RIP: Fred Travalena

All of the recent crazy celebrity deaths certainly got everyone talking over the weekend, but the timing of it all overshadowed the death Sunday of comedian and impersonator Fred Travalena. If Rich Little was The Guy in the 1970s and 1980s to get your celebrity impersonations, then Fred Travalena was The Other Guy. Travalena died from cancer Sunday at the age of 66, at his home in Encino, Calif. — coincidentally home to Michael Jackson's family (after they got famous and could leave Gary, Ind.). Anyhow. I remember seeing Travalena as a frequent talk-show guest with Johnny Carson and others. Here's a clip of him on Merv Griffin's show:

You didn't see much of Travalena after Y2K, but he did show up for one of David Letterman's "Impressionist Weeks" a couple of years ago, showing that he was still trying to work in new voices such as Donald Rumsfeld. Well, maybe not all new. But the "morphing" of the past nine presidents (JFK to W.) was a nice touch.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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