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Posted: February 27, 2017

Who is 'Gary from Chicago'? Surprise Oscars guest sparks memes

Hollywood Tour Group Crashes Oscar Broadcast

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            Who is 'Gary from Chicago'? Surprise Oscars guest sparks memes
Tourists brought into the Oscars as a surprise meet with nominee for best actor in 'Fences' Denzel Washington (center) at the 89th annual Academy Awards on Feb. 26, 2017, in Hollywood, California. 

By Michelle Ewing

Cox Media Group National Content Desk

LOS ANGELES —

Move over, Emma Stone: A new Oscars darling is in the limelight.

"Gary from Chicago" – whose full name is Gary Cole – became a social media sensation after he and other members of a Hollywood tour group were the targets of a prank by Academy Awards host Jimmy Kimmel. The unsuspecting tourists thought they were going to visit a museum but instead were led into the Dolby Theatre during the awards show's live broadcast. There, they were introduced to the A-list celebrities in the front row, including Nicole Kidman, Octavia Spencer, Ryan Gosling and Denzel Washington.

>> Jimmy Kimmel surprises Hollywood tourists with Academy Awards visit

But Cole, wearing a baseball cap and carrying a large bag, quickly emerged as the real star of the show, kissing actresses' hands and recording everything on his cellphone.

"I feel like you're ignoring the white celebrities," Kimmel joked at one point.

>> Social media reacts to 'Moonlight,' 'La La Land' gaffe

"I am, though," Cole replied, laughing.

Kimmel then spoke to a woman, who introduced herself as Cole's fiancee, Vicky.

>> Complete list of winners

"Who's your favorite actor?" Kimmel asked her.

"That man right there," she said, pointing at Washington.

>> PHOTOS: 2017 Oscars red carpet arrivals

"Denzel, will you be the best man at their wedding?" Kimmel asked.

Washington then got up and stood between the stunned couple as Vicky held a cellphone on a selfie stick. 

>> PHOTOS: 2017 Oscars show

"I now pronounce you husband and wife," Washington said. "Kiss the bride."

As the pair kissed, Kimmel quipped, "He's Denzel so it's legal."

>> Watch the moment here

>> Read more trending stories

It didn't take long for the internet to fall in love with Cole and his fiancee.

>> Click here or scroll down to see what people were saying


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