Comic and impressionist Rich Little has been labeled “The Man of a Thousand Voices” and if you stopped to count his incredible impersonations it is probably a most accurate nickname. He started out in Canada as an usher in a movie theater, standing in the back of the house perfecting his voices, then started acting and using his skills as a disc jockey on the radio. For the last five decades, he has been a frequent guest on television on variety shows, starring in HMO specials and night club acts, most often in Las Vegas where he lives.
To see Rich Little, plan to attend his one-man show “Jimmy Stewart and Friends” on Saturday, September 29 at 8 p.m. at Sacred Heart University’s Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts as part of its American Legends Series. Mr. Little will be on stage with more than two dozen of his iconic characterizations, from John Wayne to Frank Sinatra, George Burns to Ronald Reagan, Cary Grant to Katherine Hepburn. Don’t be surprised if a few unlikely guests pop in, like Kermit the Frog, Jay Leno, Dr. Ruth, Edith Bunker and Robin Williams. Together they will tell the story of famed actor Jimmy Stewart in the unique and outstanding way only Rich Little is capable of creating.
As a master of mimicry, Little has stated “I think of my impressions as more than an exact copy. Knowing the person personally is not important. It’s knowing the speech patterns and mannerisms (in order) to imitate the person the way the public sees him.”
In his long illustrious career, Little keeps adding new impressions to keep his act fresh, like D. Phil, a recent add-on. Politicians have long been his meat and potatoes, with former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush keep providing him excellent material. His favorite politician is Ronald Reagan, although he is best known for his President Nixon impersonation.
When he is doing Andy Rooney, he asks annoying questions like “when you choke a smurf what color does it turn?” and when he is doing Johnny Carson he thinks of ostriches.
For tickets ($25, senior $15, student $10), call the Edgerton Center on the campus of Sacred Heart University, 5151 Park Avenue, Fairfield (exit 27 off the Merritt) at 203-371-7908 or online at www.EdgertonCenter.org.