Bad impressions celebrities somehow seem to think they're great at
I never understand why people like Kate McKinnon's impression of Ellen. She sounds nothing like her--she always puts a weird gurgle in her throat that Ellen doesn't do. I also thought McKinnon didn't do a very good Hillary Clinton (though she does a fabulous Elizabeth Warren).
Whoopi Goldberg used to love doing a Valley Girl, and she was absolutely awful at it. Same with Margaret Cho and (of all people) Dick Cavett.
Bill Hader does superb impressions usually, but his Al Pacino is awful.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||05/23/2020|
I REALLY wish that Stephen Colbert would drop his Trump imitation, which is pathetic.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||05/19/2020|
Very few people can do a good Trump imitation, for some reason. Alec Baldwin's isn't good at all--he just keeps contorting his face into extreme positions. I wish SNL had stayed with Darrell Hammond's impression, which was quite good.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||05/19/2020|
The best celebrity mimic I've ever seen is Tom Hiddleston. he'll do someone that you think would be hard to imitate (like Graham Norton), and do it brilliantly.
One of the reasons i love his impressions is that he gets so much joy out of doing them. Kevin Spacey is a great mimic, but it's actually no fun to watch him because there's no joy in it.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||05/19/2020|
Rich Little was an okay impressionist (although some of his impressions sounded the same, and his Nixon impression was ripped off from David Frye), but there was never any real mirth or joy in his routines.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||05/19/2020|
More of Tom Hiddleston's impressions--he takes such delight in doing them. His DeNiro is actually not very good, but his Pacino and his Owen Wilson are terrific.
I agree Rich Little was not much fun as an impressionist because his lack of fun when doing his imitations.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||05/19/2020|
In all honesty, OP, nobody can do Hillary Clinton.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||05/19/2020|
All of Kate McKinnon's male impressions are terrible and have a creepy quality that make them very hard to watch.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||05/19/2020|
Yes, Whoopi Goldberg's valley girl impression was horrible. She still breaks it out and it's still horrible.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||05/19/2020|
Funny how nobody high-profile does a really good Trump impersonation. Alec Baldwin has the lips down, but the hands don't look right.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||05/19/2020|
I used to date an actor who loved doing impressions, and he would do an impression of me. For months he would not do it in front of me, but when I found out he had done it to my friends (and they thought it was funny), I insisted he do it for me and he did it. So then months later when we were having troubles in our relationship he would do it a lot when we would argue. Finally he did it once too often, and the next day I told him we were breaking up. He was really shocked, but I told him since he did the impression when we were arguing so as to mock me, he clearly held contempt for me, and when someone has contempt for the other person the relationship has to end.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||05/19/2020|
But Baldwin gets away with it because Trump IS a caricature of a human so broad strokes work.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||05/19/2020|
I don’t get Kate McKinnon at all. Her impressions are terrible and she’s not funny.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||05/19/2020|
Fred Armisen’s Obama was spot-on perfect. However, Lorne Michaels has to buckle to pressure and not have a white man in mixed-race face, so the VASTLY inferior Jay Pharaoh started doing it.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||05/19/2020|
Trevor Noah does a good Trump. I don’t normally watch his show but I had Comedy Central on for some reason and was impressed when I heard it
|by Anonymous||reply 15||05/19/2020|
Alec Baldwin's Trump might not be perfect but it's really funny.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||05/19/2020|
Sarah Paulson's impression of Drew Barrymore at 3:54.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||05/19/2020|
I don’t think all impressions necessarily need to sound exactly like the person or even to embody that person entirely. Alec Baldwin’s Trump, for example, is not Alec Baldwin trying to be Trump the way Cate Blanchett was trying to be Kate Hepburn in The Aviator. Baldwin's impression is a skewer of Trump. The point of it is to embarrass Trump, not look and sound just like him. That’s obviously the style of most SNL impressions. There are other impersonators who can really channel a celebrity, with humor or not, but Baldwin’s Trump and McKinnon’s Giuliani (which I think is terrible) and Lindsey Graham (kinda funny) and Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer (very funny IMO) are not that; they’re cartoons intended to inflict harm to these men’s egos.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||05/19/2020|
I think Cecily Strong runs circles around Kate McKinnon but gets none of the love.
Her Rudy Guiliani is flat-out awful. I can't watch it and not because it's uncomfortably funny, it's just blatantly, unapologetically horrid.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||05/19/2020|
Maya Rudolph as Whitney was awful (she can't have thought that was good though?) when Debra Wilson was serving Grade A Whitney realness on MadTV.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||05/19/2020|
Kate McKinnon is an overrated ugly babydyke.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||05/19/2020|
I think Debra Wilson’s impression of Whitney remains one of the most brilliant because she really captured Whitney warts and all. It was both hilarious and sad but completely authentic.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||05/19/2020|
The best impression of Donald Trump is this woman, who is doing a German accented woman imitating Donald Trump--and it's great. The whole sketch is great but the imitation begins at 01:54.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||05/19/2020|
(I know that's Tracey Ullman; it's her co-star who imitates Trump to Tracey's Merkel.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||05/19/2020|
Seth Meyers is good at Trump's voice. I salute Baldwin for ridiculing DJT, but I've never found his impression funny or accurate.
SNL has showcased some good impressions in the past, e.g., Phil Hartman as Sinatra and Dan Aykroyd as Bob Dole. But lately Lorne seems to be satisfied with mean impressions. Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer is the best of recent memory. And I'm annoyed he hasn't taken Christine Baranski up on her wish to play Betsy DeVos.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||05/19/2020|
Baldwin's problem is that you can tell he clearly doesn't like Trump, and he lets his disgust guide his impression, which is why it doesn't work. You have to distance yourself from the person you're portraying. Plus Baldwin is a rage filled asshole himself, so it kind of cancels itself out. It's akin to watching a high schooler mock someone.
Phil Hartman did a great Trump back in the 80's that took the piss out of him without having to resort to broad gestures like the stupid pursing of the lips every two seconds.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||05/19/2020|
Baldwin loves Tony Bennett and I think that helps his impression. With Trump it just seems like he is phoning it in Enough already! Give Darrell Hammond back the job he has publicly stated he wants back.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||05/19/2020|
R27 Hammond is incredibly talented but he's got a lot of mental health issues. I wonder if Lorne was reluctant to bring him back for Trump because of the divisiveness of the character.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||05/19/2020|
R22 Yes , her Whitney impression was excellent .Debra is vastly more talented than other more popular comedic actresses like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||05/19/2020|
[quote] SNL has showcased some good impressions in the past, e.g., Phil Hartman as Sinatra and Dan Aykroyd as Bob Dole. But lately Lorne seems to be satisfied with mean impressions. Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer is the best of recent memory.
I think two things are going on here: one is that Michaels knows Trump is most upset by mean impressions; and also there are a lot of celebrities who are eager to mock the Trump administration hoping they can bring it down. So even though Cecily Strong can do a decent Ivanka, more people will turn in if they can expect to hear Scarlett Johanssen mock her instead.
Michaels has said that the most remembered and beloved of impressions on SNL have been where the mimic could make the person seem endearing as well as worthy of being mocked: Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, Dana Carvey as George HW Bush and H. Ross Perot, Will Ferrell as W. I don't think he wants to make Trump even slightly lovable, though. He was not really expecting Trump would win when he let him guest-host SNL, and like Jimmy Farrell was upset that not only did he help Trump get elected by having him on his show but that he was seen as being partially responsible for it.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||05/19/2020|
Another thing I've heard often from comedians is that some of the best loved impressions are not necessarily that accurate, but they work because they capture the essence of the person so well. Ana Gasteyer used to say that she could not actually imitate Celine Dion very well, but her Dion impression was so popular because she had figured out what everyone sees when they see Dion talk (i.e. that she seems supremely sheltered and naive).
|by Anonymous||reply 31||05/19/2020|
Good point, R31. Another one was Dana Carvey as George Bush. The real George Bush never said "wouldn't be prudent," but of course that catchphrase took on a life of its own.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||05/19/2020|
George HW Bush thought Dana Carvey's impression of him was hilarious, and invited him and his wife to the White House as a result; Carvey said that whenever he saw him, Bush would beg him to do the "wouldn't be prudent" line--he just loved it. They actually became friends.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||05/19/2020|
I think Baldwin said he was sick of doing the impression and wanted to limit his appearances.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||05/19/2020|
They need to have Chloe Fineman do her Ivanka impression. It is spot on.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||05/19/2020|
I wish Chris Farley had been around to do Rob Ford. He would have done a brilliant job.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||05/19/2020|
R15 that is an insane take. I’m not sure he’s going for “impression” so I cut him a break, but it’s as if he’s impersonating a guy impersonating a guy who once saw Donald Trump across a football field.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||05/19/2020|
La Spacey's impression Christopher Walken is the worst but he seems to think it's good. Kevin Pollack does the best and Jay Mohr's on The Simpsons was hilarious.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||05/19/2020|
Anyone remember Frank Gorshin? He did all the classic actors - Bogey, Mitchum, Wayne, etc and was able to contort his face to resemble them. He enjoyed a second life in TV's Batman.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||05/19/2020|
McKinnon is not funny. Her impressions are so-so but because it's rare for a woman to do impressions, she's been able to build a career out of it. Her Giuliani is the worst but Lorne Michaels insisted she create it.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||05/19/2020|
Whoopi doing the valley girl routine always grates on my nerves. She does it whenever she’s forced to bring up a topic she believes is beneath her and “fluff” ... bitch, your career was in the toilet before the view STFU
|by Anonymous||reply 41||05/19/2020|
R14 I fucking loved his Penny Marshall impressions. I need to go find and link one.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||05/20/2020|
R20, there's something significant in the fact that the daughter of Minnie Ripperton can't do justice to Whitney Houston. Plus, even if Rudolph was 5 shades darker, she STILL would look nothing like Whitney.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||05/20/2020|
[quote]Anyone remember Frank Gorshin? He did all the classic actors - Bogey, Mitchum, Wayne, etc and was able to contort his face to resemble them.
As long as the actor was Kirk Douglas or Burt Lancaster.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||05/20/2020|
Maya Rudolph and Kate McKinnon are both so overrated. I can't stand Maya's appearances on awards shows - they're like Robert Downey Jr's. They both think they're so fucking funny and five minutes later I haven't laughed once. They both have a smugness that is always transparent.
Kate can be funny but I feel she is not as funny as SNL or critics hype her up to be.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||05/20/2020|
Kate’s agent insists on putting her in absolutely terrible movies for some reason.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||05/20/2020|
R47 Kate's agent can't be doing a great job for her. The only movie I know of that she was in was that Ghostbusters remake. She owes her career to Lorne Michaels. Kate will wind up hosting a game show. If Hollywood Square was still a thing, she'd close her career being the middle square.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||05/20/2020|
[quote] Fred Armisen's Obama was spot-on perfect.
Gimme some of what you were smoking, r14 -- that sounds like some good shit.
The effort Armisen put into his Obama "impression" consisted of throwing on a suit and afro wig and reading cue cards (in his own voice).
And Armisen's not a "white man", he's biracial.
|by Anonymous||reply 49||05/20/2020|
Armisen's Penny Marshall was not good and I love him. But it wasn't any good. Rosie O'Donnell does a great PM impression.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||05/22/2020|
That Tracey Ullman clip was hysterical. I forget how great she (and the cast) is.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||05/22/2020|
I watched another sketch in that Ullmann series and waited and waited for Ullman to appear because I didn't realize the "man" setting up his office in a coffee shop was Ullmann. She's a chameleon.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||05/22/2020|
[quote]All of Kate McKinnon's male impressions are terrible and have a creepy quality that make them very hard to watch.
I agree. She's one of Lorne Michaels' favorites on the current SNL cast, so he was never going to tell her to stop.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||05/22/2020|
[quote]Hammond is incredibly talented but he's got a lot of mental health issues. I wonder if Lorne was reluctant to bring him back for Trump because of the divisiveness of the character.
Tina Fey is pretty much to blame for Alec Baldwin impersonating Trump on SNL. I wonder if Hammond hates her for that.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||05/22/2020|
[quote]Kate’s agent insists on putting her in absolutely terrible movies for some reason.
I agree, most of the movies she has done have sucked. The only decent movie was Yesterday, but she had a supporting role.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||05/22/2020|
[quote]Kate can be funny but I feel she is not as funny as SNL or critics hype her up to be.
She is overhyped by critics. One discussion board that was hilarious when it came to hyping up Kate McKinnon was the original L Chat board. Her fans on that site hyped her up all the time on that thread about her. It was hilarious in some ways because most of them admitted they only watched SNL because of Kate. Her fans on L Chat hate/hated most of the SNL cast members except for Kenan Thompson and Aidy Bryant. If someone on the Kate thread said that Kenan got too much screen time or something mean about Aidy's appearance or weight the Kate fans would go nuts and trash that person. Yet, in that some thread it was fine for the them to constantly shit on Heidi Gardner, Cecily Strong, Mikey Day, Beck Bennett, and Alex Moffet.
Her fans on L Chat weren't happy when Alec Baldwin started playing Trump and several of them kept going on about how awful Alec is due to his reputation of being an asshole. The L Chat Kate fans were fans of Louis CK because at one point Kate said that she was a fan of his comedy. Someone there mentioned the stories of Louis CK jerking off in front of women, but the L Chat fans defended him, but they would continue to bitch about Alec Baldwin being on SNL and being friends with Lorne Michaels. That whole thread was a shit show because they all acted like Kate is some supreme comedy genius.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||05/22/2020|
Armisen's Penny Marshall was not only not good, it was exactly like his Joy Behar, which was also not good.
|by Anonymous||reply 57||05/22/2020|
Frank Gorshin did THE Kirk Douglas in the sense that everyone who did an impression Kirk Douglas after him (Joe Flaherty, Phil Hartman) was really just doing Frank Gorshin doing Kirk Douglas.
The same thing has become true with Matt Damon's impression of Matthew McConaughey. Everyone now does Matt Damon doing Matthew McConaughey (especially saying "aw-right") rather than Matthew McConaughey.
|by Anonymous||reply 58||05/22/2020|
I know this thread is about bad impressions. But, I always thought Anne Hathaway's impersonation of Katie Holmes on SNL was good.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||05/22/2020|
McKinnon looks like Shiloh Jolie Pitt at OP
|by Anonymous||reply 61||05/22/2020|
FFS - most of these are done for comedic purposes - they are satire, not biographical dramas. Of course they're not going to be exact - that's the point.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||05/23/2020|