Friday To-Do: Rich Little | Rock Candy

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday To-Do: Rich Little

Posted By on Fri, Feb 4, 2011 at 5:53 AM

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RICH LITTLE
7:30 p.m., Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA. $30-$40.

Decades ago, Rich Little found himself at a private fund-raiser in Richard Nixon's backyard. Little's stateside success was due in large part to his impersonation of the disgraced, so, as you would expect, the famous mimicker was pretty much obligated to sing for his supper and launch into a poolside impersonation of the host. He offered up his best Nixon mumble, people laughed, and Nixon just shrugged off the comedian with a Tricky Dick fart face. The Canadian "Man of a Thousand Voices" has spent half a century as a comedy icon, lampooning politicians and movie stars. And over those 50 years, he's accumulated a repertoire of over 200 impersonations, from the My First Imitation standards (JFK and Elvis) to the unreasonably archaic (Van Heflin? Foster Brooks?). Sure, it would be easy to mock the mocker: Mimicry is a holdover cheese act that inspires the same antipathy that Nixon did, but don't load up on old tomatoes quite yet. The Emmy-winning "Man of a Thousand Voices" is to impersonations as Chuck Berry is to rock 'n' roll. He's been outdated since before a lot of us were born, but we'll take him over Dane Cook any day.

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