July 27, 1927
Bronx, New York
|Died|| (aged 91)|
Manhattan, New York
|Occupation||Actor, stand-up comedian|
Will Jordan (born Wilbur Rauch, July 27, 1927 – September 6, 2018) was 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.
Sullivan had almost no mannerisms, which made him hard to impersonate. According to Jordan, he invented some funny mannerisms that Sullivan never had, 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").[self-published source]
In virtually all of his film appearances since the 1970s, Jordan 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 1960s-TV-style video for "Tell Her About It", the Billy Joel hit single.
Jordan impersonated Sullivan in the 2003 film Down with Love. Jordan appeared as Sullivan in the Broadway revival of the musical Bye Bye Birdie, which ran from October 15, 2009, through January 24, 2010. Jordan appeared in the original Broadway production in 1960–1961. He also participated in a recording project, called "The Sicknicks", with Sandy Baron. The pair produced a comedy single, "The Presidential Press Conference", which was a minor hit in 1961.
Jordan's other impressions included Bing Crosby, Groucho Marx and Jack Benny. He imitated Peter Lorre and James Mason as one of the actors in "Psycho Drama" on Rupert Holmes's 1974 debut album Widescreen.
Personal life and death
Jordan had a son, Lonnie Saunders.