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Dana Carvey to host a “battle of impressionists” show on USA

Dana Carvey as Johnny Carson on Saturday Night Live

Aspiring singers and models have long benefitted from the TV tutelage of established performers in their field—vocalists on The Voice are coached by people like CeeLo Green and Adam Levine (though not on smarminess), and, until recently, runway hopefuls learned at the feet of Tyra Banks (presumably because she didn’t want them to make eye—or smize—contact). But amateur impressionists have been mostly flying blind, appealing to improv troupes or acting as the entertainment at office holiday parties. Those dark days are coming to an end, though, as Variety reports that Dana Carvey, The Master Of Disguise, will host a comedy impression reality series on USA.

The unscripted series is called First Impressions, which Carvey will executive produce along with Jay Renfroe (Naked And Afraid) and former NBC bigwig, Jeff Gaspin. Carvey will also serve as the “impressionist-in-residence,” and will mentor the country’s best amateur impressionists as they mug their way through a Robert De Niro pantomime or slurp lasciviously as an ersatz Hannibal Lecter. Every week, the copycat comedians will compete against each other, and viewers will vote on a winner. Celebrity guests will also pop up, so we may finally get to see Denzel Washington react to someone doing that “King Kong” line from Training Day.


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