Comedian Chloe Fineman has quickly become one of the breakout stars of Saturday Night Live since she joined the cast as a featured player in September 2019. Chloe has been producing dead-on impressions for years, but when the pandemic hit and comedians were forced to take their acts online, Fineman excelled at the front-facing Instagram video, growing her following and cementing her status as a genius impressionist.
Last year, Chloe came to my college’s campus alongside her fellow SNL cast member Bowen Yang, and watching her rapidly cycle through impressions of celebrities reaching orgasm on stage was mesmerizing. Since then, I have followed everything she does.
If you need proof that Chloe is a genius before continuing on, look no further than this “Tonight Show” clip where she showcases many of her best impressions while reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.
So, without further ado, a ranking of Chloe Fineman’s celebrity impressions because, well, why not?
Honorable Mentions: Melania Trump, Gigi Hadid, Paula White, Busy Philipps, Alexa Chung, Elle Woods, Chloe’s Mom, The Great, Shia LaBeouf, Jennifer Lawrence laughing, Bella Hadid, Anna Delvey, Gossip Girl, Cynthia Nixon, Roseanne Barr, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Winona Ryder in Stranger Things, Judy Dench, and The Handmaid’s Tale.
- Hannah Gadsby
Stand-up comedian of Nanette fame Hannah Gadsby has a very distinct Australian accent and way of speaking that Chloe performs nearly mimetically. In a slightly more staged performance than her usual front-facing videos directed by her partner, Casey Thomas Brown, Chloe essentially performs the most memorable bits, pieces, and phrases from “Nanette.” She’s even whipped out her Australian accent while standing right next to Gadsby herself.
- Margaret Thatcher in The Crown
One of a few collaborative videos with Casey, fashioned as a FaceTime between Thatcher and Queen Elizabeth, the two orate nursery rhymes that Thatcher just can’t get the hang of. I haven’t watched The Crown and can’t say I am a huge fan of Thatcher so maybe I just don’t get this one.
- Dr. Birx
Chloe broke this impression out for an “ad” about Birx’s scarves on SNL last year. While the conceit of the video is funny, fellow SNL cast member Heidi Gardner more recently played Dr. Birx in a cold open, and their impressions were too similar to see Fineman’s Birx as one of her best impressions.
- Nicole Kidman
Chloe has impersonated Nicole Kidman many times — my favorites are an Instagram collab with Casey with the two of them playing Nicole and Keith Urban and Kidman’s character in The Undoing on SNL. Her Undoing impression is spot-on, poking fun at Kidman’s unplaceable and never-stable American accent. The FaceTime call between Kidman and Urban, however, is more of a showcase of Casey’s wonderful Keith Urban impression. Chloe’s Nicole sort of just reacts with lots of sharp laughs and a ridiculous round of applause.
23, 22, and 21. Blonde Republican Women (Tiffany Trump, Tomi Lahren, and Kayleigh McEnany)
All of these impressions essentially accomplish the same things: parodying the self-owns these women constantly put on video in the name of Donald Trump. Her impressions of Lahren and McEnany are quite similar to the right wing pundit character she plays on HBOMax’s Search Party. However, Chloe’s Tiffany Trump impression has been featured on SNL a few times and is the most different, relying on an exaggerated lower register. They’re all funny in a way that makes me feel terrible.
- Marianne Williamson
Chloe’s invocation of “girlfriend” throughout her front-facing “work in prog” impression (which she later did briefly on SNL) of one-time Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson is still funny more than two years later. Her Williamson says things only mildly more bizarre than what Williamson really did say while campaigning and on the debate stage.
- Catherine Zeta-Jones
Listeners of the celebrity gossip podcast “Who? Weekly” know all about the actress Catherine Zeta-Jones’ brand, Casa Zeta-Jones, and the frankly bizarre mix of products and content therein. Zeta-Jones often posts front-facing videos of her own describing products, and here, Chloe imitates pretty directly a video of Zeta-Jones promoting a smokey-eye pencil. There was a moment this summer when people on the internet were making fun of Casa Zeta-Jones, and that seems to be what Chloe is doing here. It’s funny — but only if you’re clued into why Zeta-Jones is relevant again.
- Florence Pugh
At the beginning of the pandemic, Florence Pugh took to her Instagram Stories to share videos of herself cooking. Eater called the videos “visual Xanax.” Chloe’s impression is casual, but she really nails Pugh’s accent.
- Elizabeth Holmes
Silicon Valley scammer/Steve Jobs impersonator Elizabeth Holmes has a very distinct baritone voice that, when her scam came tumbling down, was revealed to be fake, allegedly. If Holmes was intentionally lowering her voice to seem more masculine, and therefore successful, the end result is truly bizarre and precisely the right fodder for a wonderful impression. That’s where Chloe Fineman’s front-facing Holmes impression comes in. Wearing the signature black turtleneck, messy blonde hair, and exaggerated blue eyeliner, Fineman sounds mostly like Holmes, but also a little bit like her Timothée Chalamet impression.
- Britney Spears
In one of the SNL Masterclass from Home sketches when they were producing shows remotely in May 2020, Chloe Fineman breaks out her wonderful and free-spirited Britney Spears impression that she has previously posted on Instagram. Like most of Chloe’s impressions, you can tell she loves Britney so much and that her impression is coming from a place of love and admiration more than anything else. And following the release of Framing Britney Spears, Chloe led the SNL cold open on February 20 in a sketch where Britney hosts a talk show that allows her guests to apologize for their past actions. With references to Justin Timberlake’s 20-year late apology and the conspiracies that Britney hides secret messages in her posts, Chloe gracefully and skillfully plays Britney.
- Natasha Lyonne in Russian Doll
It’s hard to do a Natasha Lyonne impression because, in a lot of ways, her actual voice already sounds like one. But Chloe honestly nails Lyonne’s famously scratchy sound while parodying a recurring bit from the TV show Russian Doll. The only reason this front-facing video isn’t higher up is that her wig doesn’t do Lyonne’s fiery red curls justice.
- Jojo Siwa
Some of Chloe Fineman’s impressions are genius because they are so scarily accurate you might even think you’re hearing the subject really talking. Others are wonderful because they take the essence of her subject and blow up one specific thing so out of proportion, we’re left with nothing to do but laugh in bemusement. Chloe’s Jojo Siwa impression would fall into the latter. Her original Instagram impression from June 2019 is so high energy and crazy — Fineman is basically doing an Australian accent but still somehow sounds like Siwa.
- Ivanka Trump
For reasons I will not be able to explain adequately, Ivanka stands alone from the other blonde Republicans on this list. The impression here is of Ivanka celebrating Hanukkah in an extremely performative way that allowed her to use Judaism to deflect the Trump administration’s own antisemitic dog whistles. Chloe performs Ivanka’s face and voice perfectly, hilariously butchering every word of the traditional prayer said while lighting a menorah — instead of baruch atah Adonai, it’s “Barack Obama Illinois.”
- Maisie Williams
Here, Chloe isn’t overtly making fun of Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams (she’s also done an impression of Arya Stark, though). Her impression is more subtle, relying on a spot-on pink wig, thick eyebrows, and pitch perfect British accent to tease her (and the rest of the Game of Thrones fandom) about spoilers before the series finale. It’s one of Chloe’s more subdued impressions, but its construction is near perfection.
- Sarah Michelle Geller
My favorite Chloe Fineman impressions are the ones that sound and look exactly like the person but are still ridiculous in what they are actually saying. Sarah Michelle Geller gave Chloe ammo for this impression with her “SMG Tips of the Day” throughout the summer that are mostly mommy-blogger-esque tips for parenting at home that she ends with a peppy “quarantip.” SMG’s posts are funny on their own, but Chloe takes it up a notch by nearly copying some of Geller’s tips verbatim with wildly expressive eyes and an intense headband. The true mark of a good Chloe Fineman impression: when her subject reposts her impression, which is exactly what Sarah Michelle Geller did with this one.
- Marianne from Normal People
In another collaboration with Casey, the two play out a FaceTime call between Marianne and Connell from Hulu’s Normal People wherein the two discuss Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s song “WAP” in perfect Irish accents. As “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap plays over the FaceTime, Marianne tells him she has a “wet arse pussy” and then has to explain every innuendo in the song to a clueless Connell. It’s so funny.
- Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, and Meryl Streep in Little Women
Chloe Fineman is describing steering wheel and buggy acting to Colin Jost in a “Weekend Update” segment about the Oscars last year when she begins to act out how the cast of Little Women delivered wonderful performances. She nails Ronan’s American accent and Chalamet’s goofiness (more on that later), but the highlight of this clip is her Meryl Streep impression. It is so perfect and showcases just how talented Fineman is at impressions — there’s nothing left to say when she lets out that “Pughhhhh.” Keep watching this clip to see Fineman do a brief but spot-on Scarlett Johansson impression that makes Colin Jost uncomfortable.
- Daphne Bridgerton from Bridgerton
While creating this list, I went back and forth on whether to include Fineman’s impressions of fictional characters or just of actual celebrities. Ultimately, I couldn’t not include her recent impression of Daphne Bridgerton. First of all, Chloe’s wig is a dead ringer for Daphne’s weird little red bangs. In her Instagram impression, Fineman is in a garden (scandalous!) asking for help identifying what a penis is in a nod to Daphne’s sexual naivety in the show. The impression even inspired the official Bridgerton Instagram account to comment on Fineman’s post: “Take care in those gardens, dear 👀💎.”
Then, when Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page hosted SNL in February, Chloe brought her Daphne look out in his monologue and in a sketch about the intimacy coordinator on the Bridgerton set. Chloe’s impression is so good that during the sketch, I almost forgot it wasn’t actually Phoebe Dynevor.
- Allison Mack in The Vow
I could only find this impression in Chloe’s story highlights section, but it is one of the funniest and most accurate impressions I might have ever seen. I also am obsessed with all things NXVIM, so maybe I was just yearning for somebody to make fun of Allison Mack’s scarves, side bangs, and laugh in the HBO documentary.
- Carole Baskin
Immediately after Tiger King became all anyone could talk about in what now feels like a quarantine fever dream, Chloe Fineman started working on her Carole Baskin impression. Four days after the show premiered on Netflix, Chloe posted a #workinprog front-facing video of her as Baskin talking about her “kitty cats.” A few weeks later, Chloe appeared as Baskin again in SNL’s “MasterClass Quarantine Edition” video. Here, “Carole Baskin teaches bike riding” as she breaks into a spoken-word song despite her face not moving at all. She is channeling Carole Baskin so perfectly that Baskin herself came out and said she could “slap that woman.”
- Timothée Chalamet
The “MasterClass Quarantine Edition” sketches from the SNL at Home episodes last year function as a Chloe Fineman impressions showcase. From the same sketch above, Chloe creates a MasterClass on fashion taught by Timothée Chalamet where he mostly just explains how to layer a hoodie. Chloe has been doing her Chalamet impression for nearly two years on her Instagram, Saturday Night Live, and on late night talk shows, including the episode of SNL Chalamet himself hosted. With lots of deep laughs, ridiculous clapping, and hair swooping, Fineman paints an overdrawn yet hilarious and very accurate picture of Chalamet.
- Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Chloe’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge impression is so perfect, you could close your eyes and think Phoebe was speaking. The first appearance of this impression was an Instagram post with no costume or wig, just Chloe talking in Waller-Bridge’s accent perfectly. She somehow made it even better for SNL and The Tonight Show when she added in a brunette wig, red lipstick, and a leather jacket. On SNL, Chloe-as-PWB teaches a MasterClass from home on journaling that plays on Waller-Bridge’s incredible awards success, her penchant for breaking the fourth wall, and her use of the word “cheeky.” More recently, Chloe broke out the impression for a sketch on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon doing a Harry Styles impression after Waller-Bridge starred in his newest music video. In the clip, Fineman blows Fallon out of the water.
- Chrishell Stause of Selling Sunset
What makes this impression so wonderful is that it is somewhat obscure (I’d guess many don’t know who she is) and it’s incredibly accurate — while not being mean spirited. In August, the third season of Selling Sunset aired, centering on Chrishell’s messy divorce with actor Justin Hartley. Chrishell soon became a staple in tabloids and celebrity gossip, so Chloe’s impression sees Chrishell talking directly to her fans in a front-facing video (which Chrishell actually does frequently) encouraging people to come to an open house while addressing rumors surrounding her divorce. I think Chloe’s bread and butter is slightly unhinged, vaguely southern white women, and Chrishell definitely fits that mold. And this is some of Chloe Fineman’s best work.
- Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon loves Chloe Fineman’s impression of her. That Witherspoon seems to be in on the joke makes Fineman’s front-facing video of Witherspoon talking about Emmy’s For Your Consideration even funnier. Not only does Fineman sound like a dead ringer for Reese’s familiar voice, but she hits on something subtly very funny about Witherspoon’s #GirlBoss persona — she works so much (and plays characters that are very similar to each other) that she can’t even keep the names of her projects straight. It’s the perfect mix of astute observation and dead-on impersonation.
- Drew Barrymore
We’ve made it to the end, to the crown jewel of Chloe Fineman’s impressive collection of celebrity impressions. More than any other impression, here Fineman sounds so much like Drew Barrymore I would understand if someone were to mistake them. Her impression, like many others on this list, began as a front-facing video in 2017 and has slowly made its way further into our collective consciousness. She brought her impression back on Instagram in August 2020 after Drew Barrymore was on the cover of InStyle to talk about #beautyjunkieweek. After turning the impression into an SNL sketch about The Drew Barrymore Show in October, Chloe was actually invited on Drew’s show after Barrymore reposted and shared the #beautyjunkieweek video. Drew Barrymore is such a recognizable figure who is weird and loveable in her own right, and the fact that she seems to love Chloe’s impression of her makes me love it even more.