Impressionist Jim Meskimen does Shakespeare in celebrity voices

Celebrity impersonator Jim Meskimen recites Shakespeare in many different voices.

Impressionist Jim Meskimen Does Shakespeare in Celebrity Voices (Via Blame in on the Voices)


  1. Most impressionists, while good at mimicking others, have one glaring weakness: they are not funny. At all. See Caliendo, Frank.

  2. Interesting how the first thing he does when he enters each character is make his mouth look like theirs.

  3. You just about wouldn’t need anyone else to do a Pixar movie…  (possibly a female equivalent?)

  4. I used to have XM radio and they’d play Frank Caliendo on their stand-up comedy channels all the time. I’d say his biggest problem is timing. He’d switch back and forth between voices and characters so fast, it was too hard to follow. But he does a mean John Madden.

  5. I’m not particularly impressed. None of the voices were spot-on, and only the really distinctive ones (Walken, Stewart, Bush) were even that recognisable without the names coming up. I can do a better Woody Allen… and Ricky Gervais sounds nothing like that. Sorry to be so critical, but impressions aren’t very entertaining unless they’re really good, or you have something funny to say.

  6. Oh, I don’t know. The dose makes the poison and, in this case, the juxtaposition of impressions and the coordination with the visual imagery of Clarence’s dream really worked for me. Also, this dude was on the second season of Parks and Recreation and was mocked really hard for his impressions. So, +1 for him

  7. Uncanny impressions + scathing satire of the famous personality = win.

    Good impressions reading the equivalent of “Ipsum Lorem”… not so much…

  8. If you can’t appreciate the difference between Richard III and Lorem Ipsum text, it’s hard to know where to start in pitying you.  

    I loved that he chose different sections of the speech that were perfect for the characterizations of the men he was doing impressions of, especially Woody Allen.

  9. Impressions aren’t meant to be carbon copies, they’re mostly meant to be satirical. Some voices are hit or miss, but I nearly jumped out of my seat when I heard his Morgan Freeman voice it was so spot on.

    His Peter Lorre, Burgess Meredith, and Tommy Lee Jones impressions were scarily accurate as well. (From the second video linked to near the end.)

  10. For more of this sort of thing, there’s the one-man play MacHomer (Simpsons do Macbeth) and the utter genius that was Peter Sellers doing “A Hard Day’s Night” in the style of Laurence Olivier’s Richard III

  11. Very clever. It’s better the second time, once you get the hang of noticing who is speaking and what they’re saying at the same time. I like the way he chose the voice to fit the passage (Ron Howard, Jimmy Stewart, Simon Cowell). And it seems to me his impressions are very good. The Johnny Carson is uncanny.

  12. Pretty good impressions.  Even more impressive to me is the fact that Jim was on the original Who’s Line Is It Anyway? and designed secondary characters for the original Thundercats.  (oh, and his real mom is Mrs. Cunningham, Marion Ross)

    That’s one cool cat.

  13. He’s picking pretty easy targets. Anyone can do a passable-enough Peter Lorre or Christopher Walken to be recognizable as such. Edward G. Robinson, Jimmy Cagney, etc.  The reaction is generally “Hey, I know who that is!” Where this guy adds a level is in attaching prosaic impersonations to particularly appropriate segments of the monologue, as per Iscah.

    Nyah! Nyah! See?

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