Games & Sport

Clowning on NASA: Impressionist James Adomian on his Bond-villain Elon Musk

Enlarge (credit: Wojtek Arciszewski / SXSW)

AUSTIN, Texas—In 2018, Elon Musk showed up at South by Southwest to inspire humanity. In 2019, “Elon Musk” showed up to destroy it.

“By the way, my accent? It’s correct,” “Musk” told a sold out theater on Friday night toward the beginning of “his” SXSW Comedy keynote, Elon Musk: The Frightening and Awful Future of Humanity. “I’m South African and also Canadian, so I’m evil but kind of shy about it.”

If you’re thinking something looks a little different about Mindy Tucker‘s “Musk” portrait from SXSW 2019, it’s not the choice of sweater. “When I’m doing an impression, I’m most interested in making fun of folks who are already larger-than-life personalities: bombastic figures, figures with giant egos, and maybe bigger blind spots—I love that,” “Elon,” aka comedian James Adomian, tells Ars. “That’s what makes it interesting to me and the audience. I’m not going to be doing a Robert De Niro impression. Obviously, sometimes you do an impression someone else has done before, but you want your own take on it, and that involves finding the craziest thing about them and exaggerating it—that’s where the comedy is. It’d be boring if I didn’t pick big targets.”

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