I smile every time I see this relief on the face of the Joseph Smith Building at BYU. To me (and probably only to me), it looks like Smith is electrifying nearby people with the rays emanating from his hands. I made this juvenile observation back in high school, but it has stayed with me.
Regarding this relief, something dawned on me today (and this will totally betray my nerdiness): Here, Joseph Smith resembles the 19th century inventor Nikola Tesla! So I created a side-by-side comparison and added it to my LDS leader look-a-likes post.
Okay, granted. They don’t really bear a physical resemblance. But their presentation in these pictures is very similar—their gesture, their stance, their clothes. And most strikingly, they both hold in their hands an incredible source of power. For Smith, it’s the “word of God”; for Tesla, orbs of electricity.
I know it’s not the funniest comparison, but I’ll be damned if it’s not unique!
In a post last month, I noted that Sam Harris bears an uncanny resemblance to Seth Green and Ben Stiller. Then later, while watching LDS General Conference, it dawned on me that I should think of some look-a-likes for Mormon leaders.
Thomas S. Monson and Senator Arlen Specter
M. Russell Ballard and Dave Thomas
Henry B. Eyring and the American Gothic farmer
Gordon B. Hinckley and Alan Greenspan
Boyd K. Packer and Donald Rumsfeld
Heber J. Grant and Sigmund Freud
Quentin L. Cook and Jason Alexander
Spencer W. Kimball and the Six Flags guy
Howard W. Hunter and Peter Boyle
Bruce R. McConkie and Senator Al Franken
Dallin H. Oaks and Kurtwood Smith
George Albert Smith and (the more handsome) Dr. Charlie Huenemann
Joseph Smith and Nikola Tesla
Hat-tip to the Salamander Society for a few of the ideas. If you have any LDS leader look-a-like suggestions, do share! Also, I hope no one was offended—it was all in good fun.
I stumbled upon the above picture on a Mormon discussion forum earlier today. Maybe the picture is only good for a laugh. It’s at least good for that much. But because the picture invites a comparison between Joseph Smith and Stephen Colbert, let’s explore it (if for no other reason than it would be fun to do so).
So what are some similarities between these two men? Any thoughts?
I’ve been thinking about, and—despite all their obvious differences—I think Smith and Colbert would have really hit it off. They are both boisterous, dramatic, and creative personalities. Imagine Smith as a guest on the Colbert Report, for example. The prophet of Truth vs. the pundit of “truthiness.” Now that’s must-see TV! And with Smith’s quick-wit and sense of humor, I actually suspect he’d hold up quite well against Colbert.