Rich Little Is Responsible For My Marriage

When I came downstairs this morning, Helaine mentioned she had read my last blog entry. “Rich Little is why we’re married,” she said.

I stopped for a second to ponder that line. Then it hit me. She’s right.

I’m going to try and tell this story, but there is a problem. A really good friend, someone heavily involved in this story, doesn’t want to be mentioned here. So be it.

This friend is a real show biz guy. For decades now, he’s been working with celebrities. If I were to mention the names, you’d recognize nearly all of them.

Back in the early 80s, my friend was producing for a Dick Clark series called “Inside America.” He followed Rich Little to Philadelphia on a promo tour. Rich was promoting an audio cassette – a comedy record. My friend was in charge of a crew taping Rich. They ended up at the radio station where Helaine worked.

Helaine was promotion director at WIOQ in Philadelphia, involved in coordinating Little’s on-air appearance.

Memories are a little hazy now, but somehow Helaine and my friend struck up a conversation and my name came up. I had worked in Philadelphia radio, meeting Helaine just a few weeks before I left.

By the way – Rich Little’s involvement in this story ended a few paragraphs back.

That evening, I spoke with my friend. He told me about this girl in Philadelphia, Helaine, who still remembered me – and he said I should call her.

So that’s how Rich Little put me back in tou… Yeah, OK. I’m leaving something out.

My friend told me to call, and I did. But I called four months later! Maybe four months is charitable. I didn’t call for a long time… a really long time.

Like a typical, foolish guy, I thought there was something suspect about any girl who might like me. I was an idiot. I nearly let her slip away.

In a few weeks we celebrate our 23rd anniversary. Maybe we need to send something to Rich Little and my unnamed friend.

Letterman’s Impressionists

My DVR was set to record David Letterman tonight. It’s been a long time since I did that. His show is must see TV for me this week, because it’s “Impressionist Week.”

I love impressionists. I remember watching them perform on Ed Sullivan when I was a kid. They did voices that made my parents laugh, based on references I didn’t get at the time. My dad’s laugh of approval was good enough for me.

I knew Rich Little would have to be part of the Letterman line-up at some point, but I didn’t expect him to be the first up.

Thirty years ago… can that be right… Thirty years ago, Rich Little was as hot as a comedian gets. The intervening years hadn’t been kind. I saw him a while ago and he was lackluster – like a guy just going through the motions.

I forget what show he was on, but it demanded more than just an impressionist. As a person, he seemed drab and cold.

Obviously, my hopes were not high as he walked out. The first thing I noticed was his hair. I’m 56 and people complain, thinking mine’s colored (it’s not). Little has twelve years on me and has bright brown hair.

Maybe I’m wrong about his hair as people are about mine. I doubt it, but maybe.

He started his act doing Dr. Phil – and he killed. I am thrilled to say, Rich Little was as good tonight as I’ve ever seen him. I was happy for him – happy for me.

He then proceeded to run through some ‘names.’ He was Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Andy Rooney.

He finished with his signature, Johnny Carson. As fresh as Johnny is in my mind, that show hasn’t been on since 1992! And, I’ve seen Rich Little do Carson a zillion times.

This time, he began with a new set-up (at least for me), explaining how his inspiration for the Carson impression came after seeing an ostrich at the zoo. Without saying a word, he began posturing, shifting his body and moving his head.

He was Johnny Carson before he spoke a word! He killed some more. And then he did a silly, slightly off color Carnac joke. Letterman’s audience ate it up.

Is it possible for a performer to ever get too used to… to be blas