The incredible voice impressions of James Arnold Taylor

Originally published at: The incredible voice impressions of James Arnold Taylor | Boing Boing

1 Like

People have often said I sound like a broken record.


His impressions are remarkably unremarkable. He does them in volume, I’ll give him that.


Cringey when someone acting like they’re doing it really well when they’re doing it kind of okay


This seems similar to the phenomena where what you hear is biased by what words appear in captions along with it, except he is showing the faces of characters he’s imitating.


Ugh. You said that LAST week.

1 Like


1 Like

The perennial challenge of impressions is ‘living inside’ the person you’re impersonating. Robert DeNiro doesn’t walk around asking people if they’re looking at him all day, does he? Being able to truly nail the voice and mannerisms of another human without any crutches, instead of just putting a contextual spin on a phrase/verbal tic a subject is known for, is a primally amazing thing to see. Something about it just tickles my brainstem the way nothing else does.

Here are two masters of the craft in what I think is a perfect format for showcasing range for impressions: 5-second clips with dumb, simple prompts.

(This series of vids have been posted everywhere for some time but fuck it, they’re classics. The quality dropped off but these are the best two.)

Meskimen’s Hoffman and Jones are amazing. Jay’s so good at Jay-Z that he nails it in a single syllable.


About 40% are good. 10% are freaking horrible. and the 10% that are really great are people I really don’t want to listen to.

Those are great. Here’s another posted-everywhere classic

Amazing how two impressions can both be so good, but completely different at the same time


Yeah, if he could just avoid doing the hackneyed versions of each impression (eg, resist urge to say “not-gonna-do-it” for GW Bush; “you-talkin-to-me” for DeNiro; Popeye laugh), it would have possibilities. As it is, he is a hellish “Las Vegas comedian.” To watch the whole set would induce nausea.

Kevin Pollak actually uses finesse with impressions, does them with one word: eg, his impression of Liam Neeson saying “bananers” is unerring.


That’s a lot to take in, but he would have done well to end with an impersonation of Chevy Chase in Modern Problems:

Matter of fact, he’s saying it now.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.