Bob Dylan is one of the most unique and recognizable figures of the twentieth century, and perhaps the greatest songwriter in the entire canon of American popular music. He’s also one of the most easily caricatured. Here are seven clips that make fun of him and his music.
1. Cate Blanchett in I’m Not There
Brilliant choice to cast a woman to play the mid-1960s, amphetamine-popping, wild-haired, strung-out Dylan. Taken almost word-for-word from a 1965 press conference, Blanchett captures Bob’s mannerisms and wry sense of humor.
2. Dana Carvey
Dana Carvey was one of SNL‘s best impressionists. It’s a little of over the top and goes downhill when Petty slides in, but still solid.
3. Jimmy Fallon
Another SNL alum, Fallon absolutely nails it — from Bob’s nasally warble right down do his habit of stressing random syllables (i.e. Charles in charge of our days and our nights, or, Stuck in-side of Mo-bile with the Mem-phis blues a-gain).
4. Seth MacFarlane
Again playing on the unintelligible Dylan angle, MacFarlane compliments it with other, equally unintelligible characters. And it’s only fitting to have Muhammad Ali appear from nowhere to ask why Bob didn’t play “Hurricane,” his 1975 epic about boxer Rubin Carter.
5. John C. Reilly in Walk Hard
A lampoon of Dylan’s often-abrasive attitude towards the press and his surreal lyrics in a spoof that sounds very much like “Mr. Tambourine Man.”
6. Paul Simon
Starting at 1:08, Simon pokes fun at Dylan’s Midwestern drawl, and the songs “It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding” and “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.” The “I’ve lost my harmonica, Albert” line is a nod to Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman.
7. The dude from Stealer’s Wheel
Okay so this one is entirely unintentional but Gerry Rafferty sounds just like Bob. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Don’t believe me? Type “Stuck In The Middle With You” into your Google search bar.