The Sad World of Celebrity Impersonators

Just About Famous

Directed by Jason Kovatchek and Matt Mamula (2015)

Film Review

According to Kovatchek and Mamula, the average person has 26-36 doppelgangers* somewhere in the world. They attribute the recent fad of celebrity impersonators to their widespread use to deliver singing telegrams. Most impersonators launch their careers when an agent approaches them about their close relationship to someone famous.

The main focus of the film is the yearly Sunburst Convention of Professional Impersonators and Tribute Artists in Orlando Florida. The stated goal of the convention is to help impersonators advance their careers by putting them in touch with agents and potential clients. Most make a living by entertaining at parties, weddings and funerals.

Surprisingly that fans are just as likely to mob the impersonators and demand their autographs as the stars themselves. In fact, they enjoy getting up close and personal with impersonators in a way that rarely happens with stars.

In most cases, an impersonator’s career is short lived. Once their famous person leaves the public limelight, the impersonator must find a new line of work. The Obama impersonator opted to pursue a career with his local Democratic Party and the George W Bush impersonator is pursuing a career in motivational speaking.

The impersonators interviewed in the film included an Elvis, Danny Devito, Obama, Robert DeNiro, Tiger Woods, Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Palin, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Bill Clinton, a George W Bush impersonator and Barry Humphries playing Dame Edna Everage. The George W Bush impersonator was my favorite. His capture of the ex-presidents mannerisms and facial expressions are uncanny.

*A doppelgänger is a biologically unrelated look-alike, or a double, of a living person.




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