Howie Mandel's Comedy Club Presents: Craig Gass
Tuesday, September 11, 2018 September 11, 2018 ATLANTIC CITY
Modern media insists we categorize talent– you know, put folks in boxes according to their entertaining skill set. It works fine for the one-dimensional. He’s a movie star, she’s a singer/songwriter, he’s a comedian, she’s a stripper. You get my drift. Which brings us to the hydra-headed multi-faceted, standup comic, impressionist, actor, renaissance freak (yes, freak) genius, Craig Gass.
His eclectic resume is scripted from two decades of working rooms, following leads, embarrassing and endearing strangers while building a modest and devoted fan base. Craig didn’t pursue a particular career path, the career happened to Craig; In no small way thanks to his uncanny ability to capture the voice and idiosyncrasies of the celebrities he impersonates. Craig began doing standup in 1993 by hitting the grueling, bumpy comedy circuit road and cultivating his craft in whatever crappy bar or club would have him. Shortly into the new millennium, shock radio kingpin, Howard Stern, took Craig under his massive, media wing. The Mt. Vernon, New York son of deaf parents made frequent, freaky appearances on Stern, blowing listener minds with his uncanny impressions of notorious celebrities like Christopher Walken, Gene Simmons, Gilbert Gottfried, Tracy Morgan, Sam Kinison, Al Pacino and Metallica drummer, Lars Ulrich. This platform lead to Hollywood, but not like you’d think.
In 2004, Craig’s unique ability to sound like famous people led to a co-starring role on CBS’s hit sitcom, King of Queens. Kevin James character hires Craig as the new delivery driver who keeps his fellow employees in bellyaching laughs. Hollywood has known some venerated impressionists – Rich Little, David Frye, Frank Gorshin, Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond and Frank Callendo, to name few. While they’re all laudable in their parroting prowess, Craig takes impression a step further. He just doesn’t mirror the sound, cadence and mannerisms – he literally channels the individual into a speaking-in-tongues-esque out of body presentation, frighteningly precise without the aid of a single prop. He just doesn’t do Adam Sandler, he becomes Adam Sandler, every character nuance a laser sharp reflection of the original. Craig owes this phenomenal gift to the force majeure of his birth and childhood environment.
Craig Gass will make you laugh, weep, choke, recoil and most importantly, recognize that the faults, flaws and freaky behavior that we all posses, do not define us but rather, unite us. “We all have way more in common than we do that divides us,” he delivers as the Dave’s crowd prepares to depart their favorite shit hole post performance. It’s the perfect postscript for a funny man standing at the crossroads of superstardom – or sitting on the bus stop of professional oblivion. Either way, we’ll be right up front, cheering and jeering.