|Index||5 reviews in total|
The finest impressionists in comedy skits spoofing movies and TV series was a forerunner to Saturday Night Live's parody skits. Memorable parodies included ALL IN THE FAMILY with George Kirby (an African-American) as Archie Bunker and Marilyn Michaels as Edith. Marilyn Michaels was the only woman in the group and played most female roles ranging from Gracie Allen (with Rich Little as George Burns) to Lily Tomlin to Barbara Streisand. She had a strong singing voice and made music a major part of her solo skits. Niteclub favorite Frank Gorshin (The Riddler on TV's BATMAN) was noted for doing Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, and Peter Faulk (as COLUMBO). Rich Little soon rose as the lead star and introduced new characterizations each week. Quite simply, he could do anyone. Though many of the Kopycats did the same impressions there was a real support system evident as if they belonged to a special club, which they did. In fact, "dueling impressions" was a frequent source of comedy. In one episode Raymond Burr (PERRY MASON, IRONSIDE) was the guest and each of the Kopycats surrounded Burr with their impression of him. Rich Little and Frank Gorshin were the best in the country and it was a marvel to seem them work together and with such able support from the rest of the cast. It seemed that everyone in the country was doing impressions of Rich Little doing someone else, Rich Little's Richard Nixon perhaps the most famous. Rich Little introduced young impressionist Fred Travalena on the show who seemed destined to walk in Little's shoes equally adept at comedy and singing parodies from Jim Nabors (both as squeeky Gomer Pyle and his baritone singing voice) to Glen Cambell. Impressionists have never been better or funnier.
I remember this show fondly. Especially a show where Orson Welles was the guest host. Yes Orson Welles. I was only 8 years but I knew him as a personality not as a great director. In one skit he is the host of a mystery show, mocking his own series at the time. The show is sponsored by "Freds gas station" or something like that. He sits down and says "sit back and with a fine glass of Freds gas, enjoy" I broke up into laughter. Now I can see that he was able to mock his own persona and be funny doing it. I'll never forget that image. The show was vintage 70's skit comedy and the impersonators were the best in the business. I hope this show is brought back on DVD.
I am glad someone remembers Will Jordan's participation in this underrated show. Ever since I saw Vaughn Meader do his JFK impression, I have wanted to do impressions. People like Gorshin, Little and some lesser known impressionists like Guy Marks made it an amazing art form. Many have noted that Marilyn Michaels was the only female doing it, but Debbie Reynolds also did some incredibly good impressions like her standout Mae West and Zsa Zsa Gabor (before there was a Paris Hilton there was this crazy Hungarian "actress," and I use the term loosely, who was in the Hilton family and the source of a lot of press attention. The irony of it was that when I was in high school I talked to friends a lot about how great it would be to have a show with people doing this very kind of show. The entertainment gods must have heard my pleas. Let us hope that they will listen again and bring this to DVD.
I loved this show -- it was only on for a short time but has stuck in
my brain all these years. Why no one has picked up the idea since is
bewildering. I don't remember the Raymond Burr sketch, but it does
sound reminiscent of what they did on the show. Brilliant.
I remember Marilyn Michaels being a standout -- not only because she was the only woman, but because she was so damn good! I also remember George Kirby. Amazingly, I DON'T remember Rich Little's participation, and didn't realize Fred Travalena was even performing that early.
For some reason I thought that this was originated by the BBC and syndicated in the US. But it is credited as an ABC show, so perhaps my memory is not serving correctly.
Producers: bring back The KopyKats..!! We need it so bad...!
I have been looking for the DVD for years now. They've got the Dean
Martin show, Carol Burnett, Johnny Carson, etc., etc. Some of these
great talents are gone now and who knows how long I'll be here. Bring
My High School buddies and I used to look forward to the next show. The series didn't last long enough and it was the best of the best impressionists as the time, perhaps ALL time. The skits were better than Saturday Night Live and MAD TV combined.
Will Jordan doing Ed Sullivan with the real Ed Sullivan on the show was perfect! Yeah, I know, most of the people they did are gone now, but I don't care!
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