Top 10 Deepfake Videos
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
Deepfakes are permeating the Internet these days, and these are the best of the best. For this list, we're taking a look at the most seamless and strangest videos made possible through the human image synthesis technique known as Deepfake. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Deepfake Videos.
Script written by Nick Spake
Top 10 Deepfake Videos
Is the movie “Face/Off” slowly becoming a reality? Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Deepfake Videos.
For this list, we’re taking a look at the most seamless and strangest videos made possible through the human image synthesis technique known as Deepfake. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, Deepfake software essentially allows users to swap out an image of one person’s face with another through artificial intelligence, which is what we’re focusing on here. We’re excluding mashup images of animated characters, as well as videos that just used simple editing filters.
#10: Jimmy Fallon as Paul Rudd
Jimmy Fallon and Paul Rudd share a fair deal in common. Both are funnymen, both are musically inclined, and both have somehow managed to maintained perpetually youthful appearances even as they enter middle age. The two even kind of look like each other with dark brown, slicked up hair and clear, pale skin. Their likeness is only made more apparent through this deepfake video, which plasters Fallon’s face onto Rudd’s head. Looking at this side by side comparison, the viewer may assume that they’re seeing double at first. Focusing on the right image, however, it becomes clearer that Fallon has possessed Rudd. Still, we never realized just how eerily similar the resemblance was until we took this journey into the uncanny valley.
#9: Hillary Clinton as Kate McKinnon
It’s no secret that comedienne Kate McKinnon can do a spot-on Hillary Clinton impression, nailing her voice, mannerisms, and appearance to near perfection. McKinnon practically becomes Clinton on “SNL,” but this deepfake video takes matters one step further. With McKinnon already sporting Clinton’s signature hairdo and wardrobe, the video seamlessly sews the politician’s face into the equation. If you were to just look at the deepfake imagery, you might assume that this is a real clip from the 2016 U.S. presidential debate. Honestly, considering how crazy that election could get, it was often hard to separate satire from reality. Likewise, this deepfake is where artificial intelligence and actual intelligence intersect.
#8: John Oliver as Jimmy Fallon
Lip Sync Battle has become a staple of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” In the original clip used for this deepfake, Fallon competed against Emma Stone by lip syncing to Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.” Swapping out Fallon’s voice with Azalea’s is one thing, but swapping out his face with John Oliver’s is another. This deepfake is so realistic that it almost tricks the viewer into believing that Oliver is the one lip syncing. Of course, it becomes more evident that we’re watching a deepfake when the camera briefly cuts to Stone, who’s given thick glasses, a larger nose, and bushier eyebrows. Another clip shows Fallon’s voice coming out of Oliver’s mouth, which just sounds bizarre since it’s impossible to imagine Oliver without an English accent.
#7: Vladimir Putin as Beck Bennett
Russian interference has been one of the main talking points following the 2016 U.S. elections. Only a day after Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States, “SNL” opened with Beck Bennett doing his impression of Russian President Vladimir Putin… without a shirt on, we might add. Although Bennett made Putin look pretty silly, this deepfake video upped the absurdity by 304 electoral votes. Between Bennett’s exaggerated accent, the fact that he’s topless, and the phony Russian background, it’s obvious that this isn’t the real Putin. Nevertheless, the deepfake is still surprisingly convincing, with Putin virtually consuming Bennett’s body. Given the current political climate, we’re not sure whether this deepfake is hilarious or deeply disturbing.
#6: Sylvester Stallone as The Terminator
In the movie “Last Action Hero,” it’s revealed that Sylvester Stallone has replaced Arnold Schwarzenegger in his career-defining role. The visual gag is only made funnier when you consider that Stallone was eyed to play the Terminator in real life, but he turned the part down. Although we get a poster featuring Sly as the T-800, we sadly never see a clip from “T2: The Stallone Cut.” Over 25 years later, a deepfake video made this alternative casting choice a reality. Granted, it is rather jarring hearing a thick Austrian accept emanating from Stallone, who also has a very distinctive voice. Nonetheless, the face swap is damn impressive, especially when Stallone’s Terminator attempts to smile.
#5: Elon Musk as Charlie Sheen
One’s a billionaire, engineer, and entrepreneur who has forever changed the tech world. The other is… Uncle Charlie from “Two and a Half Men.” While they come from very different backgrounds, both Elon Musk and Charlie Sheen are known for their eccentric personalities that at times almost come off as alien. Author Jennifer Wright tweeted in 2018 that “Elon Musk is like if Charlie Sheen had been good at computers.” The people behind this deepfake apparently had the same idea. Musk’s face is pasted onto Sheen’s head during his infamous “winning” interview. It appears Musk has gone from smoking weed on “Joe Rogan” to experimenting with the drug known as Charlie Sheen. Musk has been called a mad genius, but this video is just plain mad.
#4: Steve Buscemi as Jennifer Lawrence
With most deepfake videos, there’s usually some sort of connection or resemblance shared between the two celebrities swapping faces. So, we’re not sure where someone would get the inspiration to put Steve Buscemi’s face on Jennifer Lawrence’s body. The two look, sound, and act nothing like each other, although perhaps that’s why this deepfake is so amazing. What makes the deepfake even more randomly awesome is that Lawrence talks about her favorite and least Real Housewives, a subject we’d never expect to see Buscemi tackle, especially in a red Christian Dior gown. Stephen Colbert couldn’t resist bringing the deepfake to Buscemi’s attention. Buscemi was naturally taken aback, as were the rest of us, although the actor admitted he never looked better.
#3: Barack Obama as Jordan Peele
As cool as deepfake videos can be, this advanced technology has also raised a few concerns. After all, some deepfakes are so convincing that they can be used to distort the truth. In this video, former President Barack Obama warns viewers about the dangers of deepfake… at least we’re initially led to believe that this is Obama. After proclaiming that the villain from “Black Panther” had the right idea and saying some harsh words about Donald Trump, it’s revealed that this Obama is merely a puppet and Jordan Peele is the one pulling the strings. The video serves as an informative PSA and an ingenious satire of fake news, all tied together by Peele’s flawless impression of the 44th.
#2: Nicolas Cage as Amy Adams
Nicolas Cage has already inspired countless memes, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s been the subject of a few deepfake videos. For W Magazine, actress Amy Adams performed “I Will Survive.” On paper, this might’ve seemed like an odd clip to give the Cage treatment. If you think about it, though, we could totally see Cage sporting a polka dot top, checkered skirt, and red hair while rocking out to a Gloria Gaynor song. (xref) That’s not the only deepfake that switched out Adams with Cage. In this scene from “Man of Steel,” Cage is turned into Lois Lane. Well, at least Cage finally got into a Superman movie and this effect still looks better than Henry Cavill’s mustache removal.
Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
Kim Kardashian Manipulation
Mark Zuckerberg In Control
Vladimir Putin & Donald Trump as Doctor Evil & Mini-Me
Bob Ross’ Deeply Artificial Trees
Nicolas Cage as Tommy Wiseau
#1: Arnold Schwarzenegger as Bill Hader
During an appearance on “Conan,” Bill Hader attempted to impersonate his two-year-old daughter, but he ended up sounding more like Arnold Schwarzenegger. It isn’t long until Hader breaks out a full-blown Schwarzenegger impression. This deepfake completes the picture, pairing Hader’s Austrian accent with Arnold’s chuckling mug. As the conversation goes on, Hader and Conan start talking about what Schwarzenegger would be like as a little, talking baby. The two may not realize it, but they’re actually describing the movie “Junior,” in which Schwarzenegger played a pregnant man. At one point in that 1994 comedy, Schwarzenegger’s face is pasted over a newborn’s. Let’s just say that this deepfake video is far less traumatizing.