You have one. I have one. We all have a Robert De Niro impression. For a guy who made a career out of being serious (even when he’s being funny), he’s surprisingly fun to imitate. But let’s be honest: our De Niro’s probably aren’t as good as we think. To get the real good De Niro’s you have to look to the pros. Here are 10 of the best De Niro impressions out there.
Warning: Foul language
So it’s not a very good De Niro impression all by itself. But it’s Dave Franco! And instead of quoting Taxi Driver, he’s quoting Meet the Parents, a tactic all would-be De Niro impressionists should consider.
Bradley Cooper can do a lot of things. He can speak French. He can act. He can make the ladies swoon. And he can do some pretty good impressions including this really incredible De Niro. The greatness begins at 1:40.
There is something brilliant going on with Gary Oldman’s De Niro impression (which starts at 2:05). You know it’s going to be good when he starts taking his glasses off in preparation. And Oldman doesn’t disappoint. The key to this one is all in the breathing, but the lines he gives himself are pretty choice as well.
This impressionist is so confident in his De Niro impression that he actually made a video not just doing the impression but teaching others how to do it as well. Luckily, he really does have a good one, so you’re in fine hands should you accept his tutelage.
This guy doesn’t look much like De Niro, but he manages to achieve a great impression anyway. He also gets extra points for pulling off not only the ubiquitous Pacino impression but a remarkable and far less common Joe Pesci as well.
In all honesty, this is more a success by contrast. Paul Rudd’s De Niro really isn’t the best De Niro impression ever. It just looks supergood up against Seth Rogen’s horrible nonimpression in this scene from Knocked Up. Ironically, Rogen’s might be the funnier of the two.
Josh Robert Thompson
It’s one thing to sound like De Niro, but Thompson both sells the voice and the look. Without resorting to a lot of the tics that give De Niro impressions away, this impression manages to be one of the list’s absolute bests. Unfortunately, Thompson finds himself easily overshadowed by Craig Ferguson’s awful Pacino.
Another De Niro/Pacino pairing! Will Sasso’s De Niro is not as meticulous as others on the list, but because he shoots for goofiness instead of accuracy, he actually manages to stand his ground against Frank Caliendo’s boisterous Pacino impression.
Speaking of Frank Caliendo, he does a nice De Niro impression too, which makes sense since he does impressions of everybody. More than anything, the brilliance here is pairing cliche De Niro body language with his Frankenstein performance, which actually required acting and didn’t look anything like a De Niro impression. But what if it did? Now we know.
This brief clip from 30 Rock offers Alec Baldwin doing his incredible De Niro. We only get a glimpse, but it’s is a sight to behold. Once again, the key is all in the breathing.
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