impersonations

Singing with Dummies

Terry Fator – Click for more images

America’s Got Talent winner Terry Fator and his cast of wooden characters took the stage Saturday night at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, complete with backing band and one mighty fine assistant.

Terry Fator is a ventriloquist with a twist, actually a couple of twists. Not only can the 47 year old command all things wooden, but he also has a knack for singing, and not just any singing, he can impersonate damn near any singer out there. From Dolly Parton to Lou Rawls he can belt it out just like the real thing.

Winston as the Phantom – Click for more images

Prior to the show the crowd was entertained by DJ Ben Harris and his exceptional dance moves. As he played a medley of songs, Harris was dancing from one end of the stage to the other.

Fator came out singing “Feeling Good,” to start the show as the mostly older crowd was clapping and cheering. Following up with “Phantom of the Opera,” Fator brought out Winston complete with his own phantom mask.

Winston called to Christine (the mighty fine assistant) saying he was her angel of music. That was up until she took his mask off and she ran off stage screaming.

Christine (the mighty fine nurse), Walter and Fator

As he continued, Winston informed him that he was auditioning for the Phantom of the Opera. Winston said he was qualified since he did win America’s Got Talent for Fator.

Walter T. Airedale came out singing Big and Rich’s “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy.” Walter told everyone that he was running for president and was being attacked because people were saying he wasn’t a U.S. citizen. When Fator asked him if he had a birth certificate he said he sure does, and that was when a Home Depot receipt was shown on the big screen. Right away Fator said “So I see you got brass balls.” To which Walter replied, “Every President should have a pair.”

Audience member Rob with Fator

Fator was on fire as he continued with Duggie Scott Walker (an annoying neighbor), Wrex (the crash test dummy), Julius (the soul singer), Emma Taylor, Maynard Thompkins (an Elvis Presley impersonator who doesn’t know any Elvis songs), and Vikki the Cougar (a perpetual 49 year old who likes younger men).

Wrex – Click for more images

There was a touching moment as Fator explained how a young boy, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, wanted to go to Las Vegas to see Fator’s show. The young boy passed away several weeks after meeting Fator. Fator regretted not playing a song he wrote called “Horses in Heaven.” Management decided that the song would not play well in Vegas, but since the boys visit Fator has put it back into his show. After playing “Horses in Heaven,” he informed everyone that the proceeds of the song goes towards Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

At one point Fator singled out a married couple Addie and Rob asking Rob to come up onstage. Placing a mask over his face Fator turned him into a human puppet and starting committing to his wife that he hates sports, and she can take control of the remote.

Winston came back out onstage and they closed the show with an extremely well done rendition of “It’s a Wonderful World.”

This was a great show and I would definitely go out of my way to see him again.  Since Fator is often compared to Jeff Dunham I  have to say while Dunham can be hilarious, he tends to be pretty racial and at times crude, where Fator’s show was good clean fun. Now that’s not to say Fator’s show at the Mirage in Las Vegas is clean, I wouldn’t know,  but what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

 

Obama, Clinton, Bush visit Thunder Valley Casino

Frank Caliendo - Click for more images

Well ““ sort of.

The very talented and slightly possessed comedian-impressionist Frank Caliendo entertained an overflowing crowd in Pano Hall, at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Friday night.

Caliendo brought his “‘A’ game and a few of his friends, in the form of impressions of famous people including Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

Fellow comedian George Cantor opened the show with his observational humor. The first few jokes fell flat, but being the stand-up comedian he is, Cantor changed gears and before the end of his set he had the audience on the floor laughing. Not ROFLMAO kind of laughing, but damn close.

Out of the gate Caliendo started with Bush, reminding everyone how Bush was famous for forgetting the last few words of a thought. In the voice of Bush;

“These terrorists, these guys are ah “¦ these guy are ah. . . I wrote it down here somewhere . . . these guys are bad.”

George Canton - Click for more images

Next up was his impersonation of Clinton and how Clinton would have behaved, if wife Hillary had won the presidential election. In his best Clinton voice he went on to describe his stay in the Whitehouse and not having any rules.

It’s extremely difficult to convey how funny and entertaining Caliendo is, it’s one of those shows you have to see to believe.

I grew up admiring the talent of Rich Little who did impersonations, but Caliendo takes impersonations to a whole new level. He flawlessly goes from one character to the next at lightning speed, and in some cases, leaves the audience behind only to catch up a few beats later.

As he went into more of the sports impersonations, Caliendo warned everyone, that some of the audience members would not get it, as he launched into his impersonation of Jim Rome, an ESPN personality.

After the show Caliendo answered some questions from the audience and signed autographs along with Canton.

Some of the personalities that Caliendo channeled were;  Jack Nicholson, Ted Knight, Scooby Doo and Shaggy, Chris Rock, Terry Bradshaw, Al Pacino, John Madden, Jeff Goldblum, Dr. Phil, Jay Leno, Adam Sandler, Charles Barkley, Robin Williams, Morgan Freeman, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander, and Yoda

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