Rich Little performs in SFSU athletics benefit

February 26, 2010 7:26:20 PM PST
He has been called "The Man of a Thousand Voices." Rich Little has been making people laugh at his impressions of politicians and actors for more than 40 years.

"Well, of course Richard Nixon was the first time I ever did a politician," said Little.

Little's most famous impression was Nixon. He did it for president who thought it strange. But Little says he did it well enough that he should have been considered for the film "Frost/Nixon." Little is America's premier impressionist and does more than 200 voices. His favorite voice is Ronald Reagan.

"I did the Correspondence Dinner in Washington two years ago," said Little.

Stephen Colbert had done it the year before.

"Guess what? I got criticized for not being more political and not going for the throat more," said Little.

Little is in San Francisco with Ronnie Schell's for his benefit comedy night for San Francisco State University athletics.

Johnny Carson came to him watching ostriches at a zoo.

His favorites impressions are the character actors from the 40s.

"We've got some great actors today, but we haven't got voices like we used to," said Little. "Somebody said 'Do you do Brad Pitt.?' I said yeah. 'Put that down. Tidy your room. Get out of here. Which one are you?'"

He offered up some advice for success.

"If people like you, then it goes a long way. I always wanted to, as an impersonator, to put my own personality into what I do," said Little.

He tours, plays Las Vegas, and is working on a one man show as Jimmy Stewart.