James Austin Johnson is a Los Angeles-based comedian and actor who grew popular online in 2020 with several videos in which he did a widely-praised impersonation of Donald Trump.
James Austin Johnson is a Los Angeles-based comedian from Nashville, Tennessee. He has worked as an actor, appearing as a recurring character in Future Man while getting small roles in shows like Better Call Saul and movies including Hail Caesar!. He launched his YouTube account on August 18th, 2011.
Johnson debuted his Trump impersonation in a Star Wars parody posted to Twitter on December 6th, 2019, gaining over 670 retweets and 1,900 likes (shown below).
Obi Don pic.twitter.com/NOuqUlxWZl
— thanks austin giving (@shrimpJAJ) December 6, 2019
Over the following year, he posted many more parodies before gaining widespread attention with a video where his impression of Trump talks about Scooby-Doo. The video, posted August 21st, 2020, gained over 1.6 million views on the platform (shown below, top). On October 18th, he posted his most popular impression video to date, having his Trump talk about Weird Al Yankovic, gaining over 2.9 million views on the platform (shown below, bottom). The video was described as his “breakout performance,” and after the video came out, he was covered by multiple news outlets.
SCOOBY-DON !! pic.twitter.com/DESl7LDplH
— thanks austin giving (@shrimpJAJ) August 21, 2020
PRES TRUMP TODAY IN CALIFORNIA: ” ‘WEIRD AL’ WAS VERY MEAN TO MR. COOLIO!! DIDN’T ASK FOR RIGHTS. NOT VERY NICE!” pic.twitter.com/kgF5UFYRLP
— thanks austin giving (@shrimpJAJ) October 18, 2020
After the Scooby-Doo video began to spread, Johnson began receiving media attention and praise for his impression. He was interviewed by Discourse Blog, where he said of his impression:
That’s the main thing I focus on, is that this is a rasping old man who is inches from death at any moment. He’s dying. He’s inches from death and Billy Crystal has come out with the bellows from the Princess Bride and they pumped him full of steroids and give him a big shot in his ass, and he’s hanging on for dear life every moment of the day.
He was praised in a write-up in Slate, who compared his impression favorably to other notable attempts at Trump impressions, like Alec Baldwin’s. “The key to Johnson’s Trump is his operatic aria of logorrheic randomness,” they wrote. Johnson has also been written about in Mashable and interviewed by Vice.
Johnson has over 57,000 followers on Twitter and 22,000 followers on Instagram.
OMG DON CLAIMS HE “BEAT” POKEMON, HAS NOT CAUGHT ‘EM ALL… TRUMP: “GAME ENDS WHEN YOU BEAT ELITE FOUR” pic.twitter.com/xSHxHCtlkG
— thanks austin giving (@shrimpJAJ) November 4, 2020
OMG DON TAKES ON FAILED CRITICS WHO PANNED DOWNHILL, CALLS JULIA LOUIS GERVIS A “TREASURE”, URGES SUPPORTERS TO REASSESS “OVERLOOKED GEM”!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/CkSJq8ypBw
— thanks austin giving (@shrimpJAJ) October 30, 2020
OMG DON NAILS THE COGDIDITIVE TEST…… LIBERALS WILL HATE!!! pic.twitter.com/hIeM54pa1U
— thanks austin giving (@shrimpJAJ) July 23, 2020
DON TALKS 100 GECS, 300 GECS, AS MANY AS 1500 GECS BY NEXT YEAR… HISTORIC GECS NUMBERS– OBAMA NOT EVEN CLOSE!! pic.twitter.com/6zBda7LKM0
— thanks austin giving (@shrimpJAJ) August 3, 2020