You may have no idea who Pauly Casillas is.
But on Twitter, you've probably encountered him -- or, at least one of his identities. He's a comedic juggernaut, running three of the most popular parody accounts in existence.
The crown jewel of Casillas’ arsenal is @notgarybusey, an account parodying the quirky actor Gary Busey of The Buddy Holly Story, Gunsmoke, and Celebrity Apprentice, known for his absurd outbursts and non sequiturs.
“Guys, it doesn't matter how high you lift your trucks,” tweeted Casillas under the parody account. “You can't get rid of your herpes.”
“‘Hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband too. 'Cause Christopher Columbus is raping everbody out here.’ - 1492 tweet,” tweeted the account about a year ago.
While working as a automobile-damage appraiser in 2008, Casillas started the account with with FilmDrunk contributor BK. It’s since collected more than 225,000 followers.
“I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up; I’m still probably trying to find out,” said Casillas, who credits his grandmother and his upbringing in a border town near Tucson, Ariz., for his sharp tongue and thick skin. “It’s crazy, sometimes I just sit back and I say, ‘fucking Twitter. It’s fucking Twitter.’ ...
“I just thought this was fun. A bunch of dick jokes on the Internet.”
After two years worth of crotch shots, someone -- possibly Busey himself -- submitted a “valid impersonation report to Twitter. (At the time, the account was named @garyjbusey and featured a real photo of the actor.) The account was subsequently suspended, causing a Twitter uproar.
The hashtag #freegarybusey quickly became a top trending topic, with other parody accounts like @jesus_m_christ and @nicknolte came to its defense.
Busey never officially commented on the parody account’s suspension. Regardless, Casillas was forced to change the name of the account to @notgarybusey and alter the accounts profile photo.
“I don’t like the fact that, after two years and 180K followers, we now have to change things to make it more of a parody account,” Casillas told Handshake Mag after the incident. “I thought it was pretty clear what we were trying to do. Especially since Gary Busey has a Twitter account that is already verified obviously making ours a parody.”
@notjaycutler, which is also run by @MayorBurnsy, is a parody account of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and often makes fun of the NFL, Cutler’s relationships and his overalll gameplay. @bestworstadvice is a question-and-answer account that gives people really bad advice while linking to humorous photos.
Then a funny thing happened.
After losing his job as an automobile appraiser a few months ago, Casillas decided to dive into the world of comedy and try his hand at stand-up. And thanks to his newborn daughter, he had plenty of material to use on stage and on the micro-blogging site.
“The stuff I say you might want to call child protective services, but it’s all jokes,” Casillas said. “Being a dad is pretty cool.”
He’s currently performing stand-up around Tuscon and working on a comedy package for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. This November he will be opening for comedian Russell Peters, one of the most successful comedians in recent years, according to Forbes.
“It’s sink or swim. Either you go up there and choke or you power through it,” Casillas said. “[But] once you get that first laugh, you’re addicted.”
Illustration by Dino Gravato.