Ask yourself: “What do Donald Trump, Gabriel Medina, Christopher Walken and Rosy Hodge all have in common?”
Apart from being globally recognised personalities, nothing really, though there is one man who can impersonate them all, and many more, down to tee. So close in fact, that if it wasn’t for the beard and ocean bleached blonde mop, you’d swear you were talking to them directly. Introducing surfing’s (and the world’s) latest internet personality and king of impressions and personas, Tyler Allen.
Whether you’re familiar with the surfing world or not, Tyler brings nothing but full flare to social media feeds. He’s got the gift to bring people together, take a trawl through his channel, have a laugh, tag a mate and stay curious to what impersonation he’s going to nail next. Don’t believe us? Take a scroll through his Instagram Feed here and get those tears of laughter ready!
The surf coach slash voice over extraordinaire first began gracing screens with a Trump impersonation almost a year ago, and since then, he’s seen countless life changing opportunities come his way. He’s hung out at at the Trestles event, headed to the red carpet at the Surfer Poll Awards in Hawaii to co-host, and just recently, graced Oahu’s North Shore once again to help cover the Volcom Pipe Pro – staying at the exclusive brand residence itself, just a stone’s throw from Pipeline.
Apart from his ever growing list of characters, we truly were interested in learning more about the man behind them. We dialed him up at his home just east of Malibu, California to talk more about how he got to where he is today, what it’s like to be recognised by some of the world’s biggest names in surfing, where the ride is taking him next and much more. Come meet Tyler now, and be sure to keep watching this space for something special… coming soon!
Yeah Tyler! Thanks so much for catching up!
No worries, thanks for catching up too! Thanks for blowing me up, that’s sick!
What’s happening on your side of the world?
Well, it’s raining at the moment. I did a beach run earlier with my buddy. The waves are all small at the moment but it’s going to pick up in the next couple of days. It’s been small here for a while, no one’s been scoring anywhere!
You’ve started now hanging out with a lot of the personalities you’re actually doing the impressions of. What’s the deal with the WSL and your hook up? I’ve just seen you in Hawaii, are they hooking you up with VIP at all the tour stops or what’s the go?
No no, I actually didn’t even go to Hawaii for the WSL. WSL did have me come down to the Trestles event earlier in the year for a day. It was pretty much just to film funny sh*t for their Instagram and stuff like that. I did it earlier in the year too down in Huntington, but I didn’t tell anyone I was coming or anything. I’m about an hour and half north of there, so it’s a little bit of a drive. It was really funny, I just kind of knew sh*t would happen for me if I just committed and rolled up. All of a sudden Strider and the crew had me up in the booth and everyone was super cool. But yeah, not so much Hawaii but at Trestles they hired me to do funny stuff around the contest area, but it’s a bit gnarly with all the stress going on and the whole competitive vibe. You kin of don't want to bother anyone too much. But then, I was in Hawaii with Surfer Mag and Volcom interviewing people at the Surfer Poll awards. I was the red carpet guy. So I was interviewing people, and they also played one of my jokes on the big screen, I was stoked with that. It’s a trip though, if I saw what I was doing today a year ago, I’d be like “what the f*ck!”
How does it feel to be recognised by all these big names? Whether it’s at the Surfer Poll Awards like you said, or other events in California. How does it knowing they know who you are and that they also follow you on Instagram?
It’s so sick. Everyone’s so cool to me too. Everyone gives me so much love, I’m stoked. It’s crazy. When I’m back at home it’s all normal you know? Like right now I’m sitting on my drive way watching the rain and everything is super normal. But then, like when I was in Hawaii, everyone’s running around and people want pictures and its completely different. I think I handle it pretty good, I like talking to people and I’m pretty social. It might be pretty gnarly for some other dudes though, it would be a trip!
Do you remember who the first big name was that started commenting or following you? What was your first impression?
I was tripping, I was so stoked. I remember with the first Donald Trump one, that one was the first one that went big. I woke up in the middle of the night and I just saw my phone blowing up. I was just like “what the hell is going on!?” Anyway, a heap of friends told me Kook Of The Day had posted my video or whatever and my phone just kept going off. I couldn’t go back to sleep, I was amping! I know Ross Williams was one of the first ones, and also a heap of Hawaiians and big wave gnarly dudes, all those guys are always commenting saying real nice stuff. Obviously there’s like a Slater and stuff too which is a trip!
You do so many impressions. Is there anyone that negs out and doesn’t like your impressions of themselves? Cough Cough… Medina maybe?
Everyone’s real cool. I’m not too sure what Medina thinks though. Recently in Hawaii he only standing a couple of feet away from me but I still didn’t get a chance to meet him. I thought I would get the chance, but it just didn’t happen. I was actually planning on interviewing him at the Surfer Poll awards like in his own character and in his voice. I asked like all his buddies, like all his Brazilian buddies, who are all super cool by the way, and they are just like “yeah I don’t know what Gabs thinks”. I’m like what the hell? How does no one know!?” But yeah, I was talking to John John and he was loving the Gabriel Medina marshmellow joke. He thought it was all time which is sick to hear. He kept talking about it and in his own Medina voice said ‘I don’t think…. He would like you…. At all!!” I thought it was hilarious.
@gabrielmedina shares his thoughts about marshmallows and @tylerallenvo joining the @wsl ... A post shared by Tyler Allen (@tylerallenvo) on
Who’s the hardest character to do?
None of them are really that hard, I think all the ones everyone’s seen I can just do. Some of them just take a little time, for instance I didn’t know I could do a Slater impersonation but then it just kind of came to me. That’s the fun part. He was the big one I wanted to do so I’m stoked. As far as being hard, I don’t know, they all kind of come pretty easy! I need to work on accents, like the Kiwi’s. Certain accents I’ve got dialed, but other ones I need some work on for sure.
What about your favourite character to do? Surely Rosie Hodge has to be up there!?
Yeah! Rosie’s awesome. You know what’s funny about her? I did a video like three years ago, back when I was doing sh*t every couple of months or so. I never was trying to do it consistently, like I’m trying to do now, but yeah, she commented on my post because I did an impression of her interviewing Alejo Muniz or someone. But when she did it I was blown away. I didn’t tag her name or anything, I just did it for my friends. Now I get to run into her now and then and she’s always super cool.
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself? A little run down of who you are and what you are about?
I’ve been doing surf lessons for a long time as far as work, and a few voiceovers here and there. It’s never really been too consistent though. I’m 28, I’m still living at home right now, but it’s all good! I just surf my local beach break a lot close to Malibu, I’m goofy foot but working on my switch stance too! I don’t know, I know that’s a bit vague! I’m just cruising right now!
Are you still surf instructing?
Yeah a little, but I’ve been lagging! I was working at this one surf camp over summer and I’ve been there for a few years. I recently bailed though because I need to focus on this new sh*t, my own sh*t, you know?
You said you’ve done a few voice overs in the past and Hollywood is just down the road, any notable works we may know of?
Haha! I don’t know if you guys would know them, but I’ve had some random voice overs doing like, African voices and black voices which is a bit ridiculous cause I’m not at all black. But yeah they were a couple of years ago! Most of them are just in my normal voice, they aren’t funny at all. Commercials and stuff. I’ve done a few thousand though. I do all my auditions from home in my little home studio thing. I’ve got a notion right now that things might just start happening for me, I just need to put my head down. I’ve got a heap of ideas for new jokes, I just haven’t gotten around to filming them!
So we’ve got a heap of stuff to look forward to!?
Haha for sure. (Tyler actually did the impressions for us, but for now we’re keeping them on the downlow until he releases them). But yeah, I’ve just been a bit pissed at myself, and there’s been no waves so I’ve been in a weird mind set. I’ve gotta be on a good one and I got all motivated the other night like ‘ALRIGHT’ but then I lost it.
What about some fresh characters?
Maybe! I don’t know yet. Maybe a spook of the Occ Cast or something. Occy interviewing like John Snow from Game of Thrones or something you know?
We’re now in 2018 and it sounds like you are super focused to take the ride see where all of this ends up. Is there anything planned for your new career in the immediate future?
Oh you know we’ll just have to wait and see, like I said I was just in Hawaii and I might cruise back at the end of this month. That would be pretty sick. I’ll be doing some more work with Volcom. I’d love to do a cartoon or something too!
We’ll have to get you down here to visit Aus!
Dude… that would be insane! I’ve been to Indo but never Australia, but I have some good mates in West Oz and I really want to make my way out there and visit everyone. I get along with you guys a heap! And the girls too haha!
That sounds about right! Thanks so much for your time!
Thanks to all you guys who are stoked on my stuff! I love hearing that! It’s always a big compliment to me. I hope to catch you all soon!