Okay, this probably shouldn’t count. You all probably know it, but hey, when I’m not obsessing over Aladdin, Pinocchio is kinda my favorite Disney movie. But whatever: Aladdin tells Genie he’ll use his final wish to free him, Genie is rightfully suspicious, and this is how he accusing him of fibbing. Pinocchio, Never Forget.
13. Ed Sullivan
It’s weird that one of Williams most famous impressions will be the one baffling future generations of kids for decades to come. The Genie’s initial introduction concludes with a brief impression of Ed Sullivan, a famous New York columnist who would go on to host one of most influential TV variety shows in American television history.
My generation will know Ed Sullivan for little more than the name of the theater David Letterman hosted his famous CBS Late Show for 23 years, but it’s truly hard to put in perspective how monumental The Ed Sullivan Show was for American pop culture in the days before MTV and, uh, the internet. Yes, The Ed Sullivan Show famously solidified The Beatles and Elvis as household names, but if you’ve been paying attention to the information in this article, you’ll find that Ed Sullivan is the tie that binds together several of the celebrity impressions listed here. Rodney Dangerfield, Carol Channing, and Senor Wences (more on him soon) owe their careers to introductory/repeated appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, and I’d like to think that wonderfully emphasizes how influential The Ed Sullivan Show was to Robin Williams personally.
14. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Long before starring in 17 Terminator movies and becoming California’s Governor, Arnold Schwartz… do I really need to look up how to spell this guy’s name again? You know this one, right? Of course you do. Because before Arnold made it as an actor, he was a famous for just his physique and even took home the bizarrely coveted Mr. Universe prize in 1967. Here’s a clip of Arnold lifting… something.
15. Senor Wences
Immediately preceding the Ed Sullivan impression was technically another reference to one of that very talk show’s most noteworthy guests. Real name Wencelao Monero, the Spanish-born Senor Wences found stateside fame on Broadway, Las Vegas, and for most Americans, via almost 50 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show.
The world-renowned ventriloquist lived to be over 100 and I personally recall seeing him on The Muppet Show back in the day. However, folks somehow even younger than me are probably most familiar with Wences by a tribute made to the man on South Park. Eric Cartman’s literal hand puppet Jennifer Lopez (“S’alright?” “S’alright.”) is a direct reference to his falsetto voiced Johnny character, as is The Genie’s brief flirtation with puppeteering.
16. Robin Williams
Forgive us if we’re a being a broken record with this little Aladdin factoid, because we’re gonna rattle it off again, if only because it’s a wonderfully fortuitous finale to an article that’s listed celebrities in alphabetical order. At the end of Aladdin, Genie dons a loud yellow shirt and a Goofy hat while saying goodbye to the squad.
As you can read more about it here, but this look is actually a nod to none other than Robin Williams himself, specifically his appearance as a wandering Disney World yokel in his very first animated Disney performance, Back to Neverland.
That’s all, folks! You can consider this list complete. at least until we update it with the Aladdin sequels (not really). Let us know if there’s anything we missed and we’ll update the article. Until then, we leave you with *sniff* Mr. Williams’ last ever performance of Genie.