Reggie Brown (impersonator)
Reggie Brown, Barack Obama look-alike
|Birth name||Reginald D. Brown|
September 28, 1980 |
Maywood, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Subject(s)||politics, popular culture|
Early life and education
Brown is a native of Chicago, and was born in Maywood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Like President Obama, Brown was born to a white mother and black father. When Brown was a teenager, his step-father died after a three-year battle with Leukemia, leaving Brown and his siblings to be raised by a single mother.
Brown attended the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign before dropping out of college to pursue a career in modeling. After a short stint with Ford Model Management, Brown enrolled at The Acting Studios Chicago to take voice and acting classes.
Brown claims that he first learned of his resemblance to President Obama at the age of 21, when Obama was still an Illinois state legislator. Brown's career as a professional impersonator was launched by a series of appearances on Fox Business Network, starting with a mock debate against Representative Ron Paul on Stossel. Brown subsequently appeared on Stossel for similar mock debates with Governor Gary Johnson and Herman Cain.
2011 Republican Leadership Conference controversy
Brown was the subject of a national controversy in June 2011 when, during a nationally televised performance by Brown at the Republican Leadership Conference, he was cut off mid-sentence by Conference Chairman Charlie Davis. Davis told CNN that he ended Brown's performance because the Conference has a "zero tolerance [policy] for racially insensitive jokes." At first, Brown disputed the factual basis of Davis' statement, claiming that the performance was ended because Brown "was over [his] time by a few minutes." Later, Brown responded to the allegations of racism by stating that he "didn't hear any boos on any of the racial jokes" and that he felt "very safe delivering content like that" because he and the President are of a similar mixed racial background. "I wouldn't touch anything that I don't think the President would feel comfortable with or hasn't done himself. He is someone I respect. I want to make him happy," said Brown.
Brown appeared in a viral YouTube parody of Psy's hit song Gangnam Style, entitled Obama Gangnam Style! The video received millions of views from Twitter users in China, who reportedly believed that the real President Obama was responsible for the video. He also impersonated Obama in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
|2008||The Obama Effect||Barack Obama|
|2010||Hannah Montana||Barack Obama|
|Huckabee||Barack Obama||4 episodes|
|Lopez Tonight||Barack Obama|
|Piscopo After Dark||Barack Obama|
|2011||Jimmy Kimmel Live!||Barack Obama|
|Real Time with Bill Maher||Barack Obama|
|Stossel||Barack Obama||3 episodes|
|The Tonight Show with Jay Leno||Barack Obama|
|WWE Capitol Punishment||Barack Obama|
|Mr. Bam Redistributes Your Wealth||Mr. Bam|
|2012||Real Time with Bill Maher||Barack Obama||2 episodes|
|Huckabee||Barack Obama||10 episodes|
|2013||Funny Or Die||Drake||1 episode|
|Austin & Ally||Barack Obama||1 episode|
|2014||I Didn't Do It (TV series)||Barack Obama||1 episode|
|Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn||Barack Obama||1 episode|
Brown currently resides in Los Angeles, California. When asked about his political affiliation by NewsOne, Brown refused to comment as to whether he is a Democrat or Republican, noting that he is simply an "entertainer."
- Belenky, Alexander (June 20, 2011). "Reggie Brown, Obama Impersonator, Defends Performance At Republican Leadership Conference". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
- Brown, Reggie (c. 2012). "About Reggie". Reggie Brown. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
- Weiner, Rachel (June 20, 2011). "Obama impersonator surprised by backlash". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
- Manker, Rob (June 20, 2011). "Obama impersonator: A role I was born to play". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
- Gaynor, Gerren Keith (June 21, 2011). "Obama Impersonator: My Political Affiliation is "Entertainer"". NewsOne. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
- "About". NBC Chicago Street Team. c. 2006. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
- Pierce, Tony (April 29, 2011). "Ron Paul debates fake Obama on Fox Business". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
- Tanabe, Karin (June 10, 2011). "Gary Johnson debates 'Obama'". Politico. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
- Stossel, John (July 14, 2011). "Herman Cain Debates President Obama". Fox Business Network. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- Harding, Alison (June 20, 2011). "Booted Obama impersonator defends performance at GOP gathering". CNN. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
- "Obama impersonator finds Republicans a tough crowd". Sun-Times Media, LLC. June 19, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
- Martel, Frances (June 25, 2011). "Bill Maher Invites Obama Impersonator Reggie Brown To Finish Controversial Act". Mediaite. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
- Mstafa, Ari (November 13, 2012). "Obama Gangnam Style!". YouTube. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
- Minter, Adam (October 31, 2012). "Chinese Tweeters Dig Obama’s Gangnam Style". Bloomberg. Retrieved March 20, 2014.