Author, Journalist and Filmmaker
Oobah Butler’s brain works… Differently. Despite having no formal qualifications, he’s made a name for himself over the past few years by achieving against all odds with little in his pockets and a comical outside-of-the-box way of thinking. After discovering the world’s biggest travel website TripAdvisor wasn’t completely legitimate, he spent six months transforming his garden shed into the platform’s #1 restaurant, dominating world news and attracting over 100m views upon releasing a documentary about it. When struggling Zambian denim designer Georgio Peviani came into his life, Oobah adopted a persona and made headlines with his $20 jeans at Paris Fashion Week. Making films and writing both articles and a 2019 Los Angeles Times and #1 USA Today best-selling book about his endeavours, he has been hailed by as ‘a genre of one - a true artist’ by The Guardian’s Marina Hyde - but the truth is, it’s not so much as giving bullies a bloody nose as sticking a whoopie cushion under their chair.
More recently, Oobah has been working with his ‘app’, which enables people to order lookalikes of themselves to do something either they don’t want to do or wish they could do a better job of. Thousands have contacted him for his help, most interestingly documented in his November 2020 VICE film, Sending A Lookalike to My High School Reunion. 29-year-old Baltimore resident Stephen Fasteau couldn’t bear moving back to his hometown after giving up on his dreams to be a musician, and be faced with old bullies, friends and crushes, so asked Oobah to find a better looking, more successful version of himself to attend in his place. The viral film which documented the evening and process is both heartwarming and hilarious, resulting in Oobah being hailed by the AV Club as “probably the best prankster working in the world today.” In March 2021, it was announced that Oobah would be co-hosting the first UK version of the hit American show, Catfish, alongside Julie Adenuga on MTV worldwide. “I can’t wait to travel around the country, meet people, and help them and better understand what it is about society that drives people to feel so inadequate that they cannot be themselves.” Butler said.