Obama Imitator Entertains in Some Government Events

May 28, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. impersonator [im-PUR-suh-ney-ter] (n.) – a person who copies or acts like another person; often for entertainment
Example: The impersonator entertained the audience through acting like famous celebrities and politicians.

2. show up [shoh uhp]  (v. phrase) – to be present or seen in an event
Example: The politician always shows up in every important national event to campaign for himself.

3. taken aback [tey-kuh n uh-bak] (idiom) – to be surprised or shocked
Example: The performer was taken aback by the audience’s harsh comments.

4. resemble [ri-zem-buh l] (v.) – to be similar with another person or thing
Example:  Identical twins closely resemble one another.

5. master [MAS-ter, MAH-ster] (v.) – to completely learn and understand
Example: The actress has mastered the art of crying after several workshops and seminars.


Read the text below.

Larry Graves, an impersonator of Barack Obama, shows up at various events to entertain people with his version of the current U.S. president.

Graves started impersonating when Obama was first elected. Aside from impersonating, he works mainly as a substitute gym teacher in Maryland. Graves expressed his gladness about Obama’s reelection because he can still entertain others through impersonating the president.

Many people are taken aback when they first see Graves because they thought he really is President Obama. Some are very amazed at how Graves closely resembles the American president in terms of physical appearance, speech patterns, and behavior.

Graves always comes with two men who pretend to be his Secret Service agents. One of the agents is Matt Baldwin, who has been with Graves for five years. Baldwin always feels amused when people ask him if Graves was really the president.

Graves is constantly amazed by how much respect people show him. But, he said that impersonation is not easy. He gives effort in copying the president by using makeup to modify his physical appearance. He also took time to study and master the way Obama speaks and acts.

According to Graves, he and Obama have other similarities aside from physical appearance. For one, both he and Obama like playing basketball. In fact, Graves said that he would like to challenge the president to a game someday. However, he has never met the president in person yet.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A 

·         How would you feel if someone impersonated you? Please explain your answer.
·         Why do you think some people feel offended when they are impersonated?

Discussion B

·         What could be the bad effects of copying or imitating someone? Please explain your answer.
·         In your opinion, why do some people get entertained with a person impersonating other people?


May 28, 2013