The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on September 15, 2002 · Page 30
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 30

Hays, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 15, 2002
Page 30
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SUNDAY • SEPTEMBER 15,2002 THE HAYS DAILY NEWS • C11 Topeka policeman finds resemblance to comedian amusing By TIM HRENCHIR ASSOCITED PRESS TOPEKA'— People arrested by Topeka police officer Roger Smith often laugh as he takes them to jail. "They say, 'I got busted by Drew Carey,'" Smith said with a smile. Smith has smiled a lot since learning he bears a close physical resemblance to Carey, a comedian recognizable by his stout build, black glasses and close- cropped hair. Since 1995, Carey has starred in ABC-TV's "The Drew Carey Show," a sitcom set in his hometown of Cleveland. Smith said he learned about Carey eight or nine years ago while visiting a relative who had moved to Cleveland; Smith was walking around downtown when he noticed people were honking their horns, waving at him and calling him "Drew." "It kept happening over and over and over again," he said. "I go, 'Man, this Drew guy is really popular"' Smith learned that Carey was a comedian who looked like Smith, though Smith at the time wore glasses that were rounder than Carey's. About six months later, Smith turned on his TV and saw a cable channel was playing a special featuring Carey. "I'm sitting there watching TV and I'm going, 'Oh my God, I look like this guy on TV,' and at that very moment my phone rings," Smith said. It was a friend from college, who was watching Carey on TV and thought Smith must have changed his name to Drew Carey. At the time, Smith was a Holton police officer. A native of Gardner in Johnson County, he graduated in 1985 from The University of Kansas and worked for the Atchison Police Department until 1991, when he took the job in Holton. Smith became a Topeka police officer in 1996. Before long, he needed new glasses. He said fellow officers dared him to get "black geek glasses" like those Carey wears, so he walked into a local eyewear store and asked for "Drew Carey glasses." Ever since, hardly a day has gone by that someone hasn't mistaken Smith for Carey. People honk and wave. They often ask for his autograph and seem surprised when they get the signature of "R.A. Smith." Others ask to have their photo taken with him! "A friend of mine had his picture taken with me and he scanned it and put it over the Internet, sent it to his friends saying 'Look who I met,'" Smith recalled. "I think he said out of 30 people only one person came back and said, "That's not Drew Carey.'" Smith said that when he goes out with friends, they often make it a game to see how long it takes before a stranger says something about the resemblance or looks at Smith in a way that makes it clear they think he is Carey. Usually, that happens within five minutes. Even his friends often call him "Drew." "I've ran into some people who've met Drew Carey, who know Drew Carey, and they're absolutely shocked," Smith said. "I ran into a lady who knew Drew Carey a few weeks back, and her remark was 'You look more like Drew Carey than he does now.'" Smith said the woman explained that Carey has lost weight and grows longer hair and a beard when his show isn't being taped so he won't be as easily recognized. Smith said he has parlayed his resemblance to Carey into victories in "a lot" of celebrity look- alike contests — he hasn't keep track of how many — including competitions at Remington's and Jeremiah Bullfrog's in Topeka. He said that in most of the contests, applause decides who best resembles a celebrity. Smith said the least he has won is $200, and the most $500. He won a trip to Jamaica in one contest. When he competes, Smith dyes his hair yellow and wears a tan jacket similar to one often worn by Carey. Their hair is slightly different shades, and Smith said there are other differences: Carey is 44 years old, Smith 40. They are about the same height, but Carey now weighs less than Smith. Carey is left-handed, while Smith is right-handed. Their eye colors are different. Still, Smith's resemblance to Carey is strong enough that his mere presence on police calls often defuses tense situations. "One of the funniest things I ever saw was at a bar fight, and this guy had a hold of this dude and he was getting ready just to The only person who doesn't love this siding is a vinyl siding salesman STEEL ABC Seamless Siding •No Ugly. Seams Strong As Steel •Maintenance-Free Other Products... • 'Seamless Steel Gutters •Metal Soffit & Fascia, Replacement Windows FREE Home Inspection 1507 E. 27th Hays, KS 785-625-2418 "The Siding Without the QUACKS!"' SEAMLESS a St. John's Rest Home Corporation ^,*r?&?;? metr'* 11 " jw-»A s.-.v-tu-kfv%t%<f> ?$K>t Hays - 2401 Canterbury - 628-3241 Victoria - 701 7th St. - 735-2208 Hays - 2225 Canterbury - 628-8742 Helping the elderly and handicapped achieve a higher quality of life is the number c jone goal of St. John's of Victoria and Hays. To achieve this goal St. John's, strives to fulfill the physical, emotional/ social and spiritual needs of our residents. St. John's; offers organized activities, plus a full range of rehabilitation services. Above all, St. Johns works to create a homelike atmosphere where resident and, family participation is always encouraged. St. Jol pound him, and somebody goes, 'Hey, look, it's Drew Carey,"' Smith recalled. He said the man turned to look and lost interest in punching his victim. Another time, Smith said, he pulled over a suspected drunken driver who looked at Smith's face, appeared "just stupefied" and turned to his passenger. "He goes, 'Man, I'm really messed up. This cop looks like Drew Carey'" Smith said. Smith said his resemblance to Carey has enhanced his social life because people often approach him to talk about it. He said he is glad he looks like Carey instead of Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden. "Drew Carey is just an average, normal, everyday-looking guy," Smith said. "He looks like the guy who would live next door to you. He's the guy you.went to high school with, just getting by like everybody else." Mcnits CaAc Might Benefit ® far HMC Pediatric Unit Renovation Saturday, September 28,2002 7:00 -11:00 p.m. at The Center for Health Improvement Admission $50 a person includes a chance to win a $2,500 .travel voucher (donated by MooreTours International, Inc.), and Door prizes. Gaming by Celebrations Entertainment, and Dancing by Complete Music. Enjoy Hors d'oeuvres. t Sponsored by the HaysMedicalCenter F O U N D AT ION Silent Auction & Cash Bar Dressy Casual .'!'•'•.- i'. • r ,i* ( ';•'.- :••• „,..' :'• • • , Tickets available at The Center for HeaUh-IrnprotVement, , .;: Hays Medical Center Foundation Office, CERV's & Midwest Energy. '-el ,,fi >* „ ,L,n;ffpV'? . ^, ,'A* ,^^-JL V^x .,..j.,, v.^, , A; , ,4> a ^^^^ i gq& K M ) w ^^^•^ f ^y^m .'.--; '-'' iV> ^ts?ffifii% T^V' I:N ^ ?;\. ^ 'ib < /.« ail^

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