British comic talk show The Graham Norton Show recently put together a compilation of all the times celebrities on their show did impressions of other celebrities. I know, right? This is like the Inception of celebrity impressions (minus, sadly, Leonardo DiCaprio and all the mad visual effects) with major Hollywood superstars like Jim Carrey, Ryan Reynolds and Chris Pratt impersonating each other. Snaps to Graham Norton for whatever they've got production serving super famous Hollywood actors backstage at this show. I mean, presumably British boozing culture is the driving force behind these very relaxed, giggly impressions that the celebrities do of each other. How else to explain Justin Bieber's very, very enthusiastic mockney attempt at an English accent? Or Jamie Foxx's gentle mockery of Tom Cruise doing an audition?
But, while this is the best celebrities-doing-celebrities video I've seen, it's certainly not the first. No matter how pure and artistic your motives may be for becoming an actor or performer, ultimately, if you're big in Hollywood, you're almost certainly a massive show-off. Which means you probably think you're not bad at doing an impression of someone or another. Here are my favourites below, but make sure you check out the Graham Norton video first to whet your celebrity-impression appetite.
1. Benedict Cumberbatch
Cumberbatch is the king of on-point impressions of other celebrities. Case in point: Cumberbatch does Alan Rickman (aka Snape from Harry Potter), David Tennant (aka Doctor Who) and TV presenter Jonathan Ross without even breaking a sweat.
2. Matt Damon
Hobbies are nice things, aren't they? Fishing, swimming, surfing. All great pastimes. Matt Damon has a slightly different hobby than most people. He's just really, really into doing impressions of Matthew McConaughey. He's done impressions of McConaughey on The David Letterman Show four different times.
3. Alec Baldwin
Maybe it's because they worked together on 30 Rock, but nobody captures Tracy Morgan quite like Alec Baldwin.
4. Tina Fey
Apart from, of course, the inimitable Tina Fey, who also worked alongside Tracy Morgan on the show.
5. Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera may not be a celebrated British wit, a la Cumberbatch, but the girl can do a damn good impression. She starts with Cher, gets warmed up with her one-time charts rival Britney, and slays with her take on Shakira.
6. Kevin Spacey
Celebrity science: the pleasure of watching a celebrity doing an impression of another celebrity is quadrupled if the aforementioned second celebrity is there watching the first celebrity do an impression of him. Case in point: wickedest man in Hollywood Kevin Spacey doing Al Pacino to Pacino's face while Pacino wheezes with laughter. Spacey really nails the Pacino sad bulldog thing he's got going on with his mouth a lot.
7. Jenna Dewan-Tatum
By the same logic, what could be more fun than a celebrity who's married to another celebrity and does a caricature of their much loved stripper-movie in front of them that ends with them thrusting their crotch into the other celebrity's face while they squirm in delight/horror? Literally nothing. Switch off your computers. Shut down the Internet. We're done here. We're all done.
8. Leonardo DiCaprio
OK, if you can cut to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack Nicholson face. Which is really spot on, but also somehow doubles as an impression of that long-forgotten Christmas movie character, The Grinch.
9. Jim Carrey
Which leads us neatly into Jim Carrey's Jack Nicholson impression... which segues into Clint Eastwood, because "They're all the same!" Still, it's kind of hard to stay focused on his impressions; the real star of the show in this clip is that day-glo colored shirt.
10. Bradley Cooper
Which segues neatly into Bradley Cooper's Eastwood impression. You haven't lived until you've seen Dirty Harry feeding squirrels, trust me.
11. Tom Hiddleston
Tom Hiddleston doing Owen Wilson doing Loki? This is the Inception of celebrity-on-celebrity impressions.
12. Danny Pudi
But what celebrity impression could really compete with Danny Pudi's take on Nicolas Cage in his role as film-fanatic Abed in Community? The random volume, the huge eyes, the erratic, edge-of-madness quality? Check, check, check. If I were Cage, I'd start hiring Pudi to appear for me at public events.
I've saved the wildest card in the deck for last: the U2 lead singer takes on former US President Bill Clinton. Color me impressed.
These celebrities impersonating each other is way better than when you and your friends get drunk and break out your best Britney Spears impression at parties, now isn't it?
Images: BBC America