In 14 years on Saturday Night Live, Darrell Hammond did many impressions, including Bill Clinton and Al Gore. But few of his cast members knew that Hammond struggled with drugs, alcohol and self-cutting as a result of systematic childhood abuse.
British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon trade barbs and impressions in the new comedy, The Trip. Coogan, best known for his character Alan Partridge, talks about the improvisational film, which sends the two comedians on a road trip in Northern England.
Fallon is thankful for slow walkers, people named Lloyd and the word "moist." The comedian and host of Late Night collects more than 100 nuggets of gratitude in his book Thank You Notes. He talks with Terry Gross about giving thanks and doing impressions.
British comedienne and actress Tracy Ullman returns to American television Sunday with the debut of her new Showtime series, Tracy Ullman's State of the Union. Ullman plays fictional characters as well as a host of notable personalities, including Cameron Diaz, David Beckham and Nancy Pelosi.
Will Ferrell is a regular cast member of Saturday Night Live. Last weekend the show began the new season in a somber tone, opening the show with Mayor Giuliani surrounded by a group of New York fire fighters, police and EMT workers. Ferrell has portrayed President George Bush on the show as well as Janet Reno, Alex Trebek and Robert Goulet; his other send-ups include musical middle school teacher Marty Culp, and Spartan cheerleader Craig.
Political satirist and impressionist Jim Morris. He began lampooning the presidents at about the time Ronald Reagan was sworn into office. Since then he's impersonated George Bush and Bill Clinton. He'll discuss what he's done with his act since the Clinton scandal broke.
An excerpt from the NPR program "This American Life" produced by Ira Glass. This is the story of a Tom Jones impersonator produced by Jay Allison and narrated by Dan Gediman -- brother of the ersatz celebrity.
Political satirist and impressionist Jim Morris began lampooning the presidents around the time Reagan was sworn in to office. Since then he's impersonated Bush and Clinton, as well as presidential contenders, Michael Dukakis, Paul Tsongas, and Ross Perot. The New Yorker says of Morris, "Like an obsessive character actor, Mr. Morris doesn't just impersonate his subjects; he becomes them."
Morris has always done impressions: he began lampooning the presidents when Reagan was sworn into office. Since then he's impersonated Bush, and Clinton, as well as presidental contenders, Michael Dukakis, Paul Tsongas, and Ross Perot. He brought his act to the White House Correspondents Association Dinner and comedy clubs around the country.
In the new animated movie Aladdin, Gottfried plays an evil parrot. His stand-up style can best be described as "cranky," with a high-decibel delivery. He's also done a stint on Saturday Night Live and was in the movie Beverly Hills Cop II.
O'Hara is one of the co-founders of the comedy series, "SCTV," and started her acting career with Toronto's Second City comedy troupe. She's best known for her role as the distraught mom in "Home Alone." There's now a sequel, "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York," in which O'Hara reprises her roles as the mother.
Davidson's act earned him a spot on the sketch comedy show In Living Color, starring the Wayans brothers. He grew up in Washington, DC and began performing at a topless club. Davidson's comedy special will soon air on the Showtime network.
David Bianculli reviews Andrea Martin: Together Again special, which weaves together skits featuring her many celebrity impressions. He says it may not live up to the best of episodes of SCTV, but it's still funnier than almost anything else on television.
Whoopi Goldberg's one-woman show leans heavily on celebrity impersonations and a character named Fontaine -- a black man who expounds on various social issues affecting the African American community. But these monologues are often divorced from narrative context, and lose their power. Critic Laurie Stone says she's more impressed by Goldberg's action movie roles, and what her presence in movie does for black actors.
Martin Short established himself as a comedic actor on SCTV and Saturday Night Live. He's famous for his physical humor, celebrity impressions, and the memorable characters he invented, like Ed Grimley. Short has since graduated to the silver screen, starring in movies like Innerspace and Three Amigos. His new movie is called Three Fugitives.