Enduring someone’s terrible impression at a dinner party is an unpleasant - but somewhat unavoidable - scene that occurs in adulthood.
There’s one part of you that wants to tell the individual it’s bad, or at least give some constructive feedback. Of course, you don't want to make them feel bad so you say nothing. Maybe even laugh a little. Then off they trot to recycle said impression for another audience. If such content should spark your interest: YouTube Tom Hiddleston doing an impersonation of Robert DeNiro, whilst sitting next to Robert DeNiro.
Still, when someone does a good impression? Majestic. You want the entire world to experience what you have just witnessed. Which, in the age of social media, is somewhat possible. Take Jordan Firstman, whose ‘seasons’ of impressions over lockdown have – deservedly - earned him the title of The Funniest Man On The Internet. In March, he had 15,000 followers, which have now grown to nearly half a million and include the likes of Katy Perry, Ariana Grande and Jennifer Aniston.
Firstman’s uncanny ability to hold up a microscope to an internet ‘moment’ is pure joy. Like a funhouse mirror, showing us the absurdities, and often silliness, of our individual - or collective - actions, as we navigate a new normal. The results: an impression of banana bread’s publicist, a coder responsible for the simulation we are living in 2020 (see below), the god who decides prices and someone getting nominated for an Instagram challenge.
As one Instagrammer mused, his videos are like psychic therapy for the zeitgeist: "I feel like you’re exposing some deep social subconscious levels that make me feel uncomfortable in the best way." Each sketch is delightfully chaotic (see also: a plane talking to another plane at a sleepover). Though it never feels like it's coming from a place of malice (which is where impressions, all too often, can fail). It's better described as a benevolent parody. You might see yourself in them, and in turn, laugh at yourself. During a period where it feels like there's little to find funny, that is surely something to celebrate.
So, for your viewing pleasure, we’ve collated some of our favourite impression videos, from your aunt at the NHS clap to someone who has only recently discovered astrology.