Christine Spines
February 27, 2009 AT 06:09 AM EST

Forget about Ben Stiller at the Oscars. The Joaquin Phoenix skit at the previous day’s Independent Spirit Awards was so hilariously dead-on that it left some attendees wondering whether the recently retired actor was actually up on stage. Not so. But who was that masked man? EW has learned that the guy behind the Grizzly Adams beard was director Frank Coraci (Click, The Wedding Singer), an Adam Sandler protege, who is now prepping the new Kevin James comedy, The Zookeeper. He and Spirits host Steve Coogan came up with the bit at the last moment, says a source close to the dynamic duo, who met while filming the doomed Jackie Chan adventure, Around the World in 80 Days.

addCredit(“Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images”)

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