Posted by Audiegrl
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 Newsweek.com’s The District and on two prime time television shows in production.
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.”
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.”
Film.com‘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.