A famous cliche tells us that “impersonation is the sincerest form of flattery.” We’re pretty sure a new video featuring 10 different men impersonating Vin Diesel disproves the adage. We’re not saying the video is meant to insult Diesel, or that it’s meant to pay tribute to him. It’s honestly just so weird that we don’t know what to make of it, but we’re pretty sure it isn’t something that would be called “flattery.”
The video comes courtesy of the YouTube Channel Donut Media, that focuses mainly on cars. Two weeks ago, the channel hosted a two-hour livestream titled “I Rented 10 Vin Diesels. What Should I Do Now?” As promised, the livestream featured 10 Vin Diesel impersonators, all done up like the actor’s Fast and Furious character Dominic Toretto. They’re all uniformly dressed in black tank tops, sunglasses, and crucifix necklaces. The weirdest moment in the video comes at the very end when the Donut Media hosts “reward” their followers by having all 10 impersonators chanting the word “family” 100 times in unison. The video is below, fast-forwarded to the oddly both funny and disturbing “family” chant.
But chanting “family” 100 times in a way that will almost certainly fuel your nightmares for the next few months isn’t the only contribution the faux Vin Diesels bring to the livestream. Along with quoting other memorable lines from the Fast and Furious franchise, the near-dozen Doms stage their own fashion show, in spite of them all wearing the same thing. They even help with packaging t-shirts to be mailed and other office chores.
While Dom’s oft-repeated “family” doubtless may serve as inspiration for Fast and Furious fans, it’s also one of the most oft-visited homes of comedy poking fun at the action films. Along with the wealth of “family” memes, like the ones listed by Esquire in July, there’s the comments section of Vin Diesel’s official Instagram. Clicking on any picture or video posted by Diesel will almost always include a comments section dominated by the one-word response of “family.” It will be the same whether it’s a video of a playful horse, a photo of Will Smith’s memoir, or a screenshot of Diesel and Dwayne Johnson about to come to blows.
Speaking of The Rock, the actor’s recent comments indicate that he thinks in real life, Diesel doesn’t actually treat a whole lot of people like family. While Johnson didn’t mention specific instances, he implied that one of the things he didn’t like about Diesel was his treatment of Fast and Furious crew members. Johnson said that one of the main differences between himself and Diesel was that the Rock believed in “looking at the crew…as equal partners—with respect and with humility.”
Regardless, Vin Diesel is apparently still convinced he can get Dwayne Johnson to return to the final Fast and the Furious movie. Earlier in November, Diesel posted a plea directed to Johnson, insisting he “must show up” for the upcoming finale. While Diesel doesn’t offer his trademark “family” to attract Johnson back to the role, he does invoke the idea a number of times — opening the message up by calling Johnson “little brother” and later reminding the Rock that his kids call him “Uncle Dwayne.” Of course, while Diesel himself doesn’t write “family,” the thousands of commenters do it for him.