s Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Another, who goes only by Jeremy, boasted of snogging up to 40 womenwhen he went – in character – to Hong Kong’s rugby sevens tournament in March.
Howard is keen to stress that his character, whom he calls “Kim Jong-um”, was the world’s first professional Kim lookalike, predating his rival Jeremy. Howard markets himself as “the closest thing you will get to the Dear Leader without going to North Korea” and speaks frankly about the fact that he’s happy to “lend the character to projects that make extra money”. …It started in 2013 on April Fools day, I uploaded some pictures of me with a Kim Jong-un-esque haircut… Two weeks later I got a call asking me to go to Israel to shoot a burger commercial ,” says Howard, speaking on the phone from Hong Kong.
But it’s not just about the commercial gigs, he says. “Kim Jong-um” attended Russia’s Victory Day celebrations this year when the real Kim, who was on the Kremlin’s guest list with a cast of other well-known autocrats, failed to show. He has also lent his face to protests organized by a group called North Korea Defector Concerns, rallying against China’s forcible repatriation of North Koreans, a situation he has called “unacceptable and extremely unethical”.
Minyong Kim from South Korea has also adopted the look. He too first dressed up for fun before realizing it could make for an interesting part-time vocation. Arguably his most impressive stunt was when he joined forces with Barack Obama impersonator Reggie Brown to croon a rendition of Eric Carmen’s 1970s classic “All By Myself” on the streets of Seoul. He has since moved to the US to study where he has become “ the most selfied guy on campus ”, he told News Gazette.
[Mail & Guardian]
This entry was posted in Kim Jong Un by Grant Montgomery.