Robin Williams Performs His Funniest Impressions - Rolling Stone
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Watch Robin Williams’ 13 Funniest Impressions

From Pacino to John Wayne, Jack Nicholson to Siri, these are Robin Williams’ best impersonations

Robin Williams

THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 1738 -- Pictured: (l-r) Comedian Robin Williams during an interview with host Jay Leno on December 13, 1999 (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

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In films like Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams proved time and time again that he was so much more than simply a comedic actor. But by God, what a gifted comedian he was. He was rightly lauded for his improvisational genius, and his truly remarkable knack for mimicry. In just a quick facial expression or a single word, Williams' impressions captured the essence of his subjects, which encompassed everything from his fellow Hollywood stars like Jack Nicholson and Christopher Walken to Siri, the iPhone gal friday. Here are some of his best. 

Robin Williams

Jack Nicholson

In this clip, from a U.K. talk show, you can see the difference between a good impression and a great one. As Williams and fellow guest Elijah Wood swap Jack Nicholson stories, they each try out their Jack voice. Williams does his at 1:50 in.

Robin Williams

Christopher Walken

Few actors are as fun to imitate as Christopher Walken, and no one did it quite as well as Williams. In this brief clip from one of his stand-up specials, Williams does Walken as (why not?) a porn star. 

Robin Williams

Walter Cronkite

You have to get through the aforementioned Christopher Walken impression, and a not-bad Bono, to get to the gold in this clip: Walter Cronkite. Starting at 3:09, Williams delivers a filthy joke with all of Cronkite's vaunted vocal gravitas. 

Robin Williams

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ed Sullivan

Robin Williams' voice work as the Genie in Disney's Aladdin was a tour-de-force. In this scene, where his wish-granter is first discovered by the titular character, Williams casually drops in an Arnold Schwarzenegger and then a truly remarkable Ed Sullivan. Enjoy the shew!

Robin Williams

Courtesy: The Ellen DeGeneres Show


Williams' comedic mind worked at lightning speed. Here, Ellen DeGeneres asks him to whip through a series of different accents, from Swedish to Malawian. He nails them all.

Robin williams

Ronald Reagan

President Reagan was also a target of Williams' in the latter's iconic 1986 Live at the Met comedy special. Here, he takes on the Gipper during a hosting gig on Saturday Night Live. (One of four times he hosted the show.)

Robin Williams

Al Pacino

In 2007, Williams delivered a tribute speech to his Insomnia co-star Al Pacino, who was being honored by the American Film Institute. Naturally, he couldn't help but deliver some of Pacino's iconic lines, from Hoo-ah! to "Say hello to my little friend!"

Robin Williams

Sean Connery, a Hot Dog

This 57-second clip from Ms. Doubtfire features a solid half-dozen impressions, including Sean Connery as James Bond and, sure, a frankfurter. Is there also a snatch of Walter Huston from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre?

Robin Williams

George W. Bush

Dubya had one of the most distinct vocal cadences of modern-era Presidents. Williams slides in and out of the impression in this clip, from a televised comedy special, but he's got the distinctly reedy vocal tone and slightly oblivious delivery down pat. 

Robin Williams

Elmer Fudd (as Bruce Springsteen)

Did you ever wonder what Elmer Fudd would sound like singing Bruce Springsteen's "Fire"? Thanks to Williams, now you know. 

Robin Williams


As the title character in Robert Altman's 1980 version of Popeye, Williams clearly, and accurately, cribbed from the vocal template of the original cartoon Popeye voice actor, Jack Mercer. 

In This Article: Robin Williams

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