There's a video doing the rounds at the moment about a guy who does 500 celebrity impersonations in 2 minutes. I'm sure you've seen it. If you haven't, you should. Go on. It really is very funny indeed.
Anyway, it's a trick, right? Shy is Asian, and the joke is, all Asian people look alike, so he just has to hold the same expression for 2 minutes while 500 names scroll by. His Sean Connery impersonation is cool and the joke is undeniably great, but:
The more I think about this challenge, the more I think it could, seriously, be done. By one person. Without editing.
Let's do the numbers
500 impersonations in 2 minutes is 500 impersonations in 120 seconds. That's one impersonation every 0.24 seconds, or just over 4 impersonations per second.
To make our job easier here are some things we can do.
- Make each impersonation as short as humanly possible; ideally, one syllable long. Can you say four words in one second? Five, assuming we leave room for breathing? Sure.
- In the original video, Shy impersonates people without actually saying anything - just be swinging a relevant implement. We'll allow that.
- Assume anybody is fair game, not just celebrities - we shall include fictional characters, sports personalities, politicians, historical figures. In other words, anybody who's recognisable by their single-word catchphrase.
- As in the original video, we'll allow multiple simultaneous impersonations. For example:
could be, at the same time, an impersonation of Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig and James Bond. If there are other people who have played James Bond, we can include them here too. That's at least seven impersonations in about a quarter of a second.
- Be relaxed about the standard an impersonation must reach. Not only does this ease the strain put on the impersonator (and make it possible for many more people to make the attempt), it also saves time mentally switching between personalities. Let's just say the phrase given must be fairly recognisable, not something stupid like "Yes" which could qualify as an impersonation of literally anybody. (Which is basically the same joke as in the original video.)
If we allow these techniques, the 500-impersonation mark actually becomes conceivably reachable. The real difficulty becomes finding 500 people to impersonate.
Here's what I've got so far
Paul Julian, Road Runner's voice actor for that sound effect
June Bellamy, the character in the Simpsons episode "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie show" who claims to be Road Runner's voice actor
June Foray, the actress June Bellamy is a takeoff of
Tress MacNeille, June Bellamy's voice actress
|(Wield a huge sword)||Conan the Barbarian|
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played Conan
Dolph Lundgren, who played He-Man in the live-action movie
|"Narf!"||Pinky from Pinky And The Brain|
Rob Paulsen, Pinky's voice actor
|"Bond."||James Bond, and all his actors:|
Dan Castellaneta, Homer's voice actor
|"Indeed."||Teal'c from Stargate SG-1|
Christopher Judge, who plays Teal'c
|(Vulcan "live long and prosper" salute)||Spock|
Many other Vulcans and Vulcans' actors?
|"Nooooo!"||Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker (two people?)|
James Earl Jones
other people who have shouted this?
Manfred von Karma
Franziska von Karma
Doubtless this list could be extended dramatically. If it actually gets long enough I may even consider going for the attempt myself, or delegating the task to my brother, who is better at impersonations than me. Whatever happens, I think my point is made. 500 real impersonations in 2 minutes: I honestly think it could happen.
All you have to do is say "Ho ho ho!" and you've covered over six hundred different people. Thanks, Lee!