This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Rich Little.
Rich Little, who has just released his first book, “Little By Little: People I’ve Known and Been,” was born in Ottawa, Canada and started his “career” at the age of 12 when he answered back to his teachers in their own voices. Little was working as a disc jockey and talk show host before parlaying his talents into the big time of television.
Still in his early 20s, Little, who was discovered by singer Mel Torme, (then with “The Judy Garland Show,”) was asked to make a tape. Instead of the usual impressions, Little did voices nobody did, and was booked on the show.
Appearances on many TV variety shows starring Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, Glen Campbell and Dean Martin followed, as well as on series such as “Laugh-In,” “The John Davidson Summer Show” and as a regular on “The Julie Andrews Show.”
Little also had his own variety show in the 1970s and was the star of the television show “KopyKats.” Little was a guest host early on for “The Tonight Show,” hosting 12 times. He quickly became a household name sitting in one of the Hollywood Squares and went on to do “The Muppet Show.”
Named “Comedy Star of the Year” by the American Guild of Variety Artists, Little was the perpetrator of nine comedy albums and three HBO comedy specials, as well as the Emmy award-winning special “Rich Little’s Christmas Carol.”
A master mimic of more than 200 voices, Little continues to impress with a touring schedule throughout the United States and Canada and is currently performing inside the Laugh Factory at New Tropicana Hotel Las Vegas, for an extended engagement of his show “Rich Little Live!” and is also touring with his latest project, “Little by Little” a self-written, humorous show about his life, featuring more than 30 characters.