The woman in town for the frozen foods convention sure sounded a lot like Jewel. Then "Karen" returned without the fake nose, glasses and buttocks padding.
It really was Jewel.
As part of a piece (posted below) for Funny or Die, the comedy video website co-founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, the real Jewel and her "business associates" went undercover -- laminated convention credentials included -- at a Santa Monica karaoke bar on a recent Monday night.
She took the Gas Lite stage June 28 as "Karen" in a business suit. Jaws dropped and a "Karen, Karen, Karen" chant began after perfect performances of "Who Will Save Your Soul" and "Foolish Games."
Gas Lite patrons were let in on the joke later that night, but not before Funny or Die asked for their thoughts on Karen's performance.
"They tell me she only sings at Christmas parties," one woman said.
"Every person was like, 'Wow, that person's really good. She shouldn't be here,'" said another.
"At first, I said, 'She's kind of homely looking,'" said a cringing man. "Then when she started singing, she was so sexy how she was dancing."
One person referred to "Karen" as "an American Susan Boyle."
Jewel then returned to perform a few more songs, this time without the disguise.
"It's neat that I wrote a song when I was 18, and here we are years later in a karaoke bar and everybody's singing it," she said. "It was really sweet."
The Associated Press reported that Jewel said she'll be part of another Funny or Die piece that involves Sarah Palin. A site spokeswoman said the video will be released next week.