The Larry King Game
Art Attack absolutely loves the Internet, for reasons like this. Sometimes a random bit of ephemera leads us to a hidden cache of hilarity, whereupon we can waste our day falling down the rabbit hole. In this case we were watching James Urbaniak, the voice of our beloved Dr. Venture, perform a dramatic reading of Rebecca Black's "Friday". Then we happened to glance at the sidebar of featured videos, whereupon we found one that read "James Urbaniak - Larry King Game."
Lo and behold, what a rabbit hole. It turns out that actor/comedian Kevin Pollak has a weekly internet talk show appropriately titled the Kevin Pollak Chat Show, which just so happens to turn two this month. The Larry King Game is just one segment of the show, wherein his weekly guest must turn in a bad Larry King impression, revealing something odd about himself before pitching to the phones. Urbaniak turns in a textbook effort - brief yet solid, invoking King's trademark lean, some gruff vocals, a dated reference, and a quintessential obscure town.
Needless to say, we quickly dug through YouTube to watch nearly all hundred-plus entries. They aren't all winners - while some guests are quite adept, others just don't cut the proverbial mustard. Here are some of Art Attack's favorites. It should probably be noted somewhere that a lot of these are NSFW.
Paul F. Tompkins, Episode 28
Jersey Boys (Touring)
TicketsTue., Nov. 15, 7:30pm
The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses - Master Quest
TicketsFri., Nov. 18, 8:00pm
TicketsSat., Nov. 19, 7:00pm
John Cleese & Eric Idle
TicketsTue., Nov. 29, 7:30pm
Jeff Dunham: Perfectly Unbalanced Tour
TicketsThu., Dec. 1, 7:30pm
As the beginning illustrates, Tompkins knows the importance of the King slump.
Bryan Cranston, Episode 64
References to King's sex life and young wife are frequent, and Cranston touches both without get sloppy.
Maron has the voice working well, but it's King's complete disregard for relevant topics that makes this a winner.
Paul Dooley, Episode 96
Dooley makes use of King's ever-present suspenders as the prop, and doesn't forget to screw up "Carols" Channing's name.
Seth MacFarlane, Episode 21
Seth forgets the town, but the effort is still quite good. He's got the cadence down pat.
Joel McHale, Episode 73
McHale scores with a reference to King's ancient nature and his tendency to mispronounce guest names.
Greg Proops, Episode 50
Proops gravel voice isn't up there with the rest, but the way he just keeps going nods to King's proclivity for saying whatever the hell he felt like.
Craig Ferguson, Episode 53
This one is practically avant garde. Jason Alexander
Good grief. We're out of words here.
Dana Carvey, Episode 10
Unlike King's shoulders, Carvey is no slouch. He could've stopped at about 7 seconds, but he keeps railing with more name drops than King had wives. This one is probably our all-around favorite, particularly for the manner in which Carvey continues to rework his bit.
Get the Theater Newsletter
Get a rundown of upcoming theater events and ticket deals in Houston.