July 27, 1927 |
Bronx, New York
Will Jordan (born July 27, 1927) is an American character actor and stand-up comedian best known for his resemblance - and ability to do uncanny impressions of - television host and newspaper columnist Ed Sullivan. Jordan was an early friend and influence on Lenny Bruce.
Sullivan, who had almost no mannerisms, made him hard to impersonate. According to Mr. Jordan, himself (2013), he invented some funny mannerisms that Sullivan never had done, like cracking his knuckles, spinning, and shaking back and forth. Jordan's early appearances mimicking Ed came on The Ed Sullivan Show. In his act, Jordan came up with the catch-phrase, "Welcome to our Toast of the Town 'Shoooo'", which became a stereotypical joke for nearly every Sullivan impersonator after that, usually as the more generic "Really Big 'Shoooo'" (or "shoe").
In virtually all of his film appearances since the 1970s, Jordan has portrayed Sullivan in films that feature characters appearing on Sullivan's famous variety series such as I Wanna Hold Your Hand, which depicted the Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964. Sullivan died in 1974. In 1983, Jordan appeared as Sullivan in the elaborately produced 60s-TV-style video for "Tell Her About It", the Billy Joel hit single.
Jordan impersonated Sullivan in the 2003 film Down with Love. Currently, Jordan appears as Sullivan in the Broadway revival of the musical Bye Bye Birdie (as he did in the original Broadway production in 1960-1961).
Jordan's other impressions—less celebrated but still uncanny—include Bing Crosby, Groucho Marx and Jack Benny. (Jordan's Benny, unlike the more familiar Rich Little impression, was enhanced by a natural facial resemblance.)
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