As Joe the Plumber fades into a distinctly embarrassing part of American history, a new face has emerged from the crowd and assumed the glow of Sudden Random Celebrity: Jeff Kolodjay, 31 years old, of Norwalk, Connecticut, has become the Face of the Crash of 1549.
The real hero is, of course, Captain Sullenberger, who glided the craft to safety after it was attacked by terrorist birds. But let's face it: He's kinda old. Yesterday, it was Kolodjay, with his youthful features and skateboarder-ish suavity, who appeared on every network and who charmed the nation. A natural in front of the camera, he was cool and even humorous about an experience he described as "scary as shit." He said all the right things: He commended the pilot ("You've got to give it to the pilot; he made a hell of a landing"), and explained, his
Ben Sherman Penguin* hat tipped just so, that he believed women and children should be let off first.
"He is a well spoken guy, and even after going through something like this, he spoke as calmly and clearly as he does to our customers," his boss at medical communications company DAW told the Connecticut Post. He had an obvious magnetism: Reporters clustered around him like a pack of stray puppies when he phoned his wife, who is pregnant with their first child, to tell her he was okay. And when Jeff showed up on the Today show this morning, dressed casually in a hoodie and jeans, while his fellow passengers were all wearing suits, America as a whole leaned forward in their chairs and said, "That kid's got star quality." As one Andrea Baker pointed out on her Twitter, "Casey Affleck could play him in the movie." Of course, there probably won't be a movie — it would be a pretty crap movie, and like, twenty minutes long? — but still, we suspect this is not the last we'll see of Jeff. What will it be? A gig hosting an MSNBC show? The romantic lead in Adam Sandler's directorial debut? We can't wait to find out.
Related: Duck, Duck, Goose [Vulture]
*We trusted Chris on this because he is a gay but we were wrong.