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Although Dana Carvey hasn’t really taken his career into too many far-flung places in recent years, the actor and comedian will never stop reminding people that celebrity impersonations are a talent, dammit. And his newest project is the most natural progression for him, as he’ll be front and center on the new unscripted comedy competition First Impressions, which has just been picked up for a first season by USA. I’ll give you two seconds to figure out what the show is about.
Time’s up! First Impressions will see Carvey taking on the role of “expert-in-residence” for a weekly half-hour bout between people who think their skills of impersonating famous people are better than others. So basically every weekend dinner party in America, am I right? The amateur impressionists will show off their skills to not only Carvey, who will be mentoring the contestants, but a group of celebrity guests that will also be involved in each episode. And yes, Carvey will join in on the fun, as keeping him on the sidelines would just be silly.
While it’s usually the primetime reality competition fare on broadcast networks that take advantage of audience participation, First Impressions will indeed look to its viewers to keep the battles going. Each week, audiences will be advised to call in or get online to vote for the winners.
This truly sounds like the perfect gig for Dana Carvey, who has been utilizing his skills at sounding like others for decades now, having rose to fame in Saturday Night Live and his own shortlived The Dana Carvey Show. (We don’t want to mention Master of Disguise, but that was the main attempt to bring his rubber-voiced talents to the big screen outside of a Wayne’s World movie.) He returned to SNL for a Church Lady sketch some years back, and has been making the talk show circuit for the past couple of years, reminding people what he can do. Check out this Pacino-filled clip below from a Tonight Show appearance.
USA has got an interesting batch of shows currently in the running. Though Complications and Graceland were both canceled recently, the network is running high with the critical success of Mr. Robot, with other shows like Satisfaction and Chrisley Knows Best still winning people over. And then there’s that Donny Deutsch comedy Donny! coming, which looks like it might have weird potential.
There was no information about when First Impressions is set to go into production, but we can probably expect to find the show popping up on USA next year.