I would like to congratulate model/actor Joe Donatelli on being the handsomest Joe Donatelli in America

This is weird. I found a guy with the same name as me.

Because my vanity knows no rational bounds I force Google to tell me every time my name is published online. It’s called a Google News Alert. With it I can make Google send me an email whenever any combination of words, for example “Cleveland Browns News” or “Joe Biden Mistakenly Calls Black Man a Midget,” appear on a major website or blog.

Mainly I receive Google News Alerts so I can be informed when my articles are published.

Here’s how it works if you’re a freelance writer. I pitch an idea. The editor approves it. I write the article and email it to the editor. The editor tells me he likes it.

Then several months pass, during which the editor hopes I forget I wrote the article so he does not have to pay me.

When the editor thinks no one is looking—say, 3:30 on a Sunday morning—he publishes the article.

Google then alerts me that the article has been published.

Several years later, after I die, my estate receives a check from the publisher.

For this life, people quit their very reasonable day jobs.

A few days ago Google News Alerts told me of the existence of a second Joe Donatelli. The only other Joe Donatelli I have ever met was my grandfather. I have one of those names that relatively few people have, which is something I’ve always liked. Donatelli is not an incredibly common last name, and no one besides my parents and people who run crab shacks uses the the name Joe anymore.

This new Joe Donatelli, according to the Google News Alert, is from Maryland and is a model and actor.

I received an alert because new Joe Donatelli had just posted a video on YouTube.

Now, before we discuss this video, let me just say that I like to think I’ve cultivated a certain look—that of the confident bald man.

I don’t try to distract people from my baldness.

I own it.

For example, I don’t wear hats or a toupee. I don’t grow weird facial hair all the way around my mouth. I don’t wear earrings or jewelry except my wedding ring. I don’t walk around in tough-guy Affliction or TapouT clothing.

My secret: I dress and act like a guy with a full head of hair.

Yes, I’m aware that I look like a giant thumb wearing a sweater, but I’m a giant sweater-wearing thumb with swag.

What I’m saying is I think I am a decent-looking guy.

Then I see this new Joe Donatelli and think “My God, this is one good-looking kid.” When I was his age I was fat and when I smiled I looked like one of those hostages in a movie who is forced to walk through the mall smiling because the kidnapper has a nine-millimeter in the small of his back.

The torch has been passed. Actor/model Joe Donatelli is now the handsomest Joe Donatelli in the country. As far as I know it’s just him and me, and from what I can tell from that video, he has a promising modeling and acting career ahead of him, much more promising than mine, anyway.

Oh yeah, I’ve done a little acting.

Check me out here in “The Night Terrors of Rafael Palmeiro,” which was written by the very funny Richard Feliciano. I appear at the 58-second mark and 2:18 mark as Angry Sportswriter Who is Apparently from 1930s New York No. 2.

Yeah, I know—amazing performance.

I am going to address the rest of this column to new Joe Donatelli, who, if he’s anything like me, will receive this via Google News Alert.

Kid , if we share any DNA, I advise you to enjoy your hair now and make as much modeling as quickly as you can. If you’re anything at all like my brothers and I, your hair will disappear between the ages of 15 and 32, which is the approximate age range of when you virginity will disappear, too.

Also—what are you, 15?—you’re not going to get any taller, so, if you’re into sports you should focus on point guard in basketball, shortstop in baseball and running back in football.

If you’re in Model U.N., you are height-appropriate for Mexico and Japan.

With that, I wish you the best of luck.

When you rise to success with your acting and modeling career, you will be joining other great Donatellis such as myself, Republican Party consultant Frank Donatelli, author Daniel Donatelli (my brother) and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Donatello, whom we claim as our own.


Author: Joe Donatelli

Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles. He publishes The Humor Columnist.

  • Funny, there’s another me out there, too- a realtor in St. Louis. Really, with a name like Gisele Perez who woulda thunk it?

  • That’s awesome. Your name might be on a bus bench somewhere, Gisele.

  • This is wonderfully humorous! (And informative — I hadn’t thought of setting a Google Alert for myself before.)

    I, too, have a unique name, which I love. So, it irks me to no end that some girl (?) from Texas — whose real name is not the same as mine (I did some snooping) — uses my name on all her social networking accounts. Ugh! At least you have a handsome, young model kid sporting your name. Well done!

  • I used to get Google alerts for my name, but got tired of seeing other “Holly Swansons” who were more successful than me. Glad to see the other Joe hasn’t made you feel inadequate (he is quite a looker for a young lad).

  • Thanks, Brandi. He represents the name well. Glad to have him on the team.

  • Easy, Holly. I’m right here, you know.

  • I hope Joe Donatelli the Younger responds! I loved your address to him. I’d be quite interested in learning more about the handful of other TIffany Hawks out there, especially the one who trumps me on search results for LinkedIn. She’s a stripper and probably has some awesome stories to tell.

  • Hannah

    I recently met in the line to enter Jumbo’s Clown Room another blonde Hannah, who is divorced with kids and went to the U of A, same age as me.

    Also…. There is another Hannah Cash who lives in England who was born one day before me.

    We are all equally hot.

  • @Tiffany – You two should make a movie where you trade places for a day.

    @Hannah – That story is awesome on about 17 different levels.

  • Virginia

    My name doppelganger may or may not still be in jail doing time for health insurance fraud in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Exciting!

  • Ha. That’s great, Virginia. Good luck getting through any background check ever.

  • This is hilarious! Isn’t it crazy to think about another person having your same name. My maiden name is Katherine Malmo. Never met anyone else with the same name, but then I got married and my last name is common. There are 3 of me WHO USE MY DRY CLEANER. Oh, for pete sake. I’m so common now!

  • One of my buddies on Facebook says he knows three Joe Donatellis, thus destroying my image of myself as a unique and beautiful snowflake.

  • Kelly

    I think new Joe Donatelli looks a bit like young Clay Aiken – he may want to seriously considering losing his hair in an effort to distance himself from that look. I’m just sayin…

  • @Kelly — that’s what I did.

  • Funny! But you’ll never be in the Namesake Hall of Fame. Someone asked me, “Did you ever meet the other librarian named Judy Herman?”
    I said, “Meet her? I worked in the same small office with her for years. She edited our publication so she made me take the byline Judith B. Herman [yadda yadda…]”
    Then she said, “I didn’t mean that Judy Hermann [we called her 2-Ns]; I meant the one from Cal State Fullerton.”

  • @Judy — Wait. Is this Judy Herman from my writing group? I know so many Judy Hermans. It’s hard to keep them all straight.

  • TD

    That would be so cool if he played you in a movie one day, and when the credits rolled it would say Joe Donatelli Joe Donatelli. Peoples minds would be blown!

  • @Tom — I would also like it if we could find a stunt double by the same name. Let’s make a movie!

  • You’re my favorite part of that video, Joe. You really rock the 1930s Angry Sportswriter role. The rest of it was a little frightening. I may need therapy. 

  • @bb459846ccd2cadd502f03ab22e7f60d:disqus coming from a film expert such as yourself, I take that as high praise!

  • Hi Joe ~ I’m the “new” Joe Donatelli’s Mom.  I loved your column and appreciate the nice things you said about Joe!

  • Great to hear from you, Tanya. Good luck to New Joe in all of his endeavors.

  • joann

    The younger Joe Donatelli is my cousin! Have you heard from him?

  • I heard from his mother, who seemed very nice. See the comment below.