This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Rich Little.
Rich Little, a master mimic of more than 200 voices, is headlining his one-man show, “Jimmy Stewart & Friends,” at the LVH. The show, an adventure through the life of the famed Jimmy Stewart, features more than 30 celebrity icon voices, including Cary Grant, George Burns, Ronald Reagan, Katharine Hepburn and John Wayne.
Famous for his skewing of political figures, Little entertained at both of Ronald Reagan’s presidential inaugurations and spent much of 2003 touring the United States with his show “The Presidents.”
According to Little, “an impression is what you think a person sounds like. It could be an exaggeration or a cartoon. It’s your impression. I think of an impersonation as more of 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.”
Little was named “Comedy Star of the Year” by the American Guild of Variety Artists. He has recorded nine comedy albums and three HBO comedy specials, as well as the Emmy-award winning special “Rich Little’s Christmas Carol” with “W.C. Fields” as Scrooge, “Humphrey Bogart” as one of the ghosts and “Paul Lynde” as Bob Cratchit.