Viral TikTok Star Who Poses As A Corpse Will Now Play A Dead Body On CBS

Josh Nalley in CSI: Vegas
(Image credit: CBS)

As anybody who has TikTok downloaded on their phone undoubtedly already knows, the app can be a strange place with everything from epic celebrity impersonators to random strangers doing bizarre things. It’s not often we see people from the latter category make their way into Hollywood, but now one viral TikTok star known for playing dead will do his thing on CBS. 

Josh Nalley, known on TikTok as Living_Dead_Josh, will appear on an upcoming episode of CSI: Vegas on CBS. For 321 days, Nalley posted TikTok videos of himself playing dead with the note that he’d continue to do another video until a movie or television series cast him as a dead body. On day 321, after posting a video in front of CBS Studios, Nalley had a reply from CBS about CSI: Vegas. The network asked him if he was free that week, and the rest is history. Nalley explained the situation in more detail to the Courier Journal, and talked a bit about the process: 

I got an email from CBS that said they'd seen me on TikTok and wanted to offer me the part. 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.

Not only did Josh Nalley get to appear on CSI: Vegas, but he also had the honor of meeting New Jack City director Mario Van Peebles. That had to be quite a fun day, and he'd spent the better part of a year building experience of playing dead! Nalley's TikTok shows that he's more than qualified to play a corpse, and not many people have that claim to fame. 

As for the scene, Josh Nalley mentioned that he did have one embarrassing moment when filming CSI: Vegas. Playing dead wasn’t an issue, but he did forget to turn off his cell phone when filming the take. While that's something that happens to even some of the biggest names in showbiz – with Jennifer Aniston having a similar incident occur once – CSI: Vegas had to shoot it again.

CSI: Vegas looks like it may just be the beginning for Josh Nalley, as he confirmed that he’s already received offers to play a dead body in music videos and low-budget features. I think that he could certainly take this talent to any crime TV show, because what crime procedural doesn't need a dead guy? And why limit himself to scripted shows like CSI: Vegas on network television?

Anyone with a Netflix subscription can confirm there’s a slew of true-crime content with re-enactments, so he may also have a future being a professional dead guy for documentaries and docu-series. Hell, I'd argue that (with the exception of the Emmys, as Jimmy Kimmel learned earlier this year) there are plenty of instances where an audience would love someone playing dead for dramatic or comedic effect. 

On another note, I’m here for the trend of TikTok stars starting viral campaigns in an effort to get bit roles on television. Perhaps someone can randomly guess the prices of items each day to get on The Price Is Right? As long as no one is auditioning to be a murderer by committing real crimes, this could be a really fun trend. 

CSI: Vegas airs on CBS on Thursdays at 10:00 p.m. ET. Anyone with a Paramount+ subscription can catch up on Season 2 right now, and see former CSI actress Marg Helgenberger back in the fold.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.