Lady Gaga Gives Elmhurst Resident His 15 Minutes

Joe Calderone trends worldwide after Video Music Awards Sunday night.

For awhile last night, Joe Calderone was trending worldwide on Twitter. But it wasn't because of the 24-year-old Elmhurst resident's work in Internet marketing.

It was because people were trying to get as much information as they possibly could on Jo (no "e") Calderone, Lady Gaga's alter ego.

"It felt really cool for about five minutes," the Elmhurst Calderone said.

He and a bunch of other Joe Calderones were all over Facebook, too, on Sunday night after Ms Gaga opened the MTV Video Music Awards as Jo Calderone.

But Joe Calderone, who is a freelance Internet marketing coordinator, wasn't even watching the VMAs yesterday. His cable and Internet were out at home, so he was finishing up some work at .

"All of a sudden I got probably five comments on my Facebook," he said. "People were just like, 'Oh, hey, I didn't know you were going to be at the VMAs—ha ha ha.' "

Calderone, who has lived in Elmhurst his entire life and graduated from York High School in 2005, said he appreciates Gaga's talent, but he stopped short of saying he's a fan.

"She's a little strange and out there, but you can't really deny her talent," he said.

It was not the first he had heard of her alter ego.

"Earlier this year, she did a Japanese music cover and used the Jo Calderone name," he said. "I just thought, 'OK, it's a one-time thing, it's not in this country, it's no big deal.' I didn't think she was going to do a music video with it or show up to the VMAs using my name."

Joe says the similarities between he and Gaga end at the name.

"I have short hair, a shaved head—and I always have some sort of facial hair. Slicked-back hair and clean-shaven is definitely not me. But she pulled it off well. She made all the Joe Calderones proud."

Joe said that within the past year, about five or six Joe Calderones have added him on Facebook. 

"I'm not sure why. I guess they just wanted to be associated with all the other people with awesome names," he said. "They were commenting all over my profile, as well."

Joe's status on Facebook last night was, "Not cool, Gaga. Not cool at all."

Friends commented: "Dude, I didn't know you were at the VMAs. You have an amazing voice," and "When will you debut your alter ego, and will she be named Stephanie Joanne Angelina Germanotta?"

"I guess that's Lady Gaga's real name," Joe said.

"I'm pretty short, and somebody else said that TV makes me look a lot taller," he added.

Joe's mom doesn't really watch TV, but when she heard about the case of "mistaken identity" she asked her son how he was planning to capitalize on it.

He doesn't plan on forgetting his pants, or wearing a Kermit coat or a dress made out of meat. He'll just continue to do what he does best.

"While it was trending on Twitter, I just started tweeting my name a whole bunch with links to my portfolio Web site," he said. "Hopefully somebody comes across it and pays me a whole bunch of money to do projects for them or something."

In the meantime, "I'll accept it for what it is," he said.

Emily Belden August 29, 2011 at 07:58 PM
I love this!!
Alex Keown August 29, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Ha, love it. Nice piece!


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