June 22, 2012

My Favorite Act-Outs: By Thomas Harty

Thomas Harty
My Favorite Act-Outs:

So what makes them (videos are below) work? As I see it, the key parts are:

1. the accuracy/vividness of the voices and mannerisms

2. the long build-up with minor gags and punchlines

3. a definite final punch-line

4. an original premise

I'm tempted to lump act-outs and impressions as the same joke, although I suppose the difference is an impression is usually a short joke with one target. Below is my single favorite act-out. It's the Stomach Bouncer bit from Jim Breuer. Wacky concept, nice build-up, good impressions, and a great closer.




Robin Williams on Golf, ditto.



Jim Carrey on Canada- this one is more of an extended impression, but I count it in.


And finally, a fine musical act-out from Kevin James, who left stand-up in order to appear in landmark comedies such as Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Zookeeper.



Contributing Writer
Thomas Harty