Culture

Guided By Voices


Zeitgeisters, it’s a given that I can’t do voices. At no point in my life has someone ever said to me, “Dude that is a spot-on impersonation of Terry Wogan (or Paulie Walnuts or Spongebob Squarepants). “ Because I have never got close to the timbre and nuance of a vocal impression. I am much like Kevin Costner in ROBIN HOOD PRINCE OF THIEVES (1991), in that neither of us has the slightest idea of how to maintain a convincing accent for even five minutes. (The similarities don’t stop there, both of us were international sex symbols from approximately 1983 to 1994. His career tanked there with the Wyatt Earp movie. Mine went down hill when I couldn’t raise the scratch to buy a Norgen-Vaaz franchise.)

Impersonations are a skill. It’s a technical thing, possibly akin to having a musical ear. Weirdly, impersonators are often lumped in with comedians, but only some of them are funny.

Getting the voice and some of the mannerisms right takes great observation and practise. And yet, its something that your outrageous workmate Colin or your Uncle Barry are happy to have a lash at with no prep and a couple of beers in them.

Every single English-speaking male Boomer or Gen X-er on the face of Planet Earth has a Sean Connery Impression. Gen X-ers and the older Gen Ys all seem to have Christopher Walken (thanks for that observation, Rex).

Wanting to be Connery is obvious. It’s all tied in with the Bond fantasy. Not so sure about the attraction to Walken. Great though he is, a lot of his characters are nervy, crazy and or messianic. Welcome to the ‘Noughties, I guess. In the old days men just wanted to do a Bogart or a James Cagney. Tough guys that didn’t take any malarkey.

My apologies to the female half of the population, by the way. Although I do hear women saying things like “Computer says, no…” I am not au fait with what women want impersonation wise. Do you knock back a few and then pretend to be Paris Hilton complaining about the lack of Low GI choices at the LA County Prison Salad bar?

I actually do have two partial impersonations. One is a semi- Connery. It is quite specific. In movie THE NAME OF THE ROSE (1986) he plays William of Baskerville opposite Christian Slater who plays a monk called Adso. Given the right circumstances I have been known to drawl, “Ah, Add-show.” It annoys my brother.

My other impersonation is Alan Thicke playing Jason Seaver in television’s GROWING PAINS (1985-1992). It mostly involves my getting frustrated with my son Mike as played by Christianity’s Kirk Cameron. I can’t really render it in print, but there’s a lot of emphasis on the beginning syllable of his name. Mmmiiike!

Obviously these are from many moons ago and its time that I worked up some new material. Maybe the hilarious and winningly cartoonic, Dodo, from the Dodo Broadband ads with Tara Reid. Or maybe I can re-dedicate myself to that Norgen-Vaaz business.

Imagine saying that with a Connery Spin. Noggin Vazzsshhhz. Yeah…

Elevate the Insignificant,

Mr Trivia

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