Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden turned 57 years old on Monday. His focus is on building the NFL team into a contender during training camp, so he did not take any birthday trips. However, comedian Frank Caliendo made sure to make the day special. He sent a celebratory video message to Gruden while impersonating the head coach.
Caliendo posted the video on Twitter Monday afternoon and confirmed that he had texted it to Gruden. The clip showed a close-up of his face, fitting with previous iterations of his Gruden impression. The comedian didn't have the Raiders visor that normally accompanies his Gruden videos, but he did have his eyebrows in the correct position. He proceeded to sing "Happy Birthday" before showing off his massive, fake Super Bowl ring.
I just texted this to Jon Gruden. pic.twitter.com/tpL6JtSU4f— Frank Caliendo (@FrankCaliendo) August 17, 2020
"Happy birthday to me, cha cha cha," Caliendo's version of Gruden sang in the video. "Happy birthday to me, cha cha cha. Happy birthday dear Johnny, knock on wood if you're with me." Those that watched 2019's iteration of Hard Knocks instantly recognized the "knock on wood" line as one that Gruden repeated several times throughout training camp.
Caliendo has regularly drawn praise for his impression of Gruden, whether it's in short videos previewing the upcoming NFL season or as he tries to figure out Zoom ahead of important league events. Caliendo even performed the Gruden impression during an episode of Hard Knocks. The comedian walked to the front of a team meeting dressed as Gruden while players and coaches laughed.
"Glennon! Love you, man," Caliendo said while pointing at former backup quarterback Mike Glennon. He then turned and silently faced the players while nodding for an extended amount of time. "Jon Gruden, University of Dayton," Caliendo said to a laughing crowd. "I do this s— for free. Knock on wood if you're with me."
What started out as an impression of a Super Bowl-winning head coach has actually blossomed into a unique relationship. Caliendo and Gruden are friends, and they choose to spend time together. This includes watching Aerosmith perform in Las Vegas.
Gruden has seemingly embraced the impression after first meeting Caliendo. He occasionally pops up on the comedian's Twitter account and does his impression of the impression. When Gruden does so, he nods his head and continues to overuse the word "man." He also makes Caliendo break out of his impression and start laughing