The Best Bowie

As a warning, this post is not going to be related to anything I usually talk about on this blog.  You may have figured that out from the title.  But this is something I’ve been thinking about for a while: is David Bowie the most imitated (but never duplicated) musician?

What is it about him that makes him such an appealing subject for impression?  His distinctive voice?  The fact that he’s undergone several transformations, but always managed to maintain musical talent (which seems either rare or difficult, based on most examples)?

Or maybe it’s the fact that he’s done things in his career which seem so out of character and bizarre that they end up making total sense?

(You can watch the original of this here, and you should.  I really like it.  Yeah, I went there.  Plus it will show you that some of the more odd moments of the Will Ferrell/ John C. Reilly version are straight out of the original)

Or maybe it’s just that his stuff is so darn catchy.  So catchy, in fact, that they almost write themselves.

And yes, David Bowie doing David Bowie counts as an impression.

Possibly the most important question of all, though: who does the best Bowie?  I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.



  1. David Bowie does the best David Bowie. BUT, putting him aside because perhaps that could be cheating, I vote for Jemaine. I think it might be less because of a great impression and more because of how *funny* his version is, especially coming out of Jemaine. But he’s the only one who keeps using “Freaky” and that has come to define Bowie impressions for me…

    To answer the question of “why”, I think it’s because of David Bowie’s infinitely parody-able vagueness and strangeness. Although I don’t think Will Ferrell’s parody is the absolute top, he does nail the way Bowie seems like he’s on another planet most of the time, as if he’s sort of taking everything in without being part of it, and perhaps hearing subsonic transmissions that the rest of us miss.

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