When he isn't too busy being a Republican presidential candidate and the junior U.S. senator from Texas, Ted Cruz is also a grown man who likes to imitate his favorite characters from pop culture, poorly and in public. This is a character trait that makes me uncomfortable.
But in a recent appearance on the Manchester, New Hampshire ABC affiliate WMUR's Candidate Cafe, Cruz busted out something entirely unexpected: a competent impression.
For reasons that remain unclear, Cruz describes his favorite moment from the 1987 cult-classic comedy The Princess Bride, when healer Miracle Max (Billy Crystal) revives Westley (Cary Elwes) in the presence of Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and Max's wife (Carol Kane).
Why do I bother naming all four of those characters? Because Cruz acts out every. single. one.
Granted, watching a 44-year-old non-professional entertainer and father of multiple human beings playing every role in a scene is inherently ridiculous, but Ted Cruz's Billy Crystal isn't terrible. It's not even bad. For comparison, here's the Princess Bride clip in question:
My biggest critique—besides the fact that the candidate's Carol Kane sounds exactly like his Miracle Max—is that the senator is doing a garden-variety Billy Crystal impression, while, in The Princess Bride, the actor is himself doing a take on a Jewish stand-up comic straight out of the Borscht Belt. (In retrospect, it is probably for the best that Cruz did not attempt this.)
That said, I still have reservations about expressing this opinion, because I'm worried that I'll enable him. Please, Senator Cruz, do not take this as encouragement. Please don't. Please.
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.