Reviews & Ratings for
"Tales from the Darkside" The Impressionist (1985)

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10 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

A light hearted wonderful episode.

Author: Tommy Nelson from Long Beach, California
2 August 2006

This is one of my favorite episodes! It has to do with a comedian impressionist that is called in by the FBI to try to imitate an alien that they have found and react with it to tell them that they are friends. The alien actually looks good especially for a low budget 80's TV show. The special effects on the space ship also looked good and this whole thing just seemed really professional. The ending is surprisingly nice and the main character is quite likable. I thought the writing was excellent and the direction was good too. I highly recommend you find it.

My rating: Perfect episode. 23 mins. TV G

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Impressionist

Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
12 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A popular club impressionist is commissioned (pretty much against his will at first, including blackmail) by a group of scientists to communicate through impersonation, nuance, and gesture with an alien that has landed on Earth for what appeared to be a visit. The scientists want Spiffy Remo to get the secret of fusion energy (responsible for powering its alien ship) from the alien being. Spiffy (Chuck McCann, in a rich performance) is afraid of the alien, at the start, because it attacked one of the scientists who was unable to communicate to it in a manner it's most comfortable. When Spiffy fails for a duration to master the technique of the alien's mannerisms and speech, the scientists begin to believe he just isn't able to get the job done…this disbelief in his talent sets a fire to Spiffy, bruising his ego enough to force the impressionist to prove himself to them. Once he's successful, however, returning to the club/lounge routine lacks the same thrill (to perform for an audience taken to his talent) it once might have had, and it could all be because once he communicated with the alien a special bond formed…a bond he just doesn't have with humans. Because of McCann's sincere performance, I think "The Impressionist" is better than it has any right being. The alien (and its ship) is right out of a cheap B-movie, and the scientists are bland and zombie-like (all of this may have been intentional, though), so whether or not this charms you, this first episode of Tales from the Darkside of the second season perhaps (or perhaps not) might leave a lasting impression. If it weren't for McCann, I found it rather flat and forgettable. The ending does rather work to me, offering us a different take on human/alien relations, how communication between races can produce positive results; it gives us hope that despite differences, if an attempt is made, success can follow.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Angel or alien, good show with a nice ending if you ever wished to go to outer space.

Author: lenahan1-1 from United States
20 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A fun show where a man gets the trust and friendship of an alien. He realizes there is more to life than what he was living before the alien and feels lost. The alien comes back and asks him to go with him and he does. I think he wants for from life as he knows it and this offers new and wonderful things to learn, plus his friendship with the alien. If you ever wished as a kid that you could go to outer space as a kid or even as an adult, then you might like this show. I remember wishing I could go on the Enterprise and see all the wonders of space. I think I would have even worn a red shirt, if you know what I mean-otherwise google "red shirt-star trek". This has that sort of wishfulness about it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Nice episode

Author: Woodyanders ( from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
5 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Gifted impressionist Spiffy Remo (an excellent and engaging performance by Chuck McCann) is forced by several shady government types to communicate with an alien. After making contact with said alien (in a truly moving and wondrous scene), the alien departs leaving Remo depressed. But a surprise visit from the alien soon cheers Remo up. Director Armand Mastroianni, working from a sweet and lighthearted script by Haskell Barkin, relates the involving story at a steady pace and ably creates a strong sense of awe and wonder. The bond that develops between Remo and the alien is quite touching, the alien looks pretty cool, and the lovely upbeat ending will leave a smile on your face. McCann's sterling portrayal of Remo keeps this episode humming; he receives sound support from Bobby Di Cicco as determined scientist Dr. Coe, Jack Andreozzi as exacting nightclub owner Pudgy, and Gene Borkan as the menacing Angel. Claudia Templeton's expressive pantomime turn as the extraterrestrial being Hoffgosh impresses as well. A worthwhile show.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Solid, quirky tale

Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
25 May 2015

After the bottom-of-the-barrel nonsense that was the final episodes of season one of TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE, at least season two kicks off with a stronger start. THE IMPRESSIONIST tells the tale of just that, a popular nightclub impressionist who's tasked by secret government forces with his most bizarre job yet.

This is a comic sci-fi effort that works despite the lightness of touch. Chuck McCann gives a dedicated performance as the hard-working comedian who finds himself in very unfamiliar territory and the episode also features an unusual-looking blue-skinned alien from which the director gets plenty of mileage. THE IMPRESSIONIST may not be a masterpiece but it's a marked improvement on what came previously; I can only hope this series goes from strength to strength.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Leave the comedy club for the spaceship!

Author: Danny Blankenship from Petersburg, Virginia
15 March 2010

This episode one from season two of "TFTD" titled "The Impressionist" is a feel good and light hearted one. It's theme centers around alien and space research. As in the mid 80's many sci-fi and horror fans were caught up in the subject of did aliens really exist. The plot features an over the hill club comedian who makes a living doing jokes and impressions of famous people and well known movie characters, plus to complicate matters his club promoter agent has mob ties. Then all of a sudden the episode twist as secret government agents have came in and captured an alien. Their goal is to see how it can interact and communicate with a human and you guessed it the funny man and mister impression is the lucky choice for the experiment. Along the way an unusual and unlikely communication friendship is formed. Overall good episode that's not really scary or horror themed more of a good hearted feel and sci-fi natured touch. Anyway it ends with a new beginning for the character.

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1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

This is a pretty good episode.

Author: Paul Andrews ( from UK
30 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tales from the Darkside: The Impressionist starts as stand up comedian & impersonator Spiffy Remo (Chuck McCann) is contacted after one of his show's by an FBI agent who say's he needs his help, at first Remo is uncooperative but after a little persuasion soon changes his mind. Remo is taken to a laboratory where scientist Dr. Coe (Bobby Di Cicco) say's they have an alien there & need his impersonation skills to communicate with it, after a bit more persuasion Remo agrees to what what they ask...

Episode 1 from season 2 this Tales from the Darkside story originally aired in the US during September 1985, the third of four Tales from the Darkside episodes to be directed by Armand Mastroianni this is a pretty good start to season 2. The script by Haskell Barkin has an intriguing premise & is lots of fun, this is the first Tales from the Darkside episode to have a sci-fi feel about it & despite a weak ending it's a neat little story that I rather liked. At only 20 odd minutes in length it moves along at a decent pace, it's fairly original & doesn't take itself too seriously.

This one has a good looking alien in it, the actual mask is well sculptured although the silver space suit it wears is a little cheesy, the spaceship at the end is nothing more than rows of blurred lights but it works surprisingly well. I wouldn't call it scary but it has some light hearted sci-fi moments in it. The acting is OK, McCann seems to have gone on to voice a lot of cartoon character's.

The Impressionist is a good sci-fi story to kick of the second season, it's certainly better than most of the first season anyway. Worth a watch for sure.

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