He resides in Los Angeles, California, making his living primarily as a voice and character actor. Thompson is known for his uncanny celebrity impressions, including Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and, most notably, Arnold Schwarzenegger (aka. “Fake Arnold”), and original character voices for video games, film, and television.
"Fake" Arnold Schwarzenegger
Thompson’s Schwarzenegger impression first gained national attention during the California recall election of 2003. Posing as Schwarzenegger, Thompson phoned-in to Fox News Channel’s morning program, Fox and Friends, fooling the hosts into believing (at least for a short while) that he was, in fact, the real thing.
The Howard Stern Show and other radio appearances
Thompson’s Fox News prank caught the attention of The Howard Stern Show, and the impression—dubbed “Fake Arnold” by Stern Show producers—soon became a mainstay on the program. At this time, Thompson also made a number of appearances on the Conway and Steckler and Conway and Whitman radio shows in Los Angeles (97.1 FM KLSX), and 96fm Perth radio station’s Breakfast show in Perth, Western Australia, where he voiced a number of characters, including Fake Arnold, Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Jackson, and Bill Cosby.
Notable Howard Stern Show moments
- In April 2005 on The Howard Stern Show, Thompson’s “Fake Arnold” character proposed a fictitious plan to “blow up the moon.” Surprisingly, Fake Arnold’s phony agenda managed to dupe MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, who appeared soon after on his television program, publicly lambasting the “Governor” for his alleged plan.Ten days later, Scarborough, after learning that the entire moon destruction scenario was a hoax, apologized on-air for his erroneous comments.
- On January 10, 2006, one day after The Howard Stern Show’s debut on Sirius Satellite Radio, Thompson fooled Star Trek actor, George Takei, into believing he was actually speaking with Governor Schwarzneggar. Several minutes after the phone call with Fake Arnold ended, Takei was finally let in on the joke. One year later, on January 9, 2007, Fake Arnold’s prank on George Takei was ranked sixth of the Top 10 best moments from the Howard Stern Show in 2006.
Beyond the Voice
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
In February 2007, Thompson made his first on-camera television appearance as Governor Schwarzenegger on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS). Since then, Thompson has become a regular performer on the show, making regular appearances as actor Robert De Niro, Frat Guy, Brian Deese, Levi Johnston and the voice of Morgan Freeman.
As of April 20, 2010, Josh is now the official voice of Craig Ferguson's robot skeleton sidekick, Geoff Petersen.
As a stand-up comic, Josh is known for controversial and outrageous stage personas like crooked televangelist, Apostle BG, Darnell the Janitor, Luis "Confrontational By Nature" Valdez, and product pitchman-turned-cabaret singer, Robin Sooper.
His podcast show, "The Josh Robert Thompson Radio Theatre," consists of characters voiced entirely by himself (available on iTunes).
- The Emperor's New School (2006), Friendly Joe (voice)
- Up (2009), Various Dogs (voice)
- Bolt (2008), (voice)
- WALL-E (2008), Human Male (voice)
- Chicken Little: Ace in Action (2006), Sleazel Weazel (voice)