1980sComediansComedyEntertainersHBOHumorImpersonatorsImpressionistsRich LittleSpecialsstand up comedy

Comedy – 1986 – Great Impersonators With Frank Gorshin + George Kirby + Billy Crystal + Rich Little


An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another….as there are many reasons for impersonating someone….especially with entertainers….who impersonate celibrities…. and makes fun of their personal lives. recent scandals and known behavior patterns….as entertainers who impersonate multiple celebrities as part of their act….can be sorted into impressionists and celebrity impersonators….with folks like those featured in this video herewith…..as Frank Gorshin, George Kirby, Billy Crystal and Rich Little do.

Frank John Gorshin Jr. (April 5, 1933 – May 17, 2005) was an American character actor, impressionist/impersonator and comedian….who is best remembered for his many impersonation as a guest on The Ed Sullivan Show and Tonight Starring Steve Allen…..whose most famous acting role was as the Riddler on the live-action television series Batman

George Kirby was one of the first African-American comedians to begin to appeal to white as well as black audiences during the height of the Civil Rights era,…while appearing between 1963 and 1972 on Perry Como’s Kraft Music HallThe Ed Sullivan ShowThe Dean Martin ShowThe Jackie Gleason ShowThe Temptations ShowRowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Kirby was an excellent impersonator….who targeted, provocatively for 1960’s performance venues, many white actors such as John Wayne and Walter Brennan….rather than solely black stars such as Bill Cosby and Pearl Bailey….and, for a man of his ample girth, was an unexpectedly agile dancer. He also did vocal impressions of such singers as Louis Armstrong….as seen in this video, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Williams

William Edward Crystal (born March 14, 1948) is an American actor, writer, producer, director, comedian, impersonator and television host. He gained prominence in the 1970’s for playing Jodie Dallas on the ABC sitcom Soap….while becoming a Hollywood film star during the late 1980’s and 1990’s….after appearing in the critical and box office successes such as When Harry Met Sally in 1989, City Slickers in 1991 and Analyze This in 1999….plus providing the voice of Mike Wazowski in the Monsters, Inc. franchise.  For this lil ole chiweenie Sportsphile, I just love his Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell impersonation pieces….also seen herewith.

Richard Caruthers Little (born November 26, 1938) is a Canadian-American impressionist/impersonator and voice actor….who is “The Man of a Thousand Voices”.  Little was a frequent guest on variety and talk shows…..where with Johnny Carson, he captured The Tonight Show host’s voice and many onstage mannerisms….as he later played Carson in the HBO TV-movie The Late Shift…..when his spot-on impersonation allegedly got under the thin skin of Carson….and he was permanently banned from appearing on the Tonight Show without notice or reason after his August 1982 appearance according to Little’s biography….for this claim was supported by Henry Bushkin, Carson’s long-time lawyer, who stated that nobody got under Carson’s skin more than Little….when in response, Fred DeCordova, Carson’s producer, said they just weren’t interested in hiring him any more due to his lack of new impressions…..which is really funny considering we have a Rich Little piece in our comedy section here at ImaSportsphile in which The Man of a Thousand Voices does 100 different impersonations in less than 3 minutes.

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