NBC Olympics interview didn’t recognize Evander Holyfield, but did you recognize him in ‘Summer of Sam’?
A Brief History of Evander Holyfield's Random Appearances in Crowds
Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
July 31 2012 3:26 PM

A Brief History of Evander Holyfield's Random Appearances in Crowds

Evander Holyfield on NBC
Evander Holyfield interviewed on NBC.

Screen capture from NBC.

NBC’s Olympics coverage appeared to make its most glaring blunder yet yesterday, when The Today Show interviewed a man on the street about the Olympics opening ceremony, and, as Deadspin noted, failed to recognize that the man was Evander Holyfield. If you don’t blink, you’ll see that the former Olympian thought that Queen Elizabeth II’s cameo was “wonderful.”

But this isn’t the first time that Evander Holyfield has popped up as just another anonymous man in the crowd. By sheer coincidence I was watching Spike Lee’s Summer of Sam last night when I caught a brief glimpse of a familiar face.


The closing credits confirmed that “Man in Riot” was none other than “The Real Deal” Evander Holyfield.

I’m not sure how long Holyfield has been up to this (though I also see he had a cameo as one of several “Convict Football Players” in 1991’s Necessary Roughness). But after yesterday I’d like to think that the world is really a giant game of Evander Holyfield Where’s Waldo?, and we’re just living in it.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate senior editor. He writes and edits for Slate’s culture blog, Brow Beat.