I met actor/comedian Kevin Pollock after his performance at the Irvine improve years ago. The weird thing was, I had been at a party in Hollywood earlier that day, with a co-star of his from The Usual Suspects.
We talked for a long time about the many impressions he does, and a few other things. He signed autographs for a handful of fans that came up to ask him.
Well, on the Marc Maron podcast (he’s another funny comedian you should check out if you get the chance), the talk of impressions came up. For those that don’t know, Kevin does a very popular Christopher Walken impression, as well as William Shatner, Alan Arkin, and many, many more.
He talked about going to see Rich Little, the master of impersonations in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Kevin was only 19, and said he was smoking pot all the time, and not making the best decisions. He decided he’d wear an overcoat, and have a cigar dangling from his mouth, and stand-up to do his impression of Peter Falk as Columbo.
When a break in the act occurred, and applause was going on while Little wiped his face, Pollock quickly approached the stage. At first, his jacket got caught in the seat. He made it to the side of the stage just in time to call out to Little, and go into his voice. Little, not missing a beat, said “Oh, it’s Detective Columbo.” He then thrust the microphone to Pollock, who hadn’t expected this. He was expecting Little to love his act, and invite him on the road with him, but not handing him a microphone. He got nervous, and Little than went into his own impression of Columbo, which wasn’t very good.
Little eventually invited Pollock up to the stage. Now, there were thousands of people at this show, and Little asked him what he wanted. Not knowing what to say he merely asked for an autograph. Little took the pen, which had the cap on wrong, and said “You ask for an autograph and use a broken pen.” This gave Pollock a chance to, in character, say “Oh my, well…I’ll be. I’m sorry about that.”
Little told him to come backstage after the show for the autograph. Pollock told his friend he’d be off on his private jet, probably performing at the next show with him.
There was a line of about 20 people for the meet-and-greet, and Little quickly said “Oh hey, it’s you.” Asked his name, signed the autograph, and quickly moved on to the next in line.
So much for Pollocks dream of show biz success!
He did say that Rich Little couldn’t have been nicer and more generous to do that, especially when it’s a heckler interrupting your show.