Created By: KevinKlawitter on September 6, 2012 Last Edited By: KevinKlawitter on September 8, 2012

Meta Mimic

In Universe, a character mimics another character played by a famously imitable actor

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Many actors because famous due to a distinctive persona and/or voice, and mimicing them can score a cheap laugh. However, only occasionally do characters mimic these oft-imitable actors In-Universe. This could be for several reasons, such as avoiding a Celebrity Paradox (is the impersonation of the character or the actor?) or to protect the ego of the actor in question.

Not to be confused with Your Costume Needs Work, where the character in question is actually supposed to be who they look like.

  • In A Few Good Men, when describing his prosecutorial strategy to his colleagues, Tom Cruise's character mocks the vocal mannerisms of Col. Jessup, who was played by Jack Nicholson. This was an ad lib by Cruise.
  • In one scene in How the West Was Won, a character played by George Peppard relates a story often told to him and his brother by his father (who was played by James Stewart) with a dead-on impersonation. Director John Ford got mad at him for this, but Peppard responded by saying he wanted the audience to remember who his father was (a quite reasonable statement, considering the film's All-Star Cast).
  • In one scene in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Mina Harker sardonically imitates Sean Connery's warning that trying to capture Mr. Hyde was "too dangerous for a woman". Peta Wilson was nervous about doing it, because impersonations were discouraged on the set, to the point where she offered not to do it, but Connery encouraged her and later told her "You were great--Yeah, it's terrible! It's the worst impersonation I have ever heard, and it's perfect."

Community Feedback Replies: 3
  • September 6, 2012
    Alec Baldwin did this to Sean Connery first (aka Captain Ramius) in The Hunt For Red October.
  • September 7, 2012
    Example Indentation

    Basically, don't have a single bullet point on its own level. Either do:

    • Sean Connery:
      • Bla bla League of Gentlmen
      • Bla bla Hunt for Red October,


    • In League of gentlemn...
    • In Red October....
  • September 8, 2012
    • On Thirty Rock Jack is played by Alec Baldwin, who uses a low raspy voice. A recurring character is played by Will Arnett, who has a similar low raspy voice. At one point Liz tells Jack that they could settle an argument by having a "talking like this contest."
    • Not sure if this one counts: in a sketch on Saturday Night Live Dana Carvey did an impression of Garry Shandling "hosting" the Nobel Peace Prize Award Show. The sketch was later used on The Larry Sanders Show where Larry (played by Garry) is watching it on TV, complaining that he doesn't sound like that. The implication being that In Universe it was an impression of Larry rather than Garry.