->'''Mr. Burns:''' Get me Creator/StevenSpielberg!\\
'''Smithers:''' He's unavailable.\\
'''Mr. Burns:''' Then get me his non-union Mexican equivalent!
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E18AStarIsBurns A Star Is Burns]]"

Often, when you've got a pretty good and recognizable actor, there will be an actor who is awfully similar except that he's not quite as good/famous/busy/whatever.

This can be ''very'' handy when you've been asked to cast a TV series based on a movie, since the actors from the movie often won't be willing to do a weekly series, at least not for what you're willing to pay.

Such pairings can also be used to effect TheOtherDarrin, but when the former actor is much more famous than the replacement, this is a recipe for disappointment.

The good news for the actors is that by the end of the show's run, they're sometimes more famous than the actor they're replacing.

Perhaps the original Poor Man's Substitute was JayneMansfield for MarilynMonroe. In fact, Twentieth Century Fox hired Mansfield for just that purpose after Monroe famously walked out on her contract in 1955.

On ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'', Joel and the Bots call this the "Wayne Rogers Effect", after the actor who replaced Elliott Gould in the TV adaptation of ''Series/{{Mash}}''.

For the aid of future generations, the following Poor Man's Substitutes may be worthy of note:

* Since John Belushi is no longer with us, his brother, Jim Belushi, is almost as good.
* If anyone ever wants an animated ''{{Frasier}}'', MauriceLaMarche could easily pass for KelseyGrammer and he already ''is'' the world champion OrsonWelles.
* If you're really desperate and MartinSheen isn't available, you can hire his brother, Joe Estevez on the cheap.
* If Creator/DanielCraig is too busy with the latest ''[[Film/JamesBond Bond]]'' film, [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0719678/ Callum Keith Rennie]] is physically nearly identical, though he's untested in a starring action role.
** Thomas Kretschmann looks quite like him too. But he would also do a good Ralph Fiennes.[[note]]Meaning he could pull double duty in your ''Skyfall'' knockoff.[[/note]]
* And Anthony Lapaglia certainly has a Bill Pullman vibe to him.

(Note, the Poor Mans Substitute for a character is probably a SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute.)

A common subversion is for the production team to get the ''actual'' actor they intended to find a substitute for.

''' PLEASE NOTE:''' This trope is about actors who can pass for each other in bad light and/or can fill the same type of roles. For actors who have played the same character, you want TheOtherDarrin instead.
----
!!Straight Examples:
* If you can't afford Helen Hunt, try to get Laura Linney.
** Or Leelee Sobieski for a younger version (which ''WesternAnimation/CelebrityDeathmatch'' [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]]).
* If you can't even afford Laura Linney, perhaps Creator/LauraDern is your girl.
* Martin Lawrence is the poor man's EddieMurphy.
* Peter Scolari can substitute for RickMoranis in a fix (as he did in ''Series/HoneyIShrunkTheKids''' RecycledTheSeries).
** A rather fitting substitute, but there is only an insignificant difference between the two: [[spoiler: Moranis doesn't have a gap in his teeth like Scolari does.]] Otherwise, the substitution isn't so bad.
* Michael Shanks is just as good as James Spader (as Daniel Jackson in ''Series/StargateSG1'').
* In the same show, Richard Dean Anderson was the poor man's Creator/KurtRussell. And was a lot better.
** "O'Neill. Two 'Ls.' The other guy has no sense of humor."
* Here's one convoluted example: Lorenzo Music substituted for Creator/BillMurray in ''TheRealGhostbusters''. Creator/BillMurray returned the favor (a few years after Music's death) in the big screen adaptation of ''Film/{{Garfield}}''.
** Creator/BillMurray does Lorenzo Music way better than Lorenzo Music does Creator/BillMurray.
* Tony Danza filled in for BruceWillis in ''BabyTalk'', the TV adaptation of ''Look Who's Talking''.
* Famous voices in the DisneyAnimatedCanon are usually replaced with Poor Man's Substitutes most of the times in DirectToVideo and [[RecycledTheSeries TV Series]] sequels.
** DanCastellaneta is used as the poor man's RobinWilliams when they need the voice of Genie from ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' on the cheap.
*** It's actually a bit more complicated than that. RobinWilliams agreed to do ''Aladdin'' for union scale rates only if the Genie was not prominent in the ads and his voice was not used for merchandising. When Disney broke the contract, he cut off ties to the movie, which required DanCastellaneta for ''The Return of Jafar'' and the ''Aladdin'' TV series. Disney eventually made amends with Williams (after firing Katzenberg), who returned for ''Aladdin and the King of Thieves.''
** ''Disney/TheLionKing'': [[AllStarCast While all the cast of the original movie]] reprised their roles in the sequels (except Creator/RowanAtkinson as Zazu, so Edward Hibbert filled in the role), only Pumbaa and Rafiki retain the same voice actor in the spinoff ''Timon and Pumbaa'' and ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''. (Mufasa had a different voice in ''HouseOfMouse'', and was "voiced" by archive recordings for ''Kingdom Hearts II'')
*** Simba had the same voice in both movies (save for his singing voice, which was different in both-- [[Music/{{Toto}} Joseph Williams]] vs. Creator/CamClarke), as did Nala. ([[AllStarCast For all of the two lines she appeared in it]].) Creator/CamClarke also did Simba's speaking voice in ''Timon and Pumbaa'' ''House of Mouse'' and ''Kingdom Hearts II''.
*** Timon's voice casting in VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII is kinda funny - he's played by Creator/JamesArnoldTaylor, but they already had another of Lane's substitutes in the cast: Creator/QuintonFlynn, who was already playing a supporting role. Note that both of them have played ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX Final]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Fantasy]]'' characters... and even in the same game (''X'') to boot.
** The sequel to ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}'' replaces Creator/MelGibson with his brother Donald.
*** In games and merchandising for Disney/Pixar's WesternAnimation/ToyStory, Woody is not voiced by Creator/TomHanks but his brother Jim (who has carved a niche in Hollywood as the go to guy for those who can't afford his brother).
** Averted by the sequel to ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' (only Laverne and the Archdeacon are replaced, by Jane Withers [due to Mary Wickes dying - and even then, Miss Withers did some of her dialogue in the first movie] and JimCummings [in for David Ogden Stiers]) and ''Disney/{{Hercules}}: The Animated Series'' (only Danny [=DeVito=] and Rip Torn didn't return).
** ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'': Mark Moseley replaces EddieMurphy as Mushu.
** ''[[Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove The Emperor's New School]]'' had to substitute David Spade and John Goodman (although the latter, just for one season).
*** Similarly, if you can't get Creator/EdwardNorton for a voice, use David Spade!
** Creator/JamesArnoldTaylor played MichaelJFox's character in a ''Milo's Return'' (the PilotMovie for a planned TV series based on the movie ''AtlantisTheLostEmpire''; Creator/CreeSummer was involved in both the movie and its video sequel).
*** Even people who don't like TelltaleGames' ''VideoGame/BackToTheFuture'' series are blown away by AJ Locascio's MichaelJFox impression.
** On ''BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand'', Creator/PatrickWarburton was ThePoorMansSubstitute for Creator/TimAllen as the voice of Buzz Lightyear (although Allen did reprise the role in ''Buzz Lightyear: The Adventure Begins''; Warburton revoiced Buzz when the movie was shown as episodes of the series).
** Actually, this happens quite a bit in ''KingdomHearts'', probably due to the nature of the whole thing - Tate Donovan apparently turned down the role of Hercules for the first game, so Disney hired Sean Astin. However, once it took off, Donovan reprised the role for ''II''. Nowadays, they still have [[TheOtherDarrin three Darrins]], the voice actresses for Kairi and Naminé, presumably because HaydenPanettiere was doing ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' and Brittany Snow was off doing... something[[note]] Panettiere ''herself'' was, in turn, TheOtherDarrin to Alyson Stoner when she replaced her as the voice of Xion; Stoner had previously been TheOtherDarrin to Panettiere as Kairi. Got that?[[/note]], and the voice actor for Ansem (RichardEpcar replacing Billy Zane). Also, all of the voices of the Hollow Bastion Restoration committee (plus Sephiroth) were replaced for ''II'' (resulting in MandyMoore, Aerith, being replaced and resulting in a hugely amusing voicing situation for Yuffie). And the game ''RE: Chain of Memories'' offers Darrins for the entire Castle Oblivion party because all their voice clips in the [[ChainOfMemories original game]] were of Japanese actors simply with any sentences or spoken phrases removed. There are, however, quite a few surprising aversions for this trope, regardless; the original game had Kathryn Beaumont, the original voice actress of [[Disney/AliceInWonderland Alice]] and [[PeterPan Wendy]].
** Keith Ferguson replacing Owen Wilson as the voice of [[WesternAnimation/{{Cars}} Lightning McQueen]] in the ''[[PixarShorts Cars Toons]]'' series of shorts (LarryTheCableGuy still reprises his role as Mater, however).
* Nigel Bennett (''{{Lexx}}'', ''Series/ForeverKnight'') can fill in for Creator/MalcolmMcDowell in a pinch, and Malcolm can fill in for [[Music/ThePolice Sting]] given the right wig.
** Also Creator/TimCurry is often the answer to the question "Who's available for the Creator/MalcolmMcDowell role when Malcolm is busy?
** Uh, Terence Stamp for live action and Creator/CoreyBurton for voiceover?
* Bryce Dallas Howard was substituted for NicoleKidman in Creator/LarsVonTrier's ''Manderlay'', when Nicole refused to work with him again after ''{{Dogville}}''.
* Josh Radnor is the poor man's substitute for Zach Levi.
* Charles Durning was described as "the fat man's Brian Dennehy" (though in recent years both men have slimmed down quite a bit).
** Creator/BruceCampbell's autobiography mentions Brian Keith feeling kind of like a Poor Man's Brian Dennehy (although not in those words), since Keith kept losing roles to Dennehy.
* Jonathan Lloyd Walker, playing Rankol in the new ''Series/FlashGordon'' series, is clearly a Poor Man's GaryOldman.
* Before the second war in Iraq, Jerry Haleva made a living portraying Saddam Hussein in multiple movies (both comedy and drama). He was frequently cast due to his uncanny resemblance to the Iraqi despot.
* Tom Sizemore: the poor man's Creator/MichaelMadsen.
** Have you taken a good look at Creator/MichaelMadsen's filmography? He might be a poor man's Tom Sizemore these days.
*** Also, given his various problems, Sizemore's probably more expensive anyway.
* Can't afford Creator/DemiMoore? Try MimiRogers on for size.
** MimiRogers, with eerie accuracy, played an actress playing Wendie Malick's character in an episode of ''Dream On''.
* Creator/ChristianBale actually makes a better TomCruise than TomCruise.
** And Billy Crudup would make a decent Creator/ChristianBale.
* Ethan Hawke has also been described as a cut-rate TomCruise.
* Creator/BenStiller and Zach Braff play pretty much the same type of character, making Zach Braff a quick and painless substitute.
* Ron Silver is an obvious replacement for "Hoo-ah"-era AlPacino, and played a Pacinoesque actor in the film ''Lovesick''.
* In the forgotten TV version of the movie ''Harry and the Hendersons'', Bruce Davison and Molly Cheek were substitutes for JohnLithgow and Melinda Dillon.
* Creator/CrispinFreeman has voiced Will Turner (Creator/OrlandoBloom's character from ''PiratesOfTheCaribbean'') so often that even ''he'' has lost track of when the character is voiced by him and when the character is actually voiced by Creator/OrlandoBloom in anything other than the movies themselves.
* James Callis (Dr. Gaius Baltar, ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'') has been described by sci-fi fans as "the poor man's Alexander Siddig" (Dr. Julian Bashir, ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''), though the two actors are similarly accomplished. RonMoore, who has worked on both shows, was once asked by a fan if he noticed this resemblance, and he replied that he hadn't... but now couldn't ''stop'' seeing it after having it pointed out, and that he considered it seriously creeped him out.
* Also from ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'', Matthew Bennett (Aaron Doral) has been dubbed "a poor man's Kevin Spacey".
* Almost happened to Dudley Moore at the height of his American success. He had his biggest box-office hit in ''Arthur'' just a year after PeterSellers, a fellow Brit star (in fact, a friend and colleague), had died. Though he was a ''very'' different personality than Sellers, two films that had been in development for Sellers were made with Moore (''Lovesick'' and ''UnfaithfullyYours''). He was even the initial choice to take over the role of Inspector Clouseau in ThePinkPanther series, but according to Wikipedia was only willing to do the script Sellers had co-written as a GrandFinale, ''Romance of...'', and only if Creator/BlakeEdwards (who wasn't supposed to have been associated with it) would direct it; Edwards didn't want to film that script, and ultimately Moore moved on.
* Creator/CoreyBurton perfected a spot-on Creator/DavidWarner impression for the character Shockwave on ''{{Transformers}}''. Some 22 years later, he ''actually'' got to substitute for Warner in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''. Interestingly enough, he played [[{{Tron}} Sark]], whose voice was the primary influence behind Shockwave's.
** He's also a decent substitute ChristopherLee, having played Count Dooku in both ''[[WesternAnimation/StarWarsCloneWars Clone]] [[WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars Wars]]'' series and [=DiZ=] in the English version of ''KingdomHearts Re:Chain of Memories''.
* Creator/JamesArnoldTaylor has played the prequel incarnation of [[Franchise/StarWars Obi-Wan Kenobi]] (originally played by Creator/EwanMcGregor) on three separate occasions; he's actually not too shabby at it.
** [[WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars Recently]], he's been allowed more free reign with his Obi-Wan. He put pieces of Sir Alec Guinness into his performance, making the character his own and breaking free from being another poor man's substitute.
** Creator/TomKane often stands in for Frank Oz as Yoda.
** Terrence "TC" Carson usually takes over for Creator/SamuelLJackson as Mace Windu.
** Nick Jameson as a VA stand-in for Ian [=McDiarmid=] as Palpatine.
*** Until his death, Ian Abercrombie did the same in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' and related media.
** Matt Sloan (the voice of ChadVader) is the go-to VA stand in for Creator/JamesEarlJones as Darth Vader
** Actually the Kenobi situation is quite funny, as Ewan's performance is supposed to be an impression of Sir Alec Guinness in the first place.
* If you can't afford James Cromwell, Donald Moffat will substitute very well.
** Also, James Cromwell and James Rebhorn are more or less interchangeable.
* In ''The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.'', Julius Carry seems to be filling in for Mr. T, especially with frequent exclamations of "sucka!"
* Since ''Franchise/TombRaider'' fans obviously have no way of getting KeeleyHawes to voice Lara in their fanmade works, they use Tomb Raider Forums mod Greenkey2 (Jenni Milward) who sounds very similar to both Keeley and a previous voice actress, Judith Gibbins.
* After her roles in ''{{Superbad}}'', ''The Rocker'', ''The House Bunny'' and ''Film/{{Zombieland}}'', EmmaStone seems to have become an uncannily perfect substitute for LindsayLohan.
* Creator/JohnRhysDavies' voice bears a remarkable similarity to Creator/SeanConnery, to say nothing of his uncanny performance in ''Aladdin and the King of Thieves''.
** Unable to get either Connery or Rhys-Davies for a voice role? Leave it to Bob Joles.
* Creator/NicolasCage was the producer of the ''Series/DresdenFiles'' television adaptation; Paul Blackthorne, the lead actor in the series, bears a strong resemblance to, and sometimes seems to be performing an impression of, Cage; possibly Cage wanted to play the part but was either deemed too old or was otherwise engaged.
* Several actors have tried being poor man's versions of Creator/JimCarrey, to varying degrees of success. Eric Christian Olsen played a younger version of Carrey's character Lloyd in ''Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd''. Jamie Kennedy played a character similar to Carrey's from ''Film/TheMask'' in ''SonOfTheMask''. Rob Paulsen is the go to guy for voicing animated version of Carrey roles.
* '''InAWorld''' where Don [=LaFontaine=] is no longer with us, Hal Douglas is still around for dramatic movie trailer voiceovers.
** As well as PeterCullen. He did great with {{Toonami}} for years.
** In a land [[LondonTown where there is much tea and crumpets and a consitutional monarchy]], there is Redd Pepper.
** In Japanese trailers, Creator/FumihikoTachiki does the same job as well, or HirokiYasumoto.
** Ditto with Sebastian Llapur in Mexico.
* There has been a fair amount of talk describing KatieMcGrath of ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' as a potential substitute for KeiraKnightley, despite their notably different body shapes (one has famously modest cleavage while the other... doesn't) and the fact that Katie isn't even English (she's Irish). Apparently having a stong jawline and being a pale, twenty-something brunette actress (and one who is naturally blonde at that) is enough similarity.
* KeiraKnightley herself was the poor man's NataliePortman in ''ThePhantomMenace'': she was cast as the decoy queen because of her resemblance to Portman, who was playing the actual queen.
** To the point where Portman's own parents thought Keira was their daughter. Though to be fair, she was in costume and wearing a ton of make-up.
** Creator/ChristinaRicci has often described herself as the poor man's NataliePortman. In the 90's, she often took roles that Portman had already passed on.
* Averted when Nathan Lane voiced Timon on the ''Timon and Pumbaa'' animated series, but played straight when he was replaced by Kevin Schon after the first season. Schon also replaced Lane in Disney's ''Teacher's Pet'' in a few episodes, sometimes with both voices appearing ''in the same episode.''
* Despite being a (marginally) better actor, Joe Flannigan has been described as the small-screen KeanuReeves.
** Should you need a faux Reeves for the big screen, Chris Klein might work, which seems to be what the producers of the excruciating ''Rollerball'' remake were going for.
* The band Music/{{Journey}} hired Filipino singer Arnel Pineda as a replacement for former lead Steve Perry. Obviously, being Filipino, Pineda ''looks'' nothing like Perry-- but his voice is ''incredibly'' similar.
* Similarly, it can be hard to tell TimMcGraw and Rodney Atkins apart.
* PhilCollins, already the drummer for the band Music/{{Genesis}}, became the lead singer after PeterGabriel left, and was described as being a better Gabriel sound-alike than Gabriel himself (though without [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible the eccentric theatrical flair]]). So, possibly an inversion.
* ''Film/StarTrekIIITheSearchForSpock'' has Robin Curtis as a poor woman's Kirstie Alley. Notice only one of those actresses went on to become a household name.
* Can't get SeanBean? Go with David Wenham instead. The latter was even cast as Faramir in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' because he looked so much like Sean, who played Faramir's brother. Coincidentally, their on-screen father Denethor treats Faramir like he's merely a poor man's substitute for his older brother.
** Better yet, Creator/RichardArmitage- similar look, similar voice and similar taste in roles- compare John Porter from StrikeBack to Andy [=McNab=], or antiheroic Guy of Gisbourne to Boromir.
* Jeffrey Dean Morgan (the Comedian in ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'') is often compared to RobertDowneyJr, mostly because they have almost the same exact face. It came up many interviews he did in the run-up to ''Watchmen''. Ironically, the sudden surge in Downey's popularity appears to have made this PoorMansSubstitute too expensive for shooting flashback scenes in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''.
** He also stated in an interview people [[CelebrityResemblance confuse him for Javier Bardem.]]
* Matthew Goode's Adrian Veidt from ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'' looks like DavidBowie, which is only natural because that's who the original character was modeled after.
* When Creator/ChuckJones wanted to make a sequel to ''[[OneFroggyEveningCartoon One Froggy Evening]]'', in honor of Michigan J. Frog becoming the mascot of TheWB, they ran into a major problem--nobody seemed to be able to pinpoint who had played him. When they finally figured it out, they found the voice was that of Bill Roberts, who had been dead for years. For the new short and WB bumpers, the Frog was voiced by Jeff [=McCarthy=] until the character was retired in 2005.
* If you can't afford Sir BenKingsley, [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0042805/ Erick Avari]] will do in a pinch. It helps that he's a classic [[HeyItsThatGuy That Guy]].
** And [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0744690/ Carlo Rota]] if you can't get Erick Avari.
* BenKingsley himself is a viable substitute for early actor Creator/GeorgesMelies of ''ATripToTheMoon'' fame, especially since the man himself is long dead.
** Kingsley portrayed [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0617588/ Méliès]] in Creator/MartinScorsese's film ''Film/{{Hugo}}''.
* Creator/JamesArnoldTaylor is your man to go if you want a JohnnyDepp stand-in voice on the cheap, as evidenced by the ''Film/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' LicensedGame and ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''.
* James Purefoy is pretty much a Hong Kong Knockoff of Creator/GerardButler.
* Nicholas Farrell makes a good substitute for BillNighy. Another classic [[HeyItsThatGuy That Guy]], who's been in ''ChariotsOfFire'', ''FoylesWar'', ''Film/PearlHarbor'', and ''TheChoir'', to name a few.
* Olivier Rabourdin in Film/{{Taken}} plays a convincing Kevin Spacey acting as a French cop.
* Chris Rock did an infamous rant on this subject during his AcademyAward host monologue. He actually called people in the room poor men's substitutes (for other people in the room).
** Including himself as DenzelWashington's substitute ("If you want Denzel Washington and all you can get is me, WAIT! Denzel is a fine actor. He wouldn't never do ''Film/PootieTang''. After I did ''Pootie Tang'', Cuba Gooding sent me a check for $80.").
** DaveChappelle did a commercial for ''Chappelle Show'' in which he shouted "I am not Chris Rock!".
* Creator/EliRoth looks a lot like ZacharyQuinto. Apparently, Eli has tweeted about getting mistaken for Zach.
* Here's a fun drinking game. Go on JesseEisenberg's IMDb board, take a shot every time you see a thread title with "MichaelCera" in it.
** Since both of those guys are expensive, try Creator/JayBaruchel.
** In a similar vein, if you can't afford Cera OR Eisenberg, Gaelan Connell slots in just as easily for a fraction of the cost.
* Need a younger, cheaper JackBlack? Dan Fogler's your man. Or you can get the Canadian import brand: Tyler Labine.
** A clean-shaven Fogler can also fill in for Jonah Hill.
* Cheap horror spoof ''Stan Helsing'' is notable only for having at least three PoorMansSubstitute - Diora Baird and Steve Howey are uncanny substitutes for Rachel Bilson and Ashton Kutcher and while Desi Lydic doesn't especially ''physically'' resemble Christina Applegate (other than being blonde and pretty in a kooky sort of way) her ''voice'' is absolutely identical.
* Moira Kelly took over the role of Donna Hayward from Lara Flynn Boyle in ''TwinPeaks: Fire Walk With Me''.
* GeorgeCScott took over at least three roles from Lee J. Cobb: Willy Loman in ''DeathOfASalesman'' onstage, Juror #3 in ''TwelveAngryMen'' on TV, and Lt. Kinderman in ''TheExorcistIII''. (Of course, in this case, Scott is an Oscar winner and would generally be considered more famous.)
* Can't get Lea Salonga, {{Disney}}? Don't worry, there's always Liz Callaway.
* Really, the only reason that MichaelIronside has had such a successful career is that JackNicholson is so damn expensive, and Powers Boothe a little too much.
** If Nicholson starts getting too old, Creator/ChristianSlater is still up for his jobs. At least that's what they did in ''Film/{{Heathers}}''.
* Jerry Doyle is the poor man's BruceWillis. Compare Doyle in season 1 of ''[[Series/BabylonFive Babylon 5]]'' to Willis in the original ''Film/DieHard'', then season 3 Doyle to ''Die Hard With A Vengeance'' Willis, and cap it off with season 5 Doyle to ''Live Free Or Die Hard'' Willis. It's uncanny.
** Mr. Doyle's first professional acting role was on ''{{Moonlighting}}'', playing a guy who was impersonating Bruce Willis' character.
* Robert Costanzo (''Film/DieHard 2'', ''Film/TotalRecall1990'', ''SewerShark'') definitely looks like a poor man's Danny [=DeVito=].
** He sounds like him as well, considering he replaced [=DeVito=] as Phil in the ''Hercules'' RecycledTheSeries.
* Can't cast Kate Beckinsale in your next movie? That's fine, Rhona Mitra will do.
* Rita Wilson seems to be a poor man's Kelly Preston.
* Creator/MiaWasikowska of ''Film/AliceInWonderland'' looks uncannily like a young Gwyneth Paltrow, should one be called for.
* Charles Shaughnessy looks a lot like Richard Gere. His most well known role is [[TheNanny Maxwell Sheffield]] - exactly the [[MrFanservice kind of guy]], Gere is often [[TypeCasting typecast]] as.
* Opera world has a tendency lately... can't get Sir John Tomlinson? Go and hire Peter Rose. (Well, since Tomlinson is over 60 and Rose in his prime, both great British basses and moving in the same repertory, also both bearlike, it's logical.) Then again, years ago, a young Tomlinson was this when James Morris refused to sing Wotan in the futuristic Kupfer Ring.
* MeganFox is what happens when AngelinaJolie takes a quasi-break from acting (or maybe just a quasi-break from crazy) to raise her own soccer team. After all, what's Hollywood without at least one BiTheWay starlet?
** Similarly if you can't get Megan Fox, Odette Yustman is probably available - and can, you know, act.
** If you don't want somebody so young, Dina Meyer makes a great poor man's Angelina Jolie. As if Dina Meyer is a poor man's ''anything''.
* Can't get Julia Stiles for your sequel? Just call Kam Heskin or Isabella Miko.
** Erika Christensen is frequently referred to as a poor man's Julia Stiles.
* Can't get Ali Larter? Call Alice Eve Or Amy Smart.
* Can't get Creator/ZooeyDeschanel, Creator/AnneHathaway, Alison Brie OR Lizzy Caplan? That's bad enough, but lucky for you Krysten Ritter and KatDennings can swing by.
* Need an older MileyCyrus? Call Alexis Dzienza. Need someone less annoying? Get Lyndsy Fonseca.
* [[Creator/StellanSkarsgard Stellan Skarsgård]] and LiamNeeson. Skarsgård was actually asked by Spielberg to play the lead in ''SchindlersList'' but declined due to the role being too similar to his role as Raoul Wallenberg in ''Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg''. When he declined he suggested to Spielberg that he should offer the role to Liam Neeson instead, since people kept getting Neeson and Skarsgård mixed up.
* RobertCait can pass as [[Creator/NormMacdonald Norm [=MacDonald=]]], at least in voice acting. (See: WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents in Fairy Idol)
** So can Adam Carolla.
* So you want a young HarrisonFord but don't have a [[OurTimeTravelIsDifferent time machine]]? Get JensenAckles. [[Series/{{Supernatural}} Eric Kripke]] did. (Note: personality, not looks.)
** Jensen could also work as a Brad Pitt-type.
** If you want the role of an older Harrison Ford without the money, try Dennis Quaid.
*** WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick once remarked that Dennis Quaid could be referred to - word for word - as "the poor man's Kevin Costner".
* Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio to Creator/RiverPhoenix in the early 90s. He took on two roles that was meant for River (''Total Eclipse'' and ''Basketball Diaries''), and was considered to play Daniel in ''InterviewWithTheVampire'', which was initially meant for River Phoenix (ultimately played by Creator/ChristianSlater).
* Meet [[http://www.imdb.com/media/rm502897408/nm1273975 Mónica Cruz]], the 3 years younger and nearly indistinguishable sister to [[PenelopeCruz Penélope Cruz]]. The most hilarious part is that she wasn't an actress originally but a dancer and choreographer, and began acting just ''because'' how much people who couldn't cast Penélope kept offering roles to her.
* Can't get Creator/JoaquinPhoenix? Try Rufus Sewell.
* Who doesn't think that NathanFillion would be an awesome poor man's substitute for Brendan Fraser?
** I think you have that backwards.
** Creator/NathanFillion is sometimes mistaken for Jason Bateman. To the point where it got him out of a speeding ticket once. Later lampshaded on ''Castle'', when (fictional) celebrity author Richard Castle is mistaken for Bateman by the press.
*** On the Richard Castle twitter feed, Castle says he's sometimes mistaken for actor NathanFillion. He mentions in one episode that he's a fan of that old Joss Whedon scifi show, though he doesn't mention it by name. Thus resolving the CelebrityParadox in the Castle-verse.
* James Franciscus was cast in ''Beneath The PlanetOfTheApes'' specifically because he looked like Charlton Heston (who is also in the movie, but for much less time).
* According to BryanDanielson, MichaelCole is a poor man's JimRoss.
** In this case, it's decidely ''not'' meant to be a compliment.
* Also applies to the soundtracks of movies too. [[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick Can't get Elton John? Get Barry Manilow instead.]]
* Worried that RussellCrowe might just be a bit too talented for your movie? Then give Creator/GerardButler a call.
* Creator/JeremyIrons damage his vocal chords while screaming "'''[[Disney/TheLionKing You won't get a sniff without me!]]'''"? ChristopherLloyd [[WesternAnimation/{{Anastasia}} just can't sing]]? Just need someone to say something while sounding somewhat like someone else? Call Creator/JimCummings!
* Jude Law has twice taken roles once played by a younger Michael Caine, in remakes of ''Alfie'' and ''Sleuth''.
** Tom Hanks has sort of taken roles twice played by Cary Grant, directly doing so in ''The Money Pit'', a remake of ''Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House'' and indirectly doing so in ''Sleepless in Seattle'', a pseudo-remake of ''An Affair to Remember''.
* James Roday practically is Creator/BenStiller in TheDukesOfHazzard [[TheMovie movie]].
* Eric Loomis voice subs for RobertDowneyJr as Iron Man for the tie in game to the second film and ''WesternAnimation/AvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes''. It's actually pretty damn close and since those, he's reprised the role in ''MarvelVsCapcom3''. It also happens to be his natural speaking voice.
* TinaFey did this to herself by casting Creator/JuliaLouisDreyfus to play her in flashbacks during 30Rock's live episode. It's a toss up who's the poor man in this one.
--> '''Liz Lemon:''' My memory has ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' money.
* If you can't get RieKugimiya, you'd do well to track down Kyouka (Reo Kawamura's seiyuu from {{Sonohana}}).
* The resemblance between Martin Sheen and his brother Joe Estevez, both in appearance and voice, came in handy during the making of Film/ApocalypseNow. First, there was Sheen's near-fatal heart attack during the filming, which led to Estevez being brought in as a double in some shots. Later on, Estevez was again used during the editing to record Willard's voiceover narration when Sheen was unavailable.
* Maggie Lawson and Alicia Silverstone look almost identical.
** Also Rachel Blanchard who [[TheOtherDarrin Other Darrined]] for Silverstone in Film/{{Clueless}} TV series.
** Alicia Silverstone, Drew Barrymore, and Reese Witherspoon have all said that they sometimes get mistaken for each other.
* According to an interview, Kiefer Sutherland started his career by calling places and claiming he could do "Donald Sutherland voiceovers"...for half price.
* Thickly accented German bodybuilder Ralf Möller for thickly accented Austrian bodybuilder Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger in the low-budget TV series ''Series/ConanTheAdventurer''.
* Since Wesley Snipes wouldn't resume his role as {{Blade}} for ''BladeTheSeries'', the creators replaced him with rapper Kirk "Sticky Fingaz" Jones.
* French martial artist Olivier Gruner for Belgian martial artist JeanClaudeVanDamme.
* German-born [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001424/ Udo Kier]] for Armand Assante.
* Need an Alec Baldwin sound-alike? Look no further than FredTatasciore.
* JimCummings is the embodiment of this trope. He's replaced Sterling Holloway as Winnie the Pooh, Louis Prima as Louie from the Jungle Book, and MelBlanc as the Tasmanian Devil in Tasmania.
* Non - acting example: Long before his death, JerryGoldsmith was often the poor man's substitute to JohnWilliams. If you can't get the more expensive Music/JohnWilliams (who is often picky about the films he wanted to score) you could get the equally awesome JerryGoldsmith to score your films.
* Non-acting example: During the 1980s, Paddy Kingsland filled in nicely when Tangerine Dream wasn't avaialable.
* Even now that his career is slowing down, Rutger Hauer can sometimes still be a bit pricey. When that problem arises, just call Patrick Bergin.
* If Creator/JasonStatham isn't available to do ''Film/TheTransporter'' TV series, Chris Vance (''Series/PrisonBreak'', ''Mental'', ''Series/BurnNotice'', ''Series/{{Dexter}}'') can drive around and kick butt, while retaining the accent.
* Someone looking for a less prominent Creator/TomCruise could go with Creator/JohnBarrowman, who has almost identical cheekbones and even a similar voice, though much higher and smoother, like a Tom Cruise without a hypothetical pack a day smoking habit.
* If Creator/JackieChan is not available, there is always James Sie. James Sie is Jackie Chan in ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' cartoon segments while the real Jackie Chan is in the live action segments. Sie also voices Master Monkey in ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPandaLegendsOfAwesomeness'' and the video game adaptation of the original movie.
* Creator/DavidTennant and [[DeadLikeMe Callum Blue]] haven't filled in for each other, but totally could.
* Josh Lucas bears a striking resemblance to Matthew [=McConaughey=] (and is arguably a better actor, though not as well-known. This perception might change considering the latter won an oscar).
* MicahSolusod is often considered to be {{Funimation}}'s equivalent to JohnnyYongBosch. This was mainly because his role as the titular character of ''Manga/SoulEater'' was misattributed to Johnny. To hamer this comparison out, Micah's recent role as Liszt in ''LightNovel/OokamiSan'' sounds ''exactly'' like Johnny's role as [[LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya Itsuki]]. And made funnier when it's been announced that he will be replacing Johnny in the role of Kazuki Makabe in the [[FafnerInTheAzureDeadAggressor Fafner]] film adaptation and Claus Valca in the LastExile [[LastExileFamTheSilverWing sequel]].
* Want Creator/JamesArnoldTaylor to do anime voice work? Too bad, [[UsefulNotes/UnionsInHollywood union issues]]. Hire VicMignogna instead. This is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in [[http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=9z4I04iFLcc the comments of a Disgaea 3 gameplay.]]
* Many have mistaken the voice acting of Creator/TravisWillingham with Creator/PatrickSeitz and vice versa. This is mainly due to their similar-sounding [[BadassBaritone voices]].
* JessicaBoone and Creator/MelissaDavis also get mistaken for each other, whenever either of them use a teenage-like voice, they sound creepingly the same.
** Add Creator/EmilyNeves to that group, as well.
* JeffBridges unavailable for voice work? Just call FredTatasciore.
* Blonde B-movie actresses Kristy Swanson and Erika Eleniak are about the same age (Eleniak is a few months older) and look enough like each other to be confused often - so much so that Swanson was once credited as a ''{{Baywatch}}'' cast member (Eleniak's show) despite never having appeared on it. These two actually subvert the Marilyn Monroe/Jayne Mansfield dynamic in that Eleniak is (arguably) the more famous of the two due to ''Baywatch'' and her ''{{Playboy}}'' appearances, but Swanson is (arguably) the superior actress. In fact, one website humorously refers to Swanson as "the rich woman's Erika Eleniak."
* OlderThanYouThink: In the 1930's, Warren William was sometimes referred to as a poor man's William Powell.
* When ScoobyDoo made its ChannelHop from CBS to ABC, Nicole Jaffe was replaced as the voice of Velma with Patricia Stevens. She did serviceable work, but she left in the middle of the 1979 season and was replaced with Marla Frumkin, whose voice reading was flat and disjointed.
** Scooby himself had his voice filled by Hadley Kay and Scott Innes following the death of original voice Don Messick until Creator/FrankWelker became his new permanent voice.
* CraigMcCracken originally wanted JackBlack as the voice of the evil gnome in the [[ThePowerpuffGirls Powerpuff Girls]] episode "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey." Black was too busy and too expensive, so Creator/JessHarnell assumed the voice, doing an eerily good impression.
** Mike Wingert also does a frighteningly good Jack Black impression playing Po, Jack Black's character from ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' in the Nickelodeon show ''Series/KungFuPandaLegendsOfAwesomeness''.
* Need a [[BrooklynRage tough, rugged-faced New York Jew]] but can't get a hold of Creator/HarveyKeitel? Joseph Bologna will do (even though [[FakeNationality he isn't actually Jewish]]).
* While either is fairly pricy, if you need Creator/SamuelLJackson, and he's not available, LaurenceFishburne would do nicely. Likewise, if you need Fishburne and can't get him, Jackson's a good bet.
** Though they look nothing alike, VingRhames is a cheaper alternative to both, if all you're looking for is a generic ScaryBlackMan character.
*** In addition, Ving Rhames makes a pretty good substitute for the, now deceased, MichaelClarkeDuncan
* Can't get Creator/MarkHamill to voice a villain for you? Hire Creator/LiamOBrien instead.
** Or if Liam isn't available at that time, Creator/KeithSilverstein will suffice.
*** If {{Funimation}} is involved, hire Creator/JMichaelTatum to voice your villain.
* Can't get a Creator/KariWahlgren to voice a LadyOfWar, FemmeFatale, mature/stern woman, MsFanservice or a spunky girl? Hire Creator/LaurenLanda.
** If {{Funimation}} is involved, hire Creator/LuciChristian instead.
* Can't get Creator/AkiraIshida to voice a NiceGuy {{bishonen}}? Hire Creator/HiroShimono instead.
* Kevin James has carved out a niche for himself as the poor man's Creator/ChrisFarley.
** [[FanDumb Or, you know....]][[AuthorExistenceFailure ...the live man's]] Creator/ChrisFarley.
* [[http://www.google.com/imgres?q=marta+dusseldorp&start=75&hl=en&sa=X&tbo=d&biw=1024&bih=587&tbm=isch&tbnid=0YovLtxjzYruTM:&imgrefurl=http://www.karlsweb.com/karlswebenscapelopedia/AE_G-H.htm&docid=zMQB-0jQ91dzuM&imgurl=http://www.karlsweb.com/karlswebenscapelopedia/PediaImages/AE/Henta_small.jpg&w=150&h=170&ei=Hjm7UNK_J4eQ2AXM-IBw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=182&vpy=225&dur=16&hovh=136&hovw=120&tx=78&ty=78&sig=114359527883168363668&page=4&tbnh=136&tbnw=120&ndsp=25&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:75,i:28 Marta Dusseldorp]], who among other minor roles played Officer Yal Henta (an old friend of Aeryn Sun's from her Peacekeeper days) on ''{{Farscape}}'' ("Into the Lion's Den" parts I and II), bears an uncanny resemblance to BridgetFonda.
* Jon Cryer spent the 1980s taking on the excess workload that MatthewBroderick didn't have time for. He even replaced Broderick in ''Torch Song Trilogy'' on Broadway.
* Can't get Creator/YuriLowenthal to voice a KidHero in an anime? No problem! Either Creator/BrycePapenbrook, Creator/JohnnyYongBosch, Creator/SteveStaley or Creator/ToddHaberkorn will do the job.
** If {{Funimation}} is involved, either Creator/GregAyres, Creator/JoshGrelle, Creator/ToddHaberkorn or Creator/MicahSolusod will do the job.
** If Sentai is involved, either Creator/GregAyres, Creator/JoshGrelle, Creator/ChrisPatton or Creator/BlakeShepard will do the job.
** Also, Yuri's wife, TaraPlatt, fills the forte of LadyOfWar, FemmeFatale, and mature/stern woman typecast that Creator/MaryElizabethMcGlynn held for years.
* If an anime is being dubbed in Houston and you want someone to voice a [[TokenMiniMoe loli]] and Creator/HilaryHaag is somewhat not available, get Creator/LuciChristian to do it.
** And for the record with Creator/BangZoomEntertainment, relative newcomer ChristineMarieCabanos is filling the void as well for Creator/StephanieSheh.
* If you need someone like Creator/GeorgeClooney but can't afford him, Adam Arkin is your man.
* Saskia Reeves looks and sounds remarkably like Creator/EmmaThompson (coincidentally, both were born in the same area of London, which explains the similarity of accents).
* Either will probably cost you, but Ginnifer Goodwin and Jennifer Morrison are apparently so interchangeable they've actually done interviews as each other (without discussion between them about it), since people mix them up so frequently.
** If you need a child version of either (especially Goodwin), you need Bailee Madison.
* Looking for a younger version of TommyLeeJones? Look no further than Josh Brolin. (He could be an excellent substitute for HarrisonFord, too.)
* Need Creator/TimCurry and he's not available or is too expensive for you? Jemaine Clement demonstrated in ''Film/MenInBlack 3'' that he'd do very well as a substitute.
* Need ZacEfron but can't get a Zac Efron? Drew Seeley's your man! They don't actually look too much alike, but mister Seeley did Zac's signing bits in the first HighSchoolMusical and toured with the cast (which is odd because Zac can actually sing). Since then he's been in a lot of lower budget tween friendly musical projects, the type Zac would have been perfect for it HighSchoolMusical hadn't somehow turned him into a known name.
* Doing a dinosaur documentary and TyrannosaurusRex hasn't evolved yet? Well, Allosaurus is nearly as big! The poor thing's [[MeaningfulName name]] even means 'other lizard.'
* The movie Infamous set Toby Jones on the path of a poor man's Phillip Seymour Hoffman. However, since then Toby Jones has had at least some fairly high-profile roles, including a fairly significant supporting role in the CaptainAmerica movie.
* The success of ''ModernFamily'' has created a demand for a more affordable Ty Burrell, a niche capably filled by Mather Zickel.

!!Subversions:
* Don Adams for ''Inspector Gadget''.
* In ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'', when the casting agents were asking for "a MaryMcDonnell type" for Laura Roslin, and wound up ''getting'' Mary [=McDonnell=]. Apparently, the same thing happened with Edward James Olmos for Commander Adama.
** Cooler still, the role was ''written for Mary [=McDonnell=]''... they just never imagined they'd actually ''get'' her.
* A similar subversion happened when voice actors were being cast for ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'' The production team wanted someone who sounded like Kathleen Turner for Jessica Rabbit -- and ended up hiring Kathleen Turner.
* Similarly, the creators of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' wanted somebody who sounded like Jason Isaacs to play Zhao, as they got the idea for the character from Isaac's character in ''ThePatriot'' -- but the real Jason Isaacs wound up taking the job instead.
* And then there's Douglas Adams looking for a "Peter Jones-y" type for the voice of the Guide in the radio series of ''Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''. Eventually, "someone's secretary" suggested...
** Jones voiced the Guide from then out in any adaptation that required audio, until his death in 2000. William Franklyn replaced him in the revival of the radio series, and Stephen Fry replaced him for TheMovie.
* Casting was looking for the part of Dr. Cox on ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' to be filled by a ''John C. [=McGinley=]-type''. Apparently, John C. [=McGinley=] still had to audition, possibly making him his own [[ThePoorMansSubstitute Poor Man]]. The mind boggles...
* After Creator/BettyWhite heard that the producers of ''TheMaryTylerMooreShow'' were looking for a Betty White type, she approached them and said they could have the real thing.
* Creator/MelBrooks advertised in the trade papers that he wanted a "Frankie Laine-type" to sing the theme song to ''Film/BlazingSaddles''. A few days later, Frankie Laine turned up at Brooks' office and offered his services. He was also unaware that it was a comedy, causing Brooks to feel embarrassed by how much heart Laine put into the song.
* SeanConnery agreeing to appear in ''TimeBandits''. The original script even said something like "Agamemnon takes off his helmet, revealing Sean Connery, or an actor of equal but cheaper stature."
* Casting for TaxiDriver, Scorcese asked for a "Cybill Shepherd type". When her agent offered Shepherd herself for the part, Scorcese replied "We can't afford her." The agent told him "She'll do it for whatever you can pay." At that time, Shepherd had just come off Daisy Miller for which she got bad reviews; coupled with her relationship with the recently-backlashed Peter Bogdanovich, she was desperate for the credibility that the role would bring.
* Another example was ''Film/ThePrincessBride''. When it was first planned in the 1970s, William Goldman wanted wrestling star Andre the Giant to play Fezzik, but settled for an unknown bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger. By the time it got out of DevelopmentHell in the '80s, Arnold was well out of their price range, but Andre the Giant was very much available.
* Michael York heard a rumor that the makers of ''{{Cabaret}}'' wanted to cast a "young Michael York type" and suggested to his agent that "he might possibly qualify".
* For the role of Nina Van Horn on ''JustShootMe'', creator Steve Levitan wanted a "Wendie Malick type, but older". When none of the actresses who auditioned proved satisfactory, Levitan cast Malick and wrote the character younger.
* Recalling his performance as Nick Locarno in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', the producers of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' sought a "Robert Duncan [=McNeill=] type" to play [[{{Expy}} Locarno type]] Tom Paris. When no suitable replacement could be found, [=McNeill=] got the part.
** Another version of this story is that Paris was originally going to ''be'' Locarno, but the producers decided that the character was unredeemable (or they didn't want to pay royalties to his creator, depending on who you ask)... then hired [=McNeill=] anyway.
* Wacky {{inversion}} here: Creator/CharlieChaplin once entered a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest in San Francisco. History records that he never made the final round, suggesting that Chaplin wasn't a very good substitute for... himself.
** Same with George Harrison, who is even more of an inversion because it was who could look like the person himself instead of a character (the Chaplin contest was actually for the "tramp" character; Chaplin had the behavior down perfect, but no costume or make-up).
** This was parodied in a commercial starring Julio Iglesias.
** Also parodied in "Cartman's Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut" from ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''. Auditions were held for a dramatic re-enactment of Dr. Mephesto being shot, and Mr. Garrison auditions for the role of himself. The director just moves on to the next tryout, who looked and sounded nothing like the real Garrison but still got the role.
* In a similar vein to the Chaplin example, for TheWire Jay Landsman (the cop the character was based on) read for his fictional counterpart, only to be told by Creator/DavidSimon that he wasn't a good enough Jay Landsman, so Simon cast Delaney Williams to play the fictional Jay and the real Landsman got the part of Lt. Dennis Miello instead.
* When NBC needed an Ian [=McShane=]-type to play King Silas Benjamin on ''{{Kings}}''...
* The first-season ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' episode "Oasis" guest-starred Trek veteran Rene Auberjonois. [[http://www.treknation.com/interviews/rene_auberjonois.shtml As he tells it]], they were looking for someone similar to him, and Rick Berman said "Why don't we just get Rene?"
* A similar thing happened with the character of Leo [=McGarry=] on TheWestWing. Aaron Sorkin asked for "someone like John Spencer" and got... John Spencer.
* In an interview, Ben Stiller claimed that getting Creator/DustinHoffman and Barbara Streisand to play the titular couple in ''Film/MeetTheFockers'' was "the pipe dream" and the production crew were considering other possibilities until both accepted, much to their surprise.
* When the creators of ''TheGoldenGirls'' were casting the role of Dorothy, they said they were looking for a "Bea Arthur-type". Guess who got the part?
* For the film ''LoveActually,'' one of the producers reportedly wanted "a Laura Linney type" for a specific role and mentioned it at the slightest opportunity. Eventually the director snapped, told him "Oh for fuck's sake, just get Laura Linney then," and she joined the cast.
* The ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' writers wanted Nate, the leader of the titular band of thieves, to be an actor similar to Timothy Hutton. Hutton got the part.
* The producers of the ''Flipper'' big screen adaptation were looking for a 'Paul Hogan type'; Paul Hogan heard and contacted them.
* For ''BrutalLegend,'' Double Fine based the main character, Eddie Riggs, on something of a caricature of JackBlack. Now they just needed to find someone who could imitate Jack Black. Guess who they ended up getting for the part?
** Incidentally, this lead from Eddie's character going from a NoCelebritiesWereHarmed design to a full-on InkSuitActor.
* Played with in ''TheSimpsons''. They actually got MichaelJackson to play as a fat white guy who was in a mental hospital who thought he was MichaelJackson. However, Michael Jackson used a plain sounding pen name in the credits and used an impersonator to do his songs on the show which were sung by an impersonator that he voiced the speaking voice of. Confused yet?
** To be more clear: TheSimpsons paid enough for 'talking' Michael Jackson, but not enough for 'singing' Michael Jackson.
*** Actually it had less to do with money and more to do with contract stipulations. Jackson just didn't WANT to do the singing parts. He still recorded versions of those parts, however.
* ''VideoGame/ThePunisher'' (the 2005 video game) is a good subversion. The game itself was written by long time writer GarthEnnis, and was loosely based on various events from his run with the comic as well as events from the 2004 movie. Imagine the surprise the developers had when Thomas Jane responded to the casting call.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMFvAb1Wao4 One of the teasers]] for ''{{JCVD}}'' has JeanClaudeVanDamme turn up to a casting call for the film, which is about JeanClaudeVanDamme. He still has to audition.
* Supposedly Alec Baldwin had volunteered to voice himself in ''TeamAmerica'' but the creators refused on the grounds that [[MauriceLaMarche the guy they had]] was better. Actually, Baldwin, Creator/GeorgeClooney, and Creator/MattDamon all thought that their caricatures were so hilarious, that they [[WhatCouldHaveBeen would have]] gladly voiced themselves if Trey & Matt had asked.
* The Coen brothers wanted the opening narration for ''TheBigLebowski '' to be read by someone [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rmw5g_WQpM "sounding not unlike Sam Elliott."]] Ultimately, they were able to get Sam Elliott himself.
* Zach Braff has stated in interviews that when GardenState was in development, he and his friends kept saying they wanted somebody ''like'' NataliePortman for the lead female role, never dreaming that they might actually get ''her''.
* Valve wanted someone with the vocal talent of Louis Gossett Jr. to voice the extra-dimensional beings known as the Vortigaunt in ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life 2}}'', based on his performance in ''Film/EnemyMine''. They ended up with... Louis Gossett Jr. Too bad not for the following episode releases though.
** Another Valve example: the writers of ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' wrote Wheatley's character specifically with Stephen Merchant in mind, but they never expected to actually land him for the role. It wasn't until after the actor they first cast backed out that they decided to contact Merchant, just for the hell of it, and, lo and behold, he said yes.
* When casting for the film ''Super'', James Gunn, never imagining having KevinBacon or EllenPage cast, had asked for Kevin Bacon and Ellen Page-types.
* The script of ''{{Predators}}'' described Cuchillo as "a guy who looks like Creator/DannyTrejo." When Danny heard this, he called Robert Rodriguez and said "Hey, I heard there's a guy in the script for Predators who looks just like Danny Trejo and guess what, I look just like Danny Trejo!"
* Character Tod Spengo from MomandDadSavetheWorld was so heavily based on Jon Lovitz' stage persona that they would have simply named the character "Jon Lovitz" if they thought they could get him. They actually did, and Lovitz loved the Tod-centric set pieces so much he said he wanted to take them home and put them around his pool.
* Inverted with ''Series/KamenRiderDragonKnight''. Jason David Frank was set to play Len/Wing Knight, but he was later replaced with Matt Mullins, since the producers wanted ''Dragon Knight'' to succeed on its own merits rather than piggybacking on JDF's popularity from ''PowerRangers''.
* Discord from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' was created after LaurenFaust had a ''Franchise/StarTrek'' ArchiveBinge and is basically a sadistic, but LaughablyEvil version of [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Q]]. As such, they originally intended to get a Creator/JohnDeLancie sound-alike for the role, but instead managed to get the ''real'' Creator/JohnDeLancie. Lauren has even said herself to have been blown away when they got him.
* The producers of ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' didn't expect Liza Minelli to actually agree to play a recurring role on the show, but when Ron Howard asked her, she agreed because the two of them had been close friends for a long time.
* JessicaWalter became interested in ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'' after her manager sent her the pilot script, which included the line "think Jessica Walter in ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment''" to describe Malory Archer.

!!In-Universe:
* There's a moment in the ''Series/{{Skins}}'' series 4 finale where - prompted by a drunk Naomi - Cook realises that his latest random squeeze (Arcia) is a Poor Man's Substitute for Effy. He ditches her as soon as he twigs what he's doing.
** Played for laughs in {{Friends}} when Rachel breaks up with nerdy paleontologist Ross (played by David Schwimmer) and hooks up with nerdy periodontist Russ (played by David Schwimmer).
--> '''Monica:''' See? They're as different as night and...later that night.
* Rare fictional example - in the MarvelUniverse, [=USAgent=] is treated by ''everyone'' as a poor man's substitute for CaptainAmerica. This was lampshaded in an issue of ''Mighty Avengers'', by Loki of all people. Disguised as the Scarlet Witch (long story), he attempts to recruit Captain America for his new Avengers team and on discovering that Cap is dead goes to [=USAgent=] and effectively says "You'll have to do".
* Similarly, in the ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited'' episode "The Greatest Story Never Told", Booster Gold spends the beginning of the episode teamed with the Elongated Man, who complains about being the League's poor man's Plastic Man. He is indeed used for that purpose by the end of the episode.
* ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore 2'' gives us Eight Ball/Hustler Two, poor man's substitute and claimed descendant of the series' [[ThatOneBoss Nine Ball/Hustler One]]. He's very low ranked and pilots a vastly inferior mech. [[spoiler: Nine Ball was also an AI.]]
* According to the ''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic'', Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme is this to Creator/ChuckNorris.
--> '''Nostalgia Critic:''' So what's the main problem with [[Film/StreetFighter this piece of shit movie]]? Four syllables: Jean-Claude Van Damme. Van Damme is like the poor man's Chuck Norris. The guy you get if you think Creator/StevenSeagal is too classy for your movie.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' in the episode "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E18AStarIsBurns A Star Is Burns]]", when Mr. Burns requests for Steven Spielberg to direct his movie. Upon being told that he was unavailable, Burns then requested Señor [[ElSpanishO Spielbergo]], his non-union Mexican equivalent.
-->'''Mr. Burns:''' Get me Creator/StevenSpielberg!
-->'''Smithers:''' He's unavailable.
-->'''Mr. Burns:''' Then get me his non-union Mexican equivalent!
** Also, when Bart opened a casino, he hired a Liza Minelli impersonator but needed another kind of show when he found out the "impersonator" ''was'' Liza Minelli.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'': When pee-wee football team South Park Cows played against Middle Park Cowboys, the entertainment hired for the halftime was [[FullHouse John Stamos]]' brother Richard Stamos.
* ''Ultimate X-Men'' has Colonel Wraith refer to Sabertooth as "the poor man's Wolverine."
* Given a weird twist in ''WebComic/GirlGenius'', when Agatha, who's on the run from the Baron's forces, joins a traveling show, and in one performance of a "Heterodyne play," fills in for actress Pix. The twist? The character she's playing is ''her own real-life mother''.

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