Act Like You Belong

It might be one of the greatest stories ever.

Because of this guy.


The now infamous ‘Sign Language’ guy from the Mandela memorial service.

The guy who had no clue what he was doing, but acted like he did, therefore, no one cared.

Until it was too late.

It truly is,

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the best punk’d of all time.

Before we laugh, let’s ask this, how in the hell did he get so close to so many world leaders?

Did no one check this dude out?

Imagine what he could have done?

Thank God nothing happened.

But back to our friend, who has a name, but we will call him, the fake signing guy.

As I read his story, I kept thinking what someone told me a long time ago. As long as you act like you belong, no one will say a word.

After the Tennessee Vols won the national championship back in January of 1999, I was working at WKRN at the time, covering the game.

We got done with the game, our newscasts, etc, and several of us went to eat.

We had worked like 4 18 hour days and were absolutely delirious.

So after we were done, we headed to a Denny’s which was about 2 blocks or so from the hotel to sit, relax and eat.


The place was absolutely packed and Denny’s was not ready for this.

Like 3 servers, one hostess and a packed restaurant.

Line out the door.

I was not about to stand in that line.

But damn, I was hungry.

And delirious.

Not a good combo.

Several people with us, left and went back to the hotel.

Not me and a few others.

I said, “watch this.”

I walked to the front, grabbed some menus and said, ‘How many?”

Within 3 minutes, I had sat everyone in line.

I put people with people who had no idea who anyone was.

I sat 6 at a booth for 4.

Entire line, gone. Restaurant packed.

No one at Denny’s asked who I was.

One server thanked me for helping out.

I sat my friends at a table and told that server, ‘Hey, those guys are great, can you get their order first?”

Then I left, walked back to the hotel, found a vending machine and was happy.

I told someone else about the story the next day and I will never forget what he said.

“Act like you belong and no one will ever say a word.”

Especially, if they can’t hear you.




  1. Brutus December 14, 2013 6:18 pm  Reply

    Ole Miss & Tennessee game–worked for us

  2. Jeff December 16, 2013 3:10 pm  Reply

    Isn’t that EXACTLY how you broke into broadcasting in the first place? You just showed up at WKRN and Cory was in his office doing his hair or something and you just walked on set and started doing sports? If that’s not right, I’d tell the story that way. It’s GOT to be more interesting that the truth!

    • Joe Dubin December 25, 2013 11:41 pm  Reply

      I am still the best thing that station ever had. I haven’t watched a sportscast there in 2 years.

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