The Man Who Should Be Playing Barack Obama on SNL

Posted by Audiegrl

________44-D 1st-Person_________

Crosson holding a newspaper headlining election victory for Barack Obama

Crosson holding a newspaper headlining election victory for Barack Obama

Meet Iman Crosson. He’s an American actor, impressionist, dancer and singer known on various Internet websites under the pseudonym “Alphacat,” and is best known for his impersonations of U.S. President Barack Obama.

During the summer of the 2008 U.S. Presidential election campaign, Crosson came to our attention after winning Denny’s Restaurant’s nationwide contest for the best impressionist of the then-candidate Barack Obama. Obama’s election victory brought recognition for Crosson’s comedy-, vocal-, musical-, and dance-laden video characterizations of a President during national crisis.

Within months of the election, Crosson was featured on numerous entertainment, culture, and news television shows, blogs and newspapers, earning a personal invitation to perform at Aretha Franklin’s March 2009 birthday celebration. Crosson has engagements at corporate events, parts in national commercials, and voice-over parts on’s The District and on two prime time television shows in production.

Iman Crosson

Iman Crosson

In 44D’s interview with Crosson today, we wanted to know if he had heard from SNL. He replied, “no one has contacted me…. I’d never expect them to. They’re SNL, I doubt they’re worried about internet talent. At least I don’t think…” Although Crosson is being very modest, his youtube fans don’t agree.

The online fans that follow his Alphacat channel are very anxious to see Crosson on SNL. But Crosson explains the difficulty, “I’m not sure if there’s anything to do to get Loren Michael’s attention. I think most of the sketch comedy shows are pretty tightly knit unless you complete a certain set of requirements or fit them at least, you simply aren’t looked at.” When asked for a preview of projects in the future, he tells us, “I have a project coming up for Halloween that you wanna stay tuned for. It’s gonna be insane“.

Finally we asked if President Obama had seen his impression, to which he replied, “I’m not sure, but I like to imagine he has! That would be great.”

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

When DailyIntel asked Crosson his secret to mastering the president-elect? He replied, “It’s all in the speech patterns and vocal cadences, and a whole lot of uhhs. I’ve learned to lower my register a little bit. He’s very pensive. He puts a lot of thought in what he’s about to say. Sometimes, he’ll highlight a word in a sentence. He might reiterate a word under his breath.”

Says Crosson: “One thing that has been important to me is to make it funny without making it profane or obscene. My ultimate hope is that Obama will see it one day and laugh.”

Atlantic blogger Ta-nehisi Coates weighs in in favor of Crosson too, writing that “you don’t have to be black to do a good impersonation of a black dude. I like Darrell Hammond’s Jesse Jackson a lot more than Keenan Thompson’s Al Sharpton–but you do have to be good. Andrew nominated this cat (Iman Crosson) awhile back.”‘s take: “It was one thing to have Armisen portraying Obama when he was a mere candidate, but now that SNL knows that it will need someone to play the 44th president for another four seasons at least, it’s hard to imagine that the show will let this obvious problem area go unaddressed. Armisen is a pro and you can tell he worked at his much-criticized portrayal in the last offseason. He has even gotten some laughs out of his mimicry of Obama’s deliberate speaking patterns. But since anyone who has visited YouTube in the past two years knows that good Obama impersonators aren’t hard to find, why can’t Lorne Michaels see fit to hire one

This video is a spoof of the Jamie Foxx Blame It… video. It includes portrayals of Barack and Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, Rod Blogojevich, and Sarah Palin.

Related Articles

Meet Alphacat, the Man Who Proved Obama Can Be Made Funny

Better Than Fred Armisen

Is it Time for SNL to Hire a New Obama Impersonator?

Iman Crosson for Prez… on SNL: Bloggers Ask Should he be Fred Armisen’s Replacement?

Lynda Obst: On Armisen’s Obama Impression


Filed under Culture, Elections, Hollywood, Humor, Media and Entertainment, Politics, TV Shows, Uncategorized

9 responses to “The Man Who Should Be Playing Barack Obama on SNL

  1. Wow, this guy really is good, the gestures and mannerisms are spot on. From everything I’ve read comics seem to find doing Obama difficult, but then they thought telling Obama jokes would be difficult and we’re way over that by now.

    Fred Armisen has never quite gotten his Obama impression down.

    “I don’t watch SNL that often but I’ve seen a couple of the clips… Folks are still working on the rhythm of my voice, which I guess is a little bit unusual, but he seems to be starting to get it down a bit. The ears aren’t quite as big on the show as they are in person. That’s presumably a makeup situation they can do something about.” (Pres. Obama)

    Lucky for Iman, nature gave him the perfect ears! 😉

  2. ogenec

    I agree Geo. Alphacat is really good. The “Blame It” spoof was fantastic. SNL should hire the guy.

  3. betsmeier

    Alphacat is great. I really wish that SNL would call him. Great Audie, thanks for posting this.

  4. SouthernGirl2

    “I really wish that SNL would call him”.

    I would hope so because the other guy is NOT funny. The only time I watch him is when cable news show clips from SNL.

    • audiegrl

      I usually don’t watch the whole show anymore either. They were on fire during the elections, but seem to have cooled off quite a bit now. 😉

  5. buellboy

    Alphacat is one of the best most definitely. There are others too.
    Jordan Peele of the recently canceled MAD TV is another while he doesn’t look like the Prez, he sounds so much like him you could close your eyes and not know the difference. Check out the Funny or Die site to see what I mean.

    Fred needs to practice more or just give it up 🙂

    • audiegrl

      hey BB

      I don’t think Fred is going to give up. 🙂 He’s incredibly talented, so I am not trying to take anything away from him. I just think that since they are going to need an Obama impersonator for at least the next 3 to 7 years, they should go with the most talented person. It doesn’t have to mean a permanent spot on the show, just a contract for special appearances when they do a President Obama skit. They don’t do one every week, so it shouldn’t be a problem. You know, like they brought in Queen Latifah to portray Gwen Ifill during last years campaign. 🙂

      Honestly, they are making money off of political satire, so why not spend a little extra to have the best?

    • I forgot about Jordan Peele, I love his characters.

      Mad-TV had a good run, I still love the re-runs.

  6. thelcster

    im on team alphacat! can we petition snl at all because the fred a skits are becoming painful. they need to stick with the rock obama…

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