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    Craig Gass is a funny man.  He is a talented impersonator and has garnered respect from some of the most illustrious names in comedy.

    Starting professionally in 1993, Gass has been on the road consistently for over two decades, starting out by playing dirty clubs and bars or anywhere else that would let him have a microphone.  By the end of the 90’s, he had found his voice (and found many other people’s voices, as well).  Because Gass was born to an entirely deaf family – both parents and his siblings were deaf – Craig being the only one who could hear was not able to learn how to speak from them, so he learned by watching television and imitating the people he saw.  Of course, this not only taught him how to speak, but it also gave him a knack distorting and contorting his voice to imitate just about anyone he comes across. 

    His dead-on impersonations and self-deprecating sense of humor soon got him the attention of radio mogul Howard Stern, and Gass became one of Stern’s regulars – having put him on the show countless times in the intervening years. 

    And one night, backstage at a show he met George Carlin.  Carlin took an immediate liking to his oddball point of view and his elastic voice and the two became very close personal friends.  Like a father figure, Gass would call Carlin about advice in his career, his personal life, or otherwise.  The two remained very close until Carlin’s untimely passing in 2008.

    Gass is going to be spending Derby weekend here in Louisville, so if you aren’t too strung out on Mint Juleps or too exhausted from losing all your cash on the ponies.  You should definitely make it out Laughing Derby to see what all the fuss is about.  Tickets are available and show times vary. 

    (Photo by Mike Wertz)

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    About Brent Owen

    Born and raised in Louisville, I have lived here most of my life (except during a short furlough, when I, lovelorn and naive, followed a girl to Baton Rouge). My roots are here, my family, my friends, and my life are all here. I work primarily as a free-lance writer for a few local and regional publications. I have also written two books (one a memoir, the other a novel) that barring some divine intervention, will probably never see the light of day. I find myself deeply ingrained in the local bar scene, or perhaps better said, I often indulge in the local drinking culture. I love music, movies, comedy, and really just about any other live performance art.

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