Rich Little paying tribute to idol Jimmy Stewart

On one side of a graph, you can chart the point where Rich Little’s career became as venerable as the old-Hollywood voices he imitates.

And on the other side, you can chart the point where the 73-year-old could impersonate a new generation of celebrities without it being a bit, well, icky.

Find the point where those two lines intersect, and it could well be this new venture, “Jimmy Stewart & Friends.” Little’s new cabaret show is devoted to film legend Stewart, a theme that also gives focus to his arsenal of impressions.

Little noted a few years ago that he was considered for “Say Goodnight, Gracie,” a George Burns tribute that Alan Safier will do at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts next weekend. But he didn’t want to stay in one character for the whole piece.

Hence, the tribute to Stewart that includes contemporaries such as Cary Grant and Ronald Reagan.

“When I was a kid, Jimmy was definitely one of my idols. To think that I became friends with him and worked with him and knew him very well … ” Little noted.

“That’s the one thing about my career, was getting to know my idols. I knew so many people that I admired as a kid.”

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at or 702-383-0288.

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