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From Bill Clinton To Trump, The Impersonator That Keeps On Giving

TIM WATTERS: (Imitating Bill Clinton) My name is Bill Clinton. I was the 42nd president of the United States, and I am married to my lovely wife and fantastic woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton, for 41 years now.


The voice you just heard is not actually President Bill Clinton. It's Tim Watters. In 1992, Watters was a real estate agent living in Tampa, Fla., when Bill Clinton ran for president.

WATTERS: People started staring at me at the supermarket and restaurants and whatnot. And I knew that I looked just like Bill Clinton.

CHANG: Family and friends mailed Watters newspaper clippings of Clinton. Even Watters' 2-year-old son got confused.

WATTERS: Unsolicited, he just pointed to the picture of Bill Clinton and said da-da (ph).

CHANG: That's when Watters decided he might be able to make a living impersonating the president.

WATTERS: Right after Inauguration Day, I was on the "Maury Povich Show." I was on "The Geraldo Show." I got some local television here in Tampa, and the money started rolling in.

CHANG: A lot of money - in his best year, Tim Watters says he grossed over a million dollars impersonating Bill Clinton. But as time went on, he realized people were getting tired of hearing the same old material. So in 2016, he decided to take on a new role, Donald Trump.

WATTERS: (Imitating Donald Trump) You know, folks, I'm going to make America great again. Honestly, I'm going to make America great again.

CHANG: He says the transition wasn't that hard.

WATTERS: It's funny. When you put a wig on and do a little orange makeup, it does wonders for you.

CHANG: That was Tim Watters, professional Donald Trump impersonator.

WATTERS: (Imitating Donald Trump) Folks, I want to thank you for your support in my landslide victory as the 45th president of the United States. So have a very Happy New Year. And come January 20, I am going to make America great again, guaranteed. That I can tell you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who hosts All Things Considered along with Ari Shapiro, Audie Cornish, and Mary Louise Kelly. She landed in public radio after practicing law for a few years.