To cleanse the palate, you already know this guy’s work and you know how much he enjoys repurposing old late-night clips of Hader doing impressions to show off his face-swapping tech wizardry. This is his best clip yet, though — not because he’s showing off techniques he hasn’t used before but because Cruise’s is such a famous face, and it maps so well onto Hader’s. Hader’s hair color and style even look a bit like young, “Risky Business”-era Cruise’s, making the metamorphosis seem that much more authentic.
The stroke of genius that’s turned these clips into viral sensations online isn’t the face-swapping, of which there are already many demonstrations floating about, but the method of toggling between Hader’s face and Cruise’s (and even Seth Rogen’s) as the clip plays out. Imagine how much weaker the effect would be if it was just Cruise’s face we were seeing from start to finish below. The can’t-believe-your-eyes factor comes from the seamlessness with which the transitions happen, and happen, and happen again. It’s shape-shifting in real time, a magic trick in which America’s most famous actor is suddenly there and then isn’t, and then is again.