This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Bob Anderson.
Bob Anderson started a genre in show business that became one of the most popular forms of entertainment on stage today. Merv Griffin discovered Bob’s unique talent one evening at his Hollywood Hills home and decided to introduce him to the world on the next taping of his TV show from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Griffin introduced Bob as “The Singing Impressionist.” There were other impressionists doing movie stars and political figures, site but no one was doing the great singers.
Soon after that appearance he became a regular on the TV talk show circuit, performing more than 100 national TV shows including “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” where Bob received such a grand audience response on his Tuesday appearance that Johnny invited him back just two days later for another appearance on Thursday. Bob is the only entertainer to ever appear on the Tonight show twice in the same week.
The Dunes Hotel signed Bob to perform at the world famous Top of the Dunes for a two week engagement that turned into 156 weeks of sold out shows. He remained at the Dunes nightly for another 12 years. His late night show became the hangout for all the top stars on the Vegas strip, where the biggest names in show business would catch his show and join him on stage for a nightly party.
After his long career in the intimate room at the Top of the Dunes, Bob moved into the “main room” of other hotels on the Strip, sharing the marquee with the biggest names in show business: George Burns, Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope, Dom De Luise, Red Skelton, Nancy Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Shirley Bassey, Shirley Mac Laine, Johnny Carson, Don Rickles, and many others. Bob Anderson became a Las Vegas Headliner and managed to work every major hotel on the Vegas strip as well as Lake Tahoe, Reno and Atlantic City