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VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Andy Hammersmith
No one is safe from being parodied on SNL! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the most accurate, funniest, and/or entertaining parodies of singers on “SNL.” Our countdown includes impressions of artists Kanye West, Prince, Miley Cyrus and more!

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the most accurate, funniest, and/or entertaining parodies of singers on “SNL.” Did we forget one of your favorite “SNL” singer parodies? Let us know in the comments below.

#20: Cecily Strong as Alanis Morissette


For this star-studded compilation, the “SNL” cast and host Jimmy Fallon bring out their best impressions. This includes Cecily Strong’s impersonation of 1990s star Alanis Morissette. With long hair and a fresh take on “Hand in My Pocket,” the performer nails the artist’s overall vibe. It also helps that Strong can hold her own as a confident and effective singer. Pairing her up with John Milhiser’s parody of Billie Joe Armstrong, this funny scene gives us all pure nostalgia for another era of rock. The comedian’s expert delivery and the Santa-infused lyrics only enhance the experience.

#19: James Austin Johnson as Jay-Z


With his successful takes on the likes of Donald Trump, James Austin Johnson stands out among a talented cast at “SNL.” This segment gives him a chance to show off a few unexpected impersonations. His take on Jay-Z might surprise some, but it’s also super hilarious. He even plays into the fact that he could play the rapper off-screen. Self-aware and completely absurd, this impression is a completely new take on the performer. Johnson finds a way to get laughs by only saying Beyoncé’s name. Showing that he’s a versatile comedian, the cast member shines in an unlikely spin on a hip-hop legend.

#18: Dana Carvey as Bob Dylan


For this “Weekend Update” segment, Dennis Miller introduces Dana Carvey’s Bob Dylan. This version of the music legend speaks in funny gibberish. Miller even has to interpret for Dylan as the sketch continues. With the inclusion of David Spade as Tom Petty, this goofy take on rock icons keeps the laughs coming. Carvey’s accent and vocal impersonation exaggerate the actual man’s voice in a hilarious way. This skit trades accuracy for a free-spirited silliness that makes the whole premise that much funnier. Playing off of Spade, the lead impressionist doesn’t need English to command the screen.

#17: Will Ferrell as Robert Goulet


Channeling the crooner, Will Ferrell plays Robert Goulet as a self-serious caricature. This sketch puts the singer and his brothers in a production entitled “Red Ships of Spain.” It’s a great excuse for Ferrell to sing and over-act as Goulet, making this double as a critique of all washed-up performers. The comedian also plays his target opposite his daughter in one of many hilarious moments. While this impersonation might seem dated to younger viewers, it works without having to know anything about the original guy. The lead performer does a fantastic job with an impression perfect for his comedic sensibilities.

#16: Adam Sandler as Axl Rose


In this parody of “We Are the World,” the cast comes together to make fun of all kinds of singers. This includes Adam Sandler’s inspired take on the Guns N’ Roses frontman. The comedian has a believable outfit, but his vocal impression really captures the artist’s unique style. Sandler stands out amongst strong work from Chris Farley as Carnie Wilson and especially Mike Myers’ goofy Mick Jagger. Coming back later, the “Happy Gilmore” star rises to the high notes of Rose’s famous range. You might not think of him as an impressionist, but this performer shows off here with a few well-placed notes.

#15: Melissa Villaseñor as Lady Gaga


When this comedian joins “Weekend Update,” she does it dressed like Lady Gaga. This segment is supposed to be about the Oscars, but Melissa Villaseñor uses it as an opportunity to do a fun Gaga impersonation. She even has a funny back-and-forth with host Colin Jost about her intentions. All of this sets up her cover of “Shallow,” the latter of which features some impressive vocals from Villaseñor. Kyle Mooney then joins her with his own entertaining Bradley Cooper impression. Ultimately, this whole skit gives the talented performer a chance to deliver a climactic finish.

#14: Jimmy Fallon as Mick Jagger


When Mick Jagger stops by his dressing room, he consults his reflection for some advice. The latter is played by Jimmy Fallon in an entertaining performance. The impression captures the general tone of the singer’s voice, but really excels because of the comedian’s energetic take. Jagger even appears to crack as he plays opposite the “SNL” cast member. From arguments to compliments, this whole conversation captures the full range of the frontman’s emotions. It’s also a plus to see the actual vocalist poke fun at himself. Fallon flails around in a comedic scene that’s both fantastical and hilarious.

#13: Gilda Radner as Patti Smith


Under the name Candy Slice, Gilda Radner takes aim at punk rocker Patti Smith. This funny skit introduces the fictional artist as a chaotic personality that can’t be tamed. Stumbling around in her entrance, Radner’s interpretation takes a swipe at hard-partying singers. She isn’t afraid to be herself or burp in people’s faces during a dedicated piece of comedic acting. The character might not be a carbon copy of Smith, but it does play up the rockstar stereotypes in a hilarious performance. Radner also sings her heart out in an intense song featuring all of the 1970s punk ethos she can muster.

#12: Taran Killam as Eminem


Assembling for a special single about Valentine’s Day, Lil Wayne and Eminem join “Weekend Update” to talk about their collaboration. Taran Killam plays the latter rapper as a more pensive and nonverbal communicator. After Jay Pharoah does a verse as Wayne, Killam gets ready to complete his amazing transformation into Marshall Mathers. This includes a stunning performance that includes all the vocal intensity of the Detroit emcee’s best bars. It’s even funnier that it all comes after a huge build-up, with the cast member waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. The performer doesn’t hold back and even throws in a funny surprise at the end.

#11: John Belushi as Joe Cocker


Among his funniest impressions, John Belushi totally became Joe Cocker on “Saturday Night Live.” He portrayed the soul singer in a pristine vocal impersonation. There’s also his amazing moves, finding a way to embody the spirit of Cocker with every step. The real singer actually joined Belushi for a one-of-a-kind performance in the second season. Seeing the two men on stage together, we can appreciate the comedian’s work even more. The comedy legend turned these wild moments into something all his own. Combining the “Woodstock” performer’s signature sounds and move, the cast member left a huge mark on early “SNL” history.

#10: Kristen Wiig as Liza Minnelli


In a hysterical Season 17 sketch entitled “Liza Minnelli Tries to Turn Off a Lamp,” Kristen Wiig captures all the physical flair of the famous subject. Paired with host Jonah Hill, Wiig locks into Liza Minnelli’s quirky vocal tone, complemented by some serious jazz hands and body distortions. She is constantly in motion, tapping into Liza’s commanding stage presence and slightly anxious demeanor. With the constant smile and physical theatrics, Wiig’s characterization couldn’t be more spot-on. It’s truly an astute parody that captures everything Liza.

#9: Vanessa Bayer as Miley Cyrus


In only her second “SNL” episode, Vanessa Bayer unveiled her bubbly Miley Cyrus impression. And with this parody, Vanessa’s not only got the southern twang down, but also the loveable perma-grin from Miley’s Disney days. Of course, when Bayer later performed it when her subject hosted the show, and Miley showed up as Justin Bieber, the meta-parody became even more effective, with the comedian and singer placed side-by-side. While vocal tone is crucial for this parody, Vanessa also nails young Miley’s rambling ways, and her more innocent and exuberant persona from way back when.

#8: Maya Rudolph as Beyoncé


Over the years, this parody evolved into a classic “SNL” bit, so much so that it made a Season 39 cold open. As the daughter of the late Minnie Riperton, Maya Rudolph was blessed with natural singing talent, yet this parody is more about Beyoncé’s stoic presence than anything else. With a hand on the hip and some faux wind, Maya locks into the cool and collected Beyoncé vibe, which allows her to be a little silly with the vocalizations. Most of all, it’s about the confidence, regardless of what’s actually being said. And so, with such physical command, Maya’s scripted and improvised lines take it to the next level.

#7: Ana Gasteyer as Céline Dion


After the massive success of “Titanic” and Celine Dion’s iconic love song, “My Heart Will Go On,” Ana Gasteyer capitalized with a truly exaggerated parody. Her performance on the “Celine Dion Show” touches on the artist’s always-surprised yet confident demeanor. The accent is key, of course, but Gasteyer succeeds by capturing Celine’s phrasing, making each word and movement absolutely epic. It began as a timely comedic bit and evolved into a recurring sketch for the “SNL” veteran. All in all, it’s a parody that touches on Celine’s likeability while highlighting her somewhat affected ways.

#6: Kate McKinnon as Justin Bieber


With a ripe-for-parody Calvin Klein ad as fodder, Kate McKinnon barely has to speak a word to crush this impression, with the facial expressions alone speaking volumes. Of course, the fact that it’s a gender-bending characterization does up the hilarity factor. With Justin’s soft-spoken ways and supreme posturing, the poses mean everything for this parody: there’s a rhythm to the way McKinnon mimics the pop star’s move that’s full of the kind of contrived masculinity and childish behavior you’d expect from a young pop star. Plus, it helps that McKinnon actually kinda looks like Bieber.

#5: Fred Armisen as Prince


Over the years, the famously eccentric Prince was a frequent “SNL” guest. And, on numerous occasions, the multitalented Fred Armisen has immersed himself in the Prince persona, communicating all the little nuances that made “the artist” so captivating. There’s the voice, of course, and Armisen does nail that aspect of the impression. But it’s the non-verbal behavior – the eyes, the ego, the posturing – that transcends usual parodies. Armisen is an “SNL” performer that often went over-the-top with impressions, as evidenced by his more chaotic yet memorable parody of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. But with Prince, he keeps it tight, focused and hilarious.

#4: Phil Hartman as Frank Sinatra


In the early 90s, Ol’ Blue Eyes was far past his prime, yet he remained a relevant figure in pop culture. And so, this Phil Hartman bit pinpoints Frank Sinatra’s old-school style, as he chastises numerous musicians while offering a few backhanded compliments as well. It’s a remarkable parody for the look and vocal similarities – plus, it captures Sinatra’s no-nonsense demeanor, as evidenced by his rather blunt language. While some younger performers on “The Sinatra Group” tap into early 90s trends, only a seasoned veteran like Hartman could truly perfect an older Sinatra impression, expanding on the original Joe Piscopo performance.

#3: Jimmy Fallon as Barry Gibb


Whereas some “SNL” parodies are subdued and nuanced, this classic Jimmy Fallon bit hilariously over-emphasizes the sounds and movements of the most famous Bee Gee: one Barry Gibb. It’s a recurring sketch, and one that benefits from Justin Timberlake’s appearance, but it’s Fallon’s frenetic energy that stands out most, as this is most definitely a disco-era parody. Like many Fallon impressions, it’s loose and reminds us that it’s live TV, with Jimmy pushing and pushing until someone cracks up. Pop stars often come across as pretentious and self-involved, and this parody allows Fallon to channel his inner rock star.

#2: Jay Pharoah as Kanye West


During his first season on “SNL,” Jay Pharoah produced one of his most stunning impressions – and one that would become a trademark. Given Pharoah’s vast array of remarkable impressions, it’s no surprise that he perfectly mimics Kanye West’s hyperpomposity. On his own, Pharoah kills it with this parody, but he really shines when paired with another performer. There’s a subtle reference to Yeezy’s physical mannerisms, but it’s mostly about the rhythmic vocalizations and knowing when to extend certain words. Of course, there are the Kanye catchphrases, too, and Pharoah’s hilarious ability to demonstrate how Yeezy can be a bit… dramatic.

#1: Eddie Murphy as Stevie Wonder


It’s one thing to look and sound like a parody subject, but it’s another to perfect their actual singing voice. In the early 80s, Eddie Murphy transformed from an unknown teenager into a pop culture superstar, in large part thanks to his celebrity parody sketches. With the Stevie Wonder characterization, young Eddie holds his own on the “SNL” stage, showcasing a raw comedic skill set that would later help him transition into cinema. Much like he did with his also-iconic James Brown parody, Eddie combines improv, rehearsal, and natural talent to sell the bit and keep us laughing.

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