Top 10 Greatest Robin Williams Impressions



Top 10 Greatest Robin Williams Impressions

WRITTEN BY: Charlotte Guy
All hail the master of impressions! For this list, we'll be looking at some of the late comedic legend's most memorable moments of mimicry throughout his career. Our countdown includes “Mrs. Doubtfire”, "Aladdin", “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, and more!

Top 10 Robin Williams Impressions

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Robin Williams Impressions.

For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the late comedic legend’s most memorable moments of mimicry throughout his career. This includes performances on various talk shows, bits from his stand up specials and major motion picture roles.

Let us know which Robin Williams impression put a smile on your face in the comments below.

#10: Golf & the Scottish

“Robin Williams: Live on Broadway” (2002)
Who else could lament our lack of understanding of the Scottish accent, while simultaneously reenacting the invention of golf in all its absurdities?. Known for poking fun at many different cultures, Williams seemed to have an affinity for parodying the Scots. From Mrs. Doubtfire’s beloved Glaswegianesque accent to this featured bit from his 2002 one-man show “Live on Broadway,” there’s no denying it all came from a place of love. Sources state that Robin had genuinely developed an affection towards Scotland after first visiting in the 1970’s, cultivating great respect for the people and culture.

#9: Julia Child to Margaret Thatcher

“Des O’Connor Tonight” (1977-2002)
Fleshing out a character takes months of research and various attempts at voice and mannerisms. For Robin, it was initially playing around with the distinctive accents of two of the world’s most influential and imposing women that helped him eventually settle on the sweet yet commanding Scottish speech of Mrs. Doubtfire. During a guest spot on the British variety show “Des O’Connor Tonight”, Williams explained how he first started with a voice similar to Julia Child, before bringing the intensity down to what he called “Margaret Thatcher on steroids”. If these imitations aren’t enough to get a chuckle out of you, our next entry definitely will.

#8: Barbara Streisand

“Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993)
This isn’t the first and it definitely won’t be the last time we mention this beloved 1993 family classic for this list. Although the film is chock-full of amazing scenes showcasing the lead’s talent for voices, it’s a specific moment during a makeover montage that is truly gut-busting. When father Daniel Hillard plans to pose as a nanny to spend time with his children, he seeks the help of his makeup artist brother to turn him into a woman. Cue campy nails, a latex-nosed bubbe and a shockingly accurate looking Barbara Streisand. Not only is this one of the funniest things you will ever see, but it only gets better when he starts breaking out in a rendition of her hit “Don’t Rain on my Parade”.

#7: Hollywood Director

“Whose Line Is It Anyway?” (1998-)
It comes as no surprise that a show entirely dedicated to improvisation would be right up the comedian’s alley. Williams’ lightning-speed, quick-witted, off the cuff comedic style served him well during an appearance on “Whose Line is it Anyway?”. One of the standout moments would arguably be during the show’s recurring game “Hollywood Director,” where the cast is given a film scene to play out while continuously changing their performance style according to the director’s suggestions. Not only are Robin’s impressions of Italian and riverdancing chefs hysterical, but it also gives audiences a chance to see him play off of others for a change and share the spotlight.

#6: Heads Up!

“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” (2003-)
Out of all the games on this popular talk show, the producers managed to find one that was clearly tailor-made for this accent impresario. Basically a souped-up version of charades, the object of “Heads Up!” is to guess the word on the hidden screen while a partner is either voicing or acting it out… and surprise, surprise Robin pulled it off mostly without a hitch. From his spot-on French accent to a pretty decent Cher to probably one of the best Miley Cyrus imitations ever, it seemed like there was nobody he couldn't recreate. The only snag came with his attempt at Rosie Perez’s accent, which just goes to show that even the greats have off days too.

#5: Jack Nicholson

“The Graham Norton Show” (2007-)
According to a 2013 Reddit AMA, it was revealed that out of Robin’s vast arsenal of celebrity impersonations, his absolute favorite to perform was that of good friend Jack Nicholson. This comes as no surprise with Williams not only nailing the legendary actor's voice, but his distinctive facial mannerisms as well. When fellow guest star Elijah Wood offered up an anecdote about Jack during an episode of “The Graham Norton Show”, the funny man immediately started shifting into his famous impression, and ended the bit with a zany story of his own regarding the three-time Oscar winner.

#4: French Siri

“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” (2003-)
Remember when Siri was the height of smartphone technology? It wasn’t that long ago. And that’s exactly what was on the famous San Franciscan’s mind when he sat down with Ellen in 2011. After discussing the newest feature on the Apple iPhone 4S, Williams decided to answer his own question by acting out what he thought a French Siri would sound like. Apparently “Seri”, as he called it, would sound pretty much like his standard French impression, complete with snarky condescending remarks, disdain for the American user and being just generally unhelpful. Sacre bleu!

#3: All the Voices

“Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993)
Most of us have at least wondered at one time or another what it would have been like to catch a glimpse inside the mind of Robin Williams. Well, we think it would look a little something like this iconic scene from “Mrs. Doubtfire”, when Williams’ Daniel Hillard shows off his voice acting skills to social worker Mrs. Sellner. The audience is treated to a lightning round of impressions, including aliens, a silly 007 Sean Connery, a charmingly threatening Humphrey Bogart and, possibly the most amazing of all, an imitation of a hot dog. Although the social worker looks less than amused in the end, we suspect that even she probably got a secret chuckle out of that.

#2: Elmer Fudd

“An Evening with Robin Williams” (1983)
It takes a special kind of person to combine two seemingly separate and opposite entities and bring them both together to create something pretty darn awesome. That is exactly what you can find in the 1983 comedy special “An Evening With Robin Williams”, in the form of Elmer Fudd serenading the audience with Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire”. This performance really got the audience — and us — all fired up! Not only is it a perfectly skilful display of mimicry on Williams’s part, but it’s also a testament to the artist’s creativity and pure fun.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

News Anchor Walter Cronkite, “Weapons of Self Destruction” (2009)

The French (Again), “Robin Williams: Live on Broadway” (2002)

Arnold Schwarzenegger, “62nd Golden Globe Awards” (2005)

Christopher Walken, “Weapons of Self Destruction” (2009)

Ronald Reagan, “Saturday Night Live” (1975-)

#1: Genie’s Celebrity Impressions

“Aladdin” (1992)
If rewatching this doesn't take you back to a happy place, we feel very sorry for your inner child. Arguably one of his most beloved characters ever, Robin’s scene-stealing performance as Genie was just another excuse for him to flex his improvisational chops and show off his numerous celebrity and pop culture impressions. Even though many of us didn't know at the time who William F. Buckley, Rodney Dangerfield or even Robert DeNiro were, his funny voices, sharp dialogue and effervescent presence were enough to make Genie's crazy characters an unforgettable part of our childhood.