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Imposter broke into the Emmys and accepted award before anyone noticed

Darcy Rafter June 22, 2022
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

Barry Bremen was a novelty goods salesman but in his spare time he posed as an imposter and even broke into the Emmys to accept someone elses award…

Barry Breman had pulled similar pranks at other large events such as the Super Bowl and earned himself the nickname of ‘The Great Imposter’. He certainly had confidence and the fame-seeking imposter even spiced up the Emmy awards…

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Imposter broke into the Emmys and accepted an award

Barry Breman broke his way on stage during the 37th annual Emmy Awards on 22 September 1985. The incident was nationally televised as he accepted a prize on behalf of Hill Street Blues cast member Betty Thomas. He cimedla he was accepting the best supporting actress award for her, the LA Times reported.

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During the speech he told presenter Peter Graves and the Pasadena Civic Auditorium audience – along with the millions of viewers at home – that Thomas couldn’t attend the ceremony. Following a commercial break, Thomas went on to accept the award on camera, stating: “Well, it is definitely hard to follow an act like that.”

Barry Bremen, who was 38 at the time, was sentenced to six months’ informal probation and fined $170 by Judge Phillip Argento after pleading guilty to interfering with an event. Emmy officials reportedly said he had bought a $300 ticket and got backstage after telling guards he worked for an NBC affiliate.

Barry Breman’s ‘career’ explored

Bremen called himself a “professional impostor”, even though his ‘career’ got him arrested. However, it did help him become recognised as he was soon brushing shoulders with baseball stars, golf professionals and sports broadcaster Dick Schaap and his son Jeremy Schaap.

From 1979 to 1986, Bremen posed as countless people including a Major League Baseball umpire, a player in a Major League Baseball All-Star Game, a player in a National Basketball Association All-Star Game, a referee in the National Football League, a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, and a professional golfer. 

In 2005, Breman said he retired from his imposter career and would no longer be gatecrashing events. Sadly, Bremen died of esophageal cancer on his 64th birthday and was buried at Mount Sinai Cemetery in Arizona.

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Darcy is an experienced journalist passionate about celebrity culture and entertainment. After gaining a degree in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University she has also become a social media specialist, always keeping informed on the latest trends. With almost five years of experience in media, her expertise is analysing platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. When she's not tracking the latest trending content, she’s watching films and eating lots of chocolate.