Superbowl 51 did not disappoint. Especially since I thought about turning the channel after Lady Gaga performed. It seemed as if we were headed for a Falcons victory, but then came the 4th quarter--followed by overtime--followed by Tom Brady winning his 5th...count 'em, 5th Superbowl Championship Ring. Knowing him, he probably took the air out of every sports bar in Atlanta tonight.
The other thing that usually never disappoints is the wide array of commercials we see during the game. I had my favorites, but the one thing I couldn't get out of my head right after he said it was Arnold Schwarzenegger in the ad for the Mobile Strike Game App. "Download it Free, from the App Store." Arnold says "Up Stow-ah" If you'd like to hear more, watch my video, "Voice impression Tips" -- The Ahnold edition. Watch it! Watch it Now!!!
It has been another full week for President Donald Trump. He has signed more executive orders, and he has reached out to more world leaders. Two calls in particular were rumored to not have gone as smoothly as they could have. He spoke with the President of Mexico about the "bad hombres" he's dealing with in his country. And a tense call with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia, which was ended sooner than expected by Trump. Regardless of what was said between the leaders, the phone calls were anything but typical for a U.S. President. But if we're being honest, Donald Trump is not typical.
I got to thinking...would this have made President Trump want to change the outgoing voice message on his phone? Just a guess, but here's how that may have sounded:
Sean Spicer made quite a splash in his first day addressing reporters in the White House Press Briefing Room on Saturday, scolding them for their coverage of the inaugural crowd sizes during President Trump's swearing-in ceremony on Friday. Spicer's attitude and photo at the podium became a very popular meme on Twitter. On Monday, Spicer had a chance to reset during his first official briefing with the White House Press Corps. The consensus was that it went a lot smoother than the weekend appearance, and even included some substantive question and answer moments between and the press. But you know me, I do voice impressions on the radio. And we can't do humor about a boring press conference that goes well. We need to poke fun at the one that was loud and exaggerated. Case in point, my phone call to "Andy and Gina in the Morning" on 100.3 The Sound in Los Angeles. And for the record, this was my first attempt at a Sean Spicer voice impersonation. Enjoy!
Donald Trump is set to take the Oath of Office as the nation's 45th President on Friday. Now, we all now by now that President-Elect Trump does things a little differently. So it's no surprise that he would be requesting some changes to the actual Presidential Oath. The oath that hasn't changed in over 200 years. Here's a guess as to what Trump may have wanted to say in his version of the oath, using my Donald Trump impression:
Tonight is the season premiere of "Celebrity Apprentice" on NBC, with new host Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lots of hype for the Terminator. I wonder what his catch phrase will be when he fires someone? I ventured a few guesses in this comedy bit, where I provided the Arnold Schwarzenegger voice impression:
Let me begin by saying this was not the first time I had done an impression of President George Herbert Walker Bush in a public setting. I actually had an opportunity to do my Bush imitation for his son, George W. when he was running for president in 2000. I was recently asked to participate in a project for the nice people at Audible. It's a podcast series entitled, "Presidents Are People Too", hosted by the former head writer of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", Elliott Kalan and acclaimed author and historian, Alexis Coe. What was even more thrilling was being able to follow historian and Pulitzer Prize-Winning author Jon Meacham during the same podcast.
The episode I was invited to work on featured our 41st U.S. President, George Herbert Walker Bush. In that episode, I did my impersonation of Bush 41, reading several letters, both personal and political, that were taken straight from his Presidential Library. I also offered an "alternative memoir" of Bush(probably written by the very funny Elliott Kalan)at the end of the podcast. It was great fun, and I even got name credit from both hosts, and in the write-up. I also made a point not to "over-do" the voice impression. Since this was a more serious piece, I wasn't going for the Dana Carvey style(although he influenced me greatly in my high school years). I invite you to download the podcast here. I actually learned some things about George Bush that I didn't know before after listening.
Seems like everyday there's someone or some other group of people meeting with Donald Trump and his family at Trump Tower in Manhattan. Al Gore, Kanye West, Bill Gates, it just never seems to end. I called up Mitch Albom on his radio show in Detroit to talk about it using my Donald Trump voice impression, and I even included my voice impersonation of Vice President-Elect Mike Pence(if you know of anyone doing a Mike Pence impression, let me know, because I haven't seen one yet). Oh, and my Dr. Ben Carson imitation makes an appearance as well. I really don't know how I was able to keep all of them straight live on the air, but it was fun. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how it went on my end of the phone line:
When Donald Trump called up the President of Taiwan, it ruffled some feathers in China. The U.S. has even decided to do a little damage control with the Chinese. Many are wondering whether it was an intentional move by Trump, or a diplomatic misstep. Either way, it was newsmaking for the President-Elect. The other part of the story people have failed to mention, is that Donald Trump didn't cost the taxpayers any money with how he made the call to Taiwan. In fact, he saved money! Take a look at this parody I voiced using my Donald Trump impression, and you'll see what I mean:
Recently I was invited to participate in a program on local cable access television that features people in the community who work as media professionals. Well, "media professional" sounds pretty serious and official, so I don't know if that accurately describes me, but I said "Sure! Why not." When I walked into the studio, I started looking for Zach Galifianakis, since the set was very reminiscent of "Between Two Ferns". In addition to it airing on local cable, the nice folks at Orion TV posted the interview on their YouTube channel, Twitter, and now you, no matter where you are, can subject yourself to 40 minutes of me talking about my life as a voice impressionist and voice-over talent slash voice actor, and how I got started in this very crazy business. Looking back, which this experience allowed me to do, I can honestly say--without any reservation--I wouldn't change a thing.
Vice President-Elect Mike Pence planned to see a play on Broadway. And he did. No big deal, right? Well the cast of "Hamilton" had other plans following the performance. It was quite a news-making event. When Mike Pence was asked about the post show goings on, he said he wasn't offended by what the cast had to say. But this interview with my Mike Pence voice impression says otherwise...
I've been working on honing my Mike Pence impression. Honestly, he's not the most exciting guy to imitate. Vocally, he's a front of the mouth impersonation. Not a very wide opening when he speaks. Very S-y (Essy? Am I wording that correctly?) Always speaking very seriously, but gentle with everything he says...at least when he's speaking one-in-one in an interview. As any celebrity voice impressionist will tell you, it's always a work in progress.
Here's a little parody I wrote and produced with Mike Pence...attempting to tie in Thanksgiving:
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
I think by now you've heard about the latest controversy involving Hillary Clinton's e-mails that were found on disgraced former Congressmen Anthony Weiner's computer. The FBI announced the relaunch of their investigation with a letter to Congress on Friday. Such a tangled web I know, but who better to put it all in perspective than Former President Bill Clinton, who secretly is probably glad that the Weiner to blame isn't his.
Here's a radio call I did this morning with Torg & Elliott on QFM-96 in Columbus, using my Bill Clinton voice impression. It may break the record for Weiner jokes told during a single phone call:
Last night's final Presidential Debate of 2016 was not without it's fireworks. At one point when Hillary Clinton was speaking, Donald Trump interrupted(as he is usually inclined to do) with the words "Such a nasty woman."
This morning on 100.3 The Sound in Los Angeles, "Andy & Gina in the Morning" had me on doing my Donald Trump impression, defending his calling Hillary a nasty woman. Here's how that line of defense played out live on the air:
It was a busy week to be a Donald Trump impersonator. My voice impression of Trump was in high demand with radio shows across the country. Here are just a few of the radio calls I did using my Donald Trump voice imitation:
67 years. One job. Not many people can say that, if any. But Vin Scully is one of a kind. And this week, he couldn't be going out in better style. His last call at Dodger Stadium was a walk-off homerun, clinching the National League West Division Championship for the Dodgers.
Now, all this talk about retirement and Vin saying goodbye got me thinking: What will he do with all the spare time? A 67-year habit is hard to break. Well, I made some guesses, along with a little parody video. Please excuse my Vin Scully impression...I don't purport to have the perfect impersonation of Vin down pat or anything. I'm just a fan who's having a hard time saying goodbye, and wants to lighten the sad mood with some humor. Enjoy!
Recently I had the pleasure of hooking up with a digital media design company called Oddboy out of New Zealand. They have created a fun mobile game app called Jrump, which has generated a lot of buzz around the world. features a futuristic Donald as president in 2017, set in a post-apocalyptic Earth. I guess you can tell which way the politics sway with this game. All that aside, I did the voice-over for the video to promote the game, using my Donald Trump impression. Special thanks to Tom Bellamy of Oddboy for inviting me to participate. This game looks like it will be yuuuuge. You can watch the promo video below:
Thrillist, a site for lists of all kinds, has compiled a list of the best Donald Trump impressions of the 2016 Presidential Election Cycle. It was released a couple months ago, but I happened upon it during a Google search of myself(admit it, you do it too). I was pleased to see that out of 35, I ranked #10. Now, full disclosure, it does start out as a tongue-and-cheek list. Jeb Bush doesn't do a Donald Trump impression for a living. But when they got to me, I was flattered at what they had to say:
"As far as voice-work is concerned, it's tough to beat Harthen. His Bill Clinton is near flawless, too -- even HRC loves him."
A big thank you to Sean Fitz-Gerald for including me among some very talented people, sans Jeb Bush.