Imitation is the sincerest form of sci-fi flattery.
When someone becomes a pop-culture icon, everything about them can become part of that iconography, including a distinctive voice. Imagine the Terminator without Ahnold's Austrian accent, or Star Trek without Shatner's now-infamous cadence. Imagine how different the legend of Alan Moore would be if he didn't sound like Alan Moore. Voices help define legends, and as a result we often pay tribute to those legends -- sometimes in a mocking way, but we kid because we love -- through the great art of impersonation.
Since many of our favorite genre stars became favorites in part because of their iconic voices, it's no surprise that many other genre stars would use their talents to perform impressions of the icons around them. Whether it's Tom Hiddleston or Simon Helberg or Kevin Spacey or even Neil Gaiman, the Internet is full of amusing videos of genre celebrities doing often dead-on impressions of other genre celebrities. So, for your entertainment, we've gathered more than a dozen of them for you below. Enjoy.
Brent Spiner does Patrick Stewart
Star Trek: The Next Generation would be so different without the commanding voice of Sir Patrick Stewart, and no one knows that better than Stewart's crewmate, Brent Spiner, who does a nearly flawless impersonation of his captain. Stick around for the end of the video to hear how Spiner once used this little talent to call up Stewart's wife.
Benedict Cumberbatch does Alan Rickman
It's not surprising that Cumberbatch can use his deep, sophisticated English voice to accurately mimic another deep, sophisticated English voice: that of Professor Snape himself, Alan Rickman. Stick around until the end for brief bonus impressions of David Tennant and Jonathan Ross.
Tom Hiddleston does Chris Evans
Tom Hiddleston's become almost as famous for his impressions of other celebrities as he has for his performance as Loki. He can do everyone from Alan Rickman to Yoda, but for now, enjoy this impression of his Avengers co-star Chris Evans.
Mark Hamill does Christopher Lee
Given his extraordinary voice acting career, it's no surprise that Hamill does good imitations. Click to the 3:55 point in the video below to hear his impression of Christopher Lee, and keep watching for a few more seconds to hear a brief (hilarious) Harrison Ford impression.
Warren Ellis does Alan Moore (slightly NSFW)
Unfortunately we only have audio for this one, but hearing legendary bearded English comics writer Warren Ellis (Planetary, Transmetropolitan) do an impression of legendary bearded English comics writer Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta) is too priceless not to share.
Eric Bana does Orlando Bloom
You might not think an Orlando Bloom impression sounds very exciting, but when his Troy co-star Eric Bana unleashes one with boundless enthusiasm, it works.
Danny Pudi does Christian Bale's Batman
Yeah, we know, you've heard all the Christian Bale Batman impressions you could ever possibly want to hear, but something about Danny Pudi's version, channeled through his Community character Abed, is just so pure.
Neil Gaiman does Harlan Ellison
The famously prickly sci-fi legend Harlan Ellison certainly has a distinctive voice, and here fellow genre fiction icon Neil Gaiman does a pretty good rendering of it, along with an amusing story about an angry voicemail Ellison once left for him. Click through to 32:48.
Bill Hader does Gizmo from Gremlins
Bill Hader earned a reputation on Saturday Night Live for flawless impressions of everyone from Al Pacino to Vincent Price, but this brief turn as Gizmo is also a standout.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson does Arnold Schwarzenegger
Schwarzenegger impressions are legion, but we thought it was fitting to show you one done by another super-buff action star: Dwayne Johnson.
Seth MacFarlane does William Shatner
Many Shatner impressions put almost all their focus on his legendary Captain Kirk cadence, but MacFarlane's is a particularly good impression because it gets a little deeper into the actual tone of Shatner's voice than most.
Kevin Spacey does Marlon Brando
Think of it as Superman's greatest foe doing an impression of Superman's dad. Click through to about 3:40 for the Brando, but watch the whole video for impressions of Jimmy Stewart, Johnny Carson, Katharine Hepburn, John Gielgud, Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood and Jack Lemmon.
Jonny Lee Miller does Sean Connery (slightly NSFW)
Before he was Sherlock Holmes, Jonny Lee Miller played a Connery-obsessed heroin addict in Trainspotting, and we were treated to this wonderful impression.
Simon Helberg does Nicolas Cage
Helberg has busted out plenty of his impressions on The Big Bang Theory, but his Cage might be his very best. Check it out.
Michael Caine does ... Michael Caine
Ever since he said "You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" in 1969's The Italian Job, Michael Caine has been impression fodder. In this video, Caine strikes back at the many exaggerated impressions of his own voice by doing his own Michael Caine impression.