Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Sound Alikes: Not your Average Job Description

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

August 9, 2006

Comments (19)

When Tom Hanks can't make it back to the studio to redo a line, what do the producers do? Well, hire a sound alike, of course!

Being a professional Sound Alike falls in the territory between celebrity impersonators and the real thing. Different altogether from traditional character voices, sound alikes have the incredible task of recreating the voice and vocal mannerisms of another person... not to be someone who kind of sounds like a celebrity, but to produce an indistinguishable vocal likeness.

Why are sound alikes perceived to be the actual person they are mimicking?

Whenever you hear a sound alike recreate a famous persons' voice, you recognize and trust its authenticity, not simply based upon the total sum of their vocal qualities, but on the distinct similarities between the two voices. For instance, if a sound alike for British Prime Minister Tony Blair were to address the public via radio, a listener in the United Kingdom would perceive the information delivered by the sound alike to be true, recognizing the voice that they hear to be both familiar and authoritative.

You can think of a professional sound alike as an understudy. An understudy is a person who is assigned to a role as a backup for the lead actor, or in our case, voice actor. For instance, if Tom Hanks was on vacation and unable to attend the recording session, a Tom Hanks sound alike would stand in to record the dialog for him.

There is a large market for sound alikes, including duplicating the voices of working celebrities, media personalities, and even replicating the voices of those who have left us, including Elvis Presley, Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, John Wayne, Marlon Brando and so on.

Sound alikes have also entered into the field of music, manifesting themselves in tribute artists for popular bands and solo singers in local dance halls, stadiums, and on the big screen. In the recent movie "Walk the Line", Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon are featured in the lead roles, portraying Johnny Cash and June Carter in both a visual sense and in a vocal capacity.

The most famous sound alikes are so good at what they do that you will never know that 'they' are not the real McCoy. These people are nearly always working behind the scenes, which makes their performance even more convincing, if done well.

Are you a sound alike? Leave a comment on the blog and mention whose voice (or multiple voices) you perform.

Cheers,

Stephanie

Related Topics: Celebrities, Celebrity, radio


Comments


    There is also a market for the "obvious" sound alike. Where the voice is a little different but captures the style, cadence and inflection of the "original".

    Posted by:

      Hi! Well, lets see:

      Billy Connelly (heavy Scot)
      Sean Connery

      Posted by:
      • Jorge Arcay
      • January 19, 2007 11:58 AM

        Bill Paxton

        Posted by:
        • Tom Begier
        • May 1, 2007 9:12 PM

          1. Hank Hill

          2. Droopy Dog

          Posted by:
          • Darren
          • October 2, 2007 7:04 PM

            Here they are:

            1 Droopy

            2 Eric Cartman

            3 MR GARRISON

            4 Mr Macky

            5 Towelie

            6 Brian Griffin

            7 Glenn Quagmire

            8 Carl Pewderschmidt/ that doctor in family guy.(cause its the same voice)

            9 Herbert (the creepy old guy always after chris)

            10 Waylon Smithers

            11 Grounds Keeper Willie

            12 Krusty the Clown

            13 Itchy and Scratchy

            14 Apu (can`t pronounce the last name)

            15 Moe (can`t pronounce the last name)

            16 Montgomery Burns

            17 Prof. Farnsworth

            18 Zoidberg

            19 Hermes

            20 Nixon's head

            21 Zapp Brannigan

            22 Kiff

            23 Mustang the flame alchemist

            24 Major Armstrong

            25 Hoenheim of light

            26 Koga (Inuyasha)

            27 Patrick (Spongebob Squarepants)

            28 Dehydrated Spongebob

            29 Salty Spitoon Bouncer

            30 Adam Sandler (not all of his characters, just a few.)

            31 Little Nicky

            32 Bobby Bouche

            33 Billy Madison

            34 Whitey

            34 Iroh (avatar the last airbender)

            35 Avatar Roku

            36 xlr8 (ben 10)

            37 Four Arms

            38 Ghost freak

            39 Heatblast

            40 Ripjaws

            41 Mutant Kevin 11/ Devin 11

            42 Capt. Jack Sparrow/ capt.jack swallows

            43 Johnny Depp ''Willy Wonka''

            44 Jason Mewes

            Posted by:
            • Ian
            • January 4, 2008 9:45 AM

              Hello.

              I am Jim Lueck, Celebrity Voice Impressionist. I do over 60 celebrity voice impressions for radio and TV spots. This is a partial list of voice impressions I perform.

              Audio samples available at manofvoices.com

              * Arnold Schwarzenegger
              * Al Gore
              * Peter Lorre
              * Sylvester Stallone
              * Guido Sarducci
              * Jack Nicholson
              * John Wayne
              * Jimmy Carter
              * Richard Nixon
              * Robin Leach
              * Rod Serling
              * Ronald Reagan
              * Forrest Gump
              * James Mason
              * Jimmy Stewart
              * Mickey Mouse
              * Patrick Stewart
              (Captain Picard)
              * Andy Rooney
              * Bill Clinton
              * David Brinkley
              * George W. Bush
              * Indian Accent
              * Michael Caine
              * Sean Connery
              * Walter Cronkite
              * Master Yoda
              * Christopher Loyd
              * George Bush Sr.
              * Gomer Pyle
              * Ross Perot
              * Tom Brokaw
              * Lt. Worf
              * Ben Stein
              * Brian Williams
              * Cary Grant
              * Dr. Phil
              * Ed Sullivan
              * Elmer Fudd
              * Humphrey Bogart
              * Jack Benny
              * Kermit the Frog
              * Optimus Prime
              * Robert Stack
              * Ted Koppel
              * Walter Brennan
              * WC Fields

              Feel free to contact me if I can be of service.

              http://jimlueck.voices.com

              Posted by:

                I am a Patsy Cline soundalike. I couldn't look like her if I tried, but I sound enough like her, that when doing karaoke, people request that I do Patsy Cline songs! :)

                I've even been in a new location doing karaoke, where no one has heard me, and have had people come into the place from outside, looking for the jukebox, and wondering why they couldn't find the Patsy Cline songs they had just heard! That's pretty fun, to be able to fool people like that! :)

                Posted by:
                • Darla
                • February 20, 2008 1:11 AM

                  does the same person do the voice for eric cartman and spongebob?

                  Posted by:
                  • tracy
                  • August 31, 2008 6:30 PM

                    Hi Tracy,

                    Thanks for dropping by. Check Tom Kenny's (voice of Spongebob) IMDb page here to see:

                    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0444786/

                    Best wishes,

                    Stephanie

                    Posted by:

                      My voice impressions are very extensive from elmo to mickey mouse all the way to betty boop. What i love to do however is sing impersonate. I can sound exactly like almost every female singer out there. From cher to madonna reba and whitney yes even newer singers like natasha and brittney..my dream is to sing back-up or for Disney being discovered is the hard part. My acomplishments are as follows at the age of 3 i started singing for family and friends at church and family get togethers. At the age of 7 school recital solos and state competitions. At the age of 16 winning local fair contests and singing The National Anthem at Memorial day Celebrations. At the age of 21 introduced to a thing called Karaoke and continued to wow complete strangers on a weekend basis.I have been on public accsess tv shows singing. I have won 6 Karaoke Contests both local and state. Now at the age of 30 i would like to take it to the next level. My speacialty is Country music but as i said before have a very wide range of vocal ability. Send email if interested in Hearing my talent Thanks,
                      And good luck to everyone with their career as a singer.

                      Melissa

                      Posted by:
                      • Melissa
                      • October 16, 2008 12:11 PM

                        How do I sign up with a voice agent?

                        Posted by:
                        • Tom
                        • October 27, 2008 2:01 AM

                          List:

                          A perfect Marvin The Martian, Tazmanian Devil (Taz), Boris Badenov, Foghorn Leghorn, Bullwinkle Moose, Shaggy, Scooby Doo, Snagglepuss. From the Simpsons: Mr Burns, Smithers, Homer, Marge, Marge's sisters, Abe Simpson, Ned Flanders, Moe, Chief Wigum, Dr Nick, Apu, Barney, Krusty, Troy McClure, (miss you Phil Hartman), Grover, Cookie Monster, Yoda, Kermit the Frog, Statler and Waldorf, Beeker, Animal, Charlie-in-the-Box, Head Elf from "Rudolf the Red...", Arnold Schwarzenegger, Beavis, Butthead, Cartman, Blue (Blue's clue's) barking, Carl (Jimmy Neutron), Mickey Mouse, Simon Barsinister, Yogi the Bear, Boris Badenov
                          Generic male "Kennedy" family member (I'm from Boston)

                          70's TV:
                          Colonel Klink (Werner Kempler), Major Hochstetter, General Burkhalter, Ricky Ricardo ("Lu-cy!"), Artie Johnson's characters from Laughin, dirty old man, (Gotcha!) and the german soldier, ("Very interesting..."), Archie Bunker, Ted Knight, (from Mary Tyler Moore Show - 'and now the news", "oh come on Lou!!"), Kojak, ("who loves you baby"), Arnold Horshack, Vinnie Barbarino.
                          Monty Python: various characters by Eric Idle, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Howard Cosell, Jack Su (Detective Nick Yemana,) Reverend Jim Ignatowski, Cliff Claven, Typical ones everyone can do: John Wayne, Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson, Bob Dylan, Brando Godfather, Scarface, George Burns, Ronald Reagan, Clint Eastwood, Groucho Marx, Henry Kissenger, Det. Columbo, Popeye, Ricardo Montalban, Robert Stack, Robin Leach, Rodney Dangerfield, Rod Serling, Rocky Balboa, Randy Savage (Pro Wrestler), Eddie Vedder, Bono, Inspector Frank Luger NYPD (James Gregory), Gilbert Gottfried, Crocodile Dundee, Sir Alec Guinness, Burgess Meredith, Art Carney as Ed Norton, Jack Palance, Joe Pesci, Robert Shaw (Quinn), Forrest Gump...

                          I added a bunch to this list just now with the help of internet lists I found...so that's all I can think of right now.

                          Posted by:
                          • Greg Fitzgerald
                          • March 31, 2009 3:39 PM

                            I sound just like Motown legend Smokey Robinson -i would even join a motown tribute show - or some thing simular that may - i wouldn't mind traveling with it idea -it could be a big draw WOW!!

                            Posted by:
                            • marty london
                            • October 17, 2010 1:33 PM

                              Hi, I've been singing along with Patsy Cline ever since I was 5 years old. She actually came to my house when I was a little girl. I (like most people) will tell you that I do sound like her. I know her voice well and was chosen as her as backup for her play Always. I was supposed to do two shows, but the lead didn't go on vacation and stayed to do the play. Missed my chance. I have made a cd with her songs and have given it out to many friends and relatives. Would like to go out on my own with a band. Have won many talent shows and have been told by top tv producers that my voice is "like listening to great singers from the past". Would like a chance to be heard.

                              Thank you.

                              Karen

                              Posted by:
                              • Karen Anderson
                              • November 17, 2010 9:43 PM

                                Hi there,

                                I am a UK voice artist and also do many British celebrity voices including former Prime Minister Tony Blair, David Beckham, Homer Simpson, The Movie Trailer Voice, Johnny Vegas, Zippy & George from Rainbow, Scooby Doo, The E4 / Xfactor style as origionally performed by the late Patrick Allen.

                                Plus many more. Have a look at my site for loads of demos.

                                Posted by:

                                  I played the role of Patsy Cline in the play "Always...Patsy Cline" a few years ago and am getting ready to play the role again this June. When I did the role the first time, people swore I was lip syncing to authentic Patsy Cline recordings and when I do Patsy Cline karaoke people can't believe it's really me singing. And though I am heavier set than she was, when I get in full costume and wig people say I really favor her as well.

                                  Posted by:
                                  • Jennifer
                                  • March 26, 2011 10:31 AM

                                    hi alot of people who hear me sing say i sound like patsy cline i dont know if i do or not

                                    Posted by:
                                    • zina
                                    • July 29, 2011 12:34 PM

                                      I sound like Patsy Cline enough that people can't tell the difference, I could also probably make myself look like her if I wanted to. But then, we are related. =)

                                      Posted by:
                                      • Me
                                      • September 17, 2011 11:10 AM

                                        Hi,
                                        My abilities range from Dean Martin, Perry Como, Marty Robbins and of course Elvis Presley. I'll be looking forward to hearing from you.

                                        Posted by:
                                        • Johnny
                                        • March 2, 2013 1:19 PM

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