Josh Robert Thompson

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Josh Robert Thompson
Born (1975-03-11) March 11, 1975 (age 39)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Other names J. Robert Thompson
Occupation Actor, impressionist, comedian
Years active 2000–present

Josh Robert Thompson (born March 11, 1975) is an American actor, voice actor, impressionist and comedian. Thompson is known for his celebrity impressions, including Robert De Niro, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wilford Brimley, Willie Nelson, Sylvester Stallone, Matthew McConaughey and Morgan Freeman. His most notable role has been on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, providing the voice of robot skeleton Geoff Peterson.

Early life[edit]

Thompson grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from Padua Franciscan High School in 1993.[1] Thompson had an interest in impressions at an early age.[2]


Thompson’s Arnold Schwarzenegger impression first gained national attention during the California recall election of 2003. Posing as Schwarzenegger, Thompson phoned in to Fox News Channel’s morning program, Fox and Friends, fooling the hosts into believing (at least for a short while) that he was, in fact, Schwarzenegger himself.[3]

The Howard Stern Show and other radio appearances[edit]

Thompson’s Fox News prank caught the attention of The Howard Stern Show, and the impression—dubbed “Fake Arnold” by Stern Show producers—soon became a mainstay on the program.[3] At this time, Thompson also made a number of appearances on the Conway and Steckler and Conway and Whitman radio shows in Los Angeles (97.1 FM KLSX), and 96fm’s Breakfast show in Perth, Western Australia, where he voiced a number of characters, including Fake Arnold, Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Jackson, and Bill Cosby.[3]

Notable Howard Stern Show moments[edit]

  • In April 2005 on The Howard Stern Show, Thompson’s “Fake Arnold” character proposed a fictitious plan to “blow up the moon.”[3] Surprisingly, Fake Arnold’s phony agenda managed to dupe MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, who appeared soon after on his television program, publicly lambasting the “Governor” for his alleged plan.[4] Ten days later, Scarborough, after learning that the entire moon destruction scenario was a hoax, apologized on-air for his erroneous comments.[4]
  • On January 10, 2006, one day after The Howard Stern Show’s debut on Sirius Satellite Radio, Thompson fooled Star Trek actor George Takei into believing he was actually speaking with Governor Schwarzenegger. Several minutes after the phone call with Fake Arnold ended, Takei was finally let in on the joke. One year later, on January 9, 2007, Fake Arnold’s prank on George Takei was ranked sixth of the Top 10 best moments from The Howard Stern Show in 2006.

Beyond the Voice[edit]

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson[edit]

In February 2007, Thompson made his first on-camera television appearance as Governor Schwarzenegger on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS). Since then, Thompson has become a regular performer on the show, making regular appearances as actor Robert De Niro, Frat Guy, Brian Deese, Levi Johnston and the voice of Morgan Freeman.

Starting April 20, 2010, Thompson voiced Craig's robot skeleton sidekick, Geoff Peterson, originally using prerecorded clips of a vaguely George Takei-sounding voice. Approximately one year later, Thompson began to occasionally voice and perform Geoff live in-studio. On May 16, 2011, in what was possibly a backdoor audition, Thompson performed Geoff in an actual guest spot. Beginning June 29, 2011,[5] Thompson has been voicing and performing Geoff in-person for every episode, including those filmed in Paris, France, (which aired the week of August 1, 2011) and those filmed in Craig's hometown and country of Scotland (which aired the week of May 15, 2012).[6]

Since Thompson began voicing Geoff Peterson live, he has incorporated several of his own impressions into the character's repertoire. He also performed his Morgan Freeman impression for Freeman himself on June 10, 2011, asking the amazed actor "Would you like to hear my Morgan Freeman voice?" and "What would you like to say to yourself?" Freeman called the impression "outstanding."[7]

More Than Freeman[edit]

As of late 2010, Thompson appeared in advertisements for More Than insurance, doing his Morgan Freeman impression. In the advertisement, Thompson's character is named More Than Freeman.

Original characters[edit]

As a standup comic, Thompson is known for controversial and outrageous stage personas like crooked televangelist Apostle BG, Darnell the Janitor, Luis "Confrontational By Nature" Valdez, and product pitchman-turned-cabaret singer Robin Sooper.




Video games[edit]



External links[edit]