Man Posing as a Dead Body on TikTok for a Year Lands Dream Role as Corpse on ‘CSI: Vegas’

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy CBS Broadcasting via Getty Images)

If you wanted to know about one way to make your dreams come true, then using TikTok for a CSI: Vegas role might just work. At least, if you were looking for a TV role as a dead man. Nope, we’re not talking about WWE legend The Undertaker right here. A Kentucky man actually was looking to be a guest star on a Hollywood show. It turns out that someone from CSI: Vegas noticed Josh Nailey. And the rest, well, is show business.

Nailey comes from Elizabethtown, Kentucky. If you are on TikTok, then you might want to follow his account at @living_dead_josh. He has been working his dead corpse gig really hard. He’s been lying face down in places like riverbanks, dirt roads, and even retail locations. Why all the dead stuff? It’s reportedly been his dream to be cast as an “un-alive body” on a TV show or movie.

‘CSI: Vegas’ Gives Life To Kentucky Man Playing Dead

Well, CSI: Vegas is making Nailey’s dream come true. He’s been cast in an upcoming episode of the show. Entertainment Weekly said that Nailey will play a dead man. That’s right up his alley, right? “I got an email from CBS that said they’d seen me on TikTok and wanted to offer me the part,” Nalley told the Courier-Journal newspaper. “At first I didn’t believe it, but they flew me out to California. It turned out that Mario Van Peebles was the director for that episode so besides getting cast in the show, I also got to meet him, which was great.”

Nailey, who is a 42-year-old restaurant manager, appears in a Nov. 3 episode of CSI: Vegas opposite stars Paula Newsome, Mandeep Dhillon, Marg Helgenberger, and William Petersen. CSI: Vegas showrunner Jason Tracey tells the outlet of Nailey’s cameo, “Rarely do we find an actor as well prepared to play a corpse as Josh. It was a pleasure watching him work. He’s a pro at this death thing.”

“As a fan of the show, Josh really threw himself into the process and it was more than just a gig being an extra — he really committed,” executive producer Jonathan Littman said. “For us, it was (a) chance to have some fun within the scene.” Nailey has been busy counting down the days to his appearance over on his TikTok account. He’s been doing all this while pretending to be dead. Nailey also posed at the CBS building in Los Angeles and also on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He did that right next to Helgenberger’s star. “They wanted me to pose next to Marg Helgenberger’s star and had asked me to bring a towel to lay on because that sidewalk is really dirty, but I forgot,” Nalley said.