"I realized I could do voices when I was in junior high. I could imitate people, so that's what got me interested in doing impressions," says comedian Jeff Richards, who has the distinction of being the first person to have been a cast member of both MADtv and Saturday Night Live (Taran Killam has also accomplish that feat). "Different people recommended me [for MADtv]," he recalls. "I was in L.A. at the time, and they recommended I do a showcase. Then I got called back to their offices for an audition. That's how that happened." As soon as his contract was up there, his management started working on getting him over to Saturday Night Live. "They really didn't care that I was on MADtv," he explains. "I think I auditioned for Lorne Michaels before he knew I was on MADtv. Even after he found out, he didn't care." Of the two disciplines, Richards likes standup the best. "I like them both for different reasons, but I like standup because it's easier to accomplish. You just get up there with a microphone and do your act." His set is almost entirely characters, like the popular Drunk Girl, and celebrity impressions. A new one he is working on is Robert Downey Jr. which, on the surface, doesn't appear to present a lot of things for an impressionist to grab on to. "I think that's what a really good impressionist should do: Show people that there is something to latch on to, whatever it is. Everybody knows the person, but you pick out something to make that impression work. That's the art of it, I think." 18+; 21+ later shows.
Wednesdays-Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., July 5, 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: July 2. Continues through July 6, 2014
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