career on Johnny Carson’s television shows to his current live shows at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, he has a remarkable way of getting into each celebrities’ skin and seems to become the celebrity not only adopting their character but bringing them to life on the stage!
By Sandy Zimmerman
(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman during Rich Little’s show and on his red carpet.)
As an author, Rich has a no-holds-barred, tell-it-all attitude. Rich wrote in blunt terms telling his personal opinions of each celebrity. “Ed Sullivan was a star with no talent! . . . As an entertainer, he was a bit of a joke. He couldn’t sing, he couldn’t dance, he couldn’t tell jokes.”
Rich tells the reader, “I wasn’t the usual stand-up comedian, I didn’t tell jokes, no one- liners, but my impressions were funny.”
The best, funniest chapters told the many ways Rich Little tried to meet celebrities to make connections when he first arrived in the United States from Canada. Mel Torme tried to introduce him to George Burns, dialed the number and quickly gave Rich the phone. Rich said, “George, this is Rich Little. I’ve just come down from Canada to do the Judy Garland Show.
I’m an impressionist. As a matter of fact, I do an impression of you, and thought I’d phone you up and do it for you. George Burns replied, “That’s great kid. I’d love to hear it sometime.” And hung up! They met later and George really liked his impression.
In his book, Rich showed another side of those celebrities of the past, reaching down from the superficial to views of each as “real” persons, surprising the reader with his stories.
When Rich Little announced that he had written a new book, I thought putting his life into one book was almost impossible with his long successful career in show business and many accomplishments throughout all of the years.
From the times you have watched Rich Little early in his
Seeing Rich Little perform, you feel as though you are in a showroom filled with celebrities, all in one place, all in one man! I happily reviewed Rich Little many times since I began reviewing/interviewing the stars of Las Vegas at their openings and along the red carpets since the 80’s and always enjoyed experiencing Rich Little’s extraordinary talent.
Rich becomes each character, like an actor gets into a role. Rich has a natural talent as he instantly becomes any one of his over 200 impressions.
Rich puts everything together not only with his voices but coupled with facial expressions, comical hand movements and sometimes a hat or other prop. This complete characterization is so pure, so uncanny, actually bringing back the movie stars, comedians, sport’s figures, and even presidents to his stage.
Loved by the public and admired by the very celebrities Rich imitated, Rich Little knew them all- John Wayne, Steward Granger, Jimmy Stewart, Glenn Ford, Clark Gable, the famous of the past and present, even presidents.
Award-winning Talk Show Host/Columnist Sandy Zimmerman has been involved in producing television programs, for 25 years. Sandy is a syndicated Show and Dining Reviewer, Travel/ Luxury writer, Health, Photographer/ Videographer, Editor, Director, and Talk Show Host of Sandy Zimmerman’s Las Vegas TV Show and Discover the Ultimate Vacation travel specials. firstname.lastname@example.org