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July 29, 2014

impressions

A Match Game fan remembers Fred Travalena

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 29th 2009 3:06PM
Fred TravalenaThe sad news just keeps on coming: comedian and impressionist Fred Travalena passed away yesterday, losing a battle with cancer at the age of 66. For those of you who have no idea who I'm talking about (and, believe me, those numbers are legion), Travalena was big on the talk show and game show circuit in the '70s, doing impressions of everyone from Robert De Niro to George Burns to Jimmy Carter.

As a nerdly kid who rarely left the house after school, however, Travalena is best known to me as a panelist during the latter years of my favorite game show, Match Game. After the jump is the only MG-related clip I could find with Travalena, where he does an impression of De Niro on the short-lived Match Game Hollywood Squares Hour in the early '80s. (Warning: you need to turn the volume up to hear it).

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Bethenny Frankel does killer impressions (and not just of Jill Zarin)

by Eliot Glazer, posted Apr 17th 2009 9:05AM
Bethenny Frankel - Real Housewives of New York CityThe ladies of The Real Housewives of New York City are, needless to say, a colorful bunch. The Bravo franchise seems to have hit its stride, with each cast of Housewives providing their own flavor. But in comparison to Orange County and Atlanta, the ladies of New York seem especially weird. Perhaps it's apropos to their all living in a city with crazy people at every corner, but whatever the case may be, these gals are bonkers.

Sure, the show may just be a well-delivered product of sneaky producers and menacing editors, but somebody's doing something right in bringing out the bizarre nuances of Jill, LuAnn, Alex, Ramona, and Bethenny - although she, of the whipsmart one-liners and catchphrases, seems to be the crowd favorite (judging by ... conversations I've had with people).

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Top TV Stories of 2008: Fey does Palin - VIDEOS

by Kona Gallagher, posted Dec 22nd 2008 5:02PM
palin/fey

...Ew, not like that, you guys. Although, I'm sure if you did just a few minutes of Googling, you could find that too, in one form or another. What I'm talking about is Tina Fey's brilliant impression of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. How good was the impression? It was so good that the episodes featuring Fey, and the one that featured Palin herself, were some of SNL's highest-rated episodes in years. Tina Fey's brilliant but ratings-challenged sitcom, 30 Rock received a ratings bump, she scored a multi-million dollar book deal, and newspapers sometimes forgot that they were actually two different people.Not bad for a funny lady who had never been known for her impressions and a governor from a small town no one had ever heard of.

Obama may have been our first celebrity candidate, but Palin was our first beauty queen. Whether you loved her or hated her, it's hard to argue that she was a captivating figure.

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Frank TV returns for second run

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 22nd 2008 1:01PM
Frank Calliendo as John MaddenConsidering that Frank Calliendo's inaugural season on his show (cleverly titled Frank TV) hit excellent ratings numbers for TBS, it comes as no real shocker that it's been picked up for a second run. The first season was cut to only five episodes due to the writers strike, so rather than go back to finish the rest of the initial order, TBS has gone this route.

Calliendo's show is a streaming barrage of fast impressions and skits, featuring Calliendo in virtually every role. Made famous by his dead-on impressions of the likes of George W. Bush, Al Pacino and John Madden, the show has received mixed reviews. Personally, I find Frank to be an incredibly likable guy, which comes across well on the show, and as with most sketch shows, if something isn't working for you, go make a sandwich. It'll be something else by the time you come back.

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The second to next best thing

by Paul Goebel, posted Mar 8th 2007 11:21AM

William ShatnerThe other day I auditioned for a new reality show. I can't tell you the name of the show but I will tell you the premise.

It's a competition a la American Idol, except the talent in this competition is impersonation. You might say the producers aren't looking for real celebrities but instead are looking for "the next best thing."

Now when I first heard about the show, I assumed it was all about impressions. I couldn't have been more wrong.

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SNL to air The Best of Darrell Hammond

by Anna Johns, posted Oct 25th 2006 11:02AM
darrell hammondDarrell Hammond, the longest-running cast member ever on Saturday Night Live, is finally getting his own highlights episode. The Best of Darrell Hammond will air on Saturday, November 4th, ahead of Tuesday's primary elections. SNL will honor Hammond's years of political impressions, he is perhaps best known for his impressions of Dick Cheney, Bill Clinton, and Al Gore ("lock box"). Hammond has been on SNL for an amazing eleven years. He is the first cast member to get a retrospective while still working on the show.

Besides politics, the retrospective will also include sketches where Hammond impersonates Regis Philbin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chris Matthews and a kick-ass Sean Connery on Celebrity Jeopardy! I'd love to see the one where he plays Richard Dreyfus auditioning for the role of C-3PO on Star Wars. It's uncanny!

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