Really Odd Representations of Celebrities

Background: I watched Yankee Doodle Dandy this past weekend. It’s the 1942 movie featuring James Cagney as George M. Cohan. Towards the end of the movie, Cohan plays the role of FDR in a Broadway production I’d Rather Be Right than President. As fits Cohan, he’s singing and dancing about the stage, jumping up on the table, etc. He looks nothing like FDR and no one with any knowledge of FDR then or now would believe that FDR could dance like that. But, its still kind of a fun scene.
So anyway, can you think of other movies, plays, etc. where the name of a real person was used and enough identifying details so that you know it isn’t coincidence, but yet no amount of suspension of disbelief can make the scene plausible? Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure sort of fits.

Geoffrey Chaucer in A Knight’s Tale.

Peter Griffin as Anna in The King and I.

Technically, Cohan was not playing Roosevelt. He was playing “The President” and it was intended to be a fictional president who had some similarities to FDR, but wasn’t intended to be him.

Also, Cagney was playing Cohan playing Roosevelt, not Roosevelt himself.

There is, of course, John Wayne as Genghis Khan in The Conqueror. No one believes that performance.

RealityChuck. That’s an interesting link, a dazzling number of shows are referenced in the movie, and that doesn’t begin to touch on the number listed in that link. Yet most people would recognize a couple of Cohan songs, but (I’m guessing) none of his shows. (Songs I assume most people would recognize: “Over There” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “Give my Regards to Broadway”).

Also, “The President” may have only been supposed to resemble FDR, not be him, but similarities like references to Teddy and Eleanor in “Off the Record” (the song shown in the movie) show that the character is supposed to remind the audience of FDR as opposed to simply being a generic president. Although, I can’t think of any American president who could believably be portrayed as dancing in the manner shown in that song.
Note to Everyone: Please substitute the word PORTRAYALS for representations in the thread titles. It is the word I was thinking of, but could not remember at the time I started the thread.

I was gonna say Raymond Massey as Boris Karloff as Jonathan Brewster in the movie ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, but actually Massey wasn’t bad.
Jeffrey Combs as H.P. Lovecraft in NECRONOMICON and Dennis Hopper also as HPL in WITCH HUNT.

Why can’t someone cast Harry Dean Stanton, Edward Herrman, Jeremy Irons or Crispin Glover as Lovecraft!?!?

(Massey or Karloff or Fred Gwynne could have played him also!)

Val Kilmer’s portrayal of “Elvis” in True Romance is an interesting take on this.

I put the name in quotes because Kilmer’s character comes off as Elvis, the icon, rather than Elvis Presley, the person. He plays him as a smoldering, calculating alpha male, when IRL, Elvis was nowhere near as shrewd as he liked to think he was. But this is the way Clarence thinks he was, so that’s the version of Elvis that appears to him.

How 'bout Willem Dafoe as Jesus and Harvey Keitel as Judas in The Last Temptation of Christ?

Well, there is Ossies Davis’s role were he played John F. Kennedy in Bubba Ho-tep. By the way, Bubba Ho-tep is the best damn Elvis vs the mummy movie I have ever seen. :smiley:

Just out of curiousity: How many Elvis vs the mummy movies have you seen?

Roger Daltrey as Franz Lizt in Liztomania (which also gave us Ringo Starr as the Pope)

Yahoo Serious as Young Einstein (with a young Marie Curie, too)

Groucho Marx as Peter Minuit (or is it Stuyvesant?) in The Story of Mankind, one of the weirdest movies ever made.

Harpo Marx as Sir Isaac Newton (!!!) , also in The Story of Mankind

In fact, TSOM deserves a special mention for its offbeat casting of historical personages. It’s gor Peter Lorre as the Emperor Nero, for instance.

James Cagney as Lon Chaney in Man of a Thousand Faces.

Actually the funny part is that Boris Karloff played Johnathan in the Broadway version of Arsenic and Old Lace. Lindsay and Krause convinced him to play him by telling him exactly one line from the play - the one about him looking like Karloff =)

All in all, a delightful moovie, and one I have on tape. I watch it 3 or 4 times a year=)

I would have loved to have seen in on Broadway…

Did you know Karloff also played the Father and Doggie in Peter Pan on Broadway? <giggle>

Springtime For Hitler

Springtime For Hitler
The Friends episode where Joey plays a singing Sigmund Freud