When Kevin Pollak met Christopher Walken


‘Maisel,’ Pollak return for a ‘bigger and bolder’ Season 3

Kevin Pollak

Over the years, Kevin Pollak has gotten a lot of laughs and praise for his celebrity impressions.

And while that is a source of satisfaction and pride for the stand-up comic and actor, who returns when “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” begins streaming its third season Friday, Dec. 6, on Amazon, he admits it can lead to some awkward moments when he encounters the real person.

Such was the case in 2004 when Pollak was asked to perform when Oscar-winning actor Christopher Walken had his hand and footprints immortalized in the sidewalk outside of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

“The strange thing about impersonations is if the real person is there, however good you are no longer matters,” the affable 62-year-old San Francisco native says with a laugh. “The whole magic act of doing impersonations is you’re stealing the affection people have for the actual person. If I can think of someone you like, in this case Christopher Walken, and I say (as Walken), ‘Hey … it’s crazy to talk to you – hello – today … .’ You know, he’s not here, so I get to prey on your love of him, basically.

“So I’m doing it,” he continues, “and the great thrill is the press are laughing. But then I see him from the corner of my eye sort of bending forward at the waist in hysteria. He loved it. He just loved it. And what a relief, I can’t begin to tell you.”

As for what’s ahead in Season 3 of “Maisel,” Pollak was understandably tight-lipped but he does allow that the 1950s world of Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) will get “a little bigger and bolder and more stunning and the relationships are deeper, which is great. People are finding out more about each other the way one does over time, but the canvas is bigger and bolder and there is an up-tempo that’s pretty exciting.”


Full name: Kevin Elliot Pollak

Birth date: Oct. 30, 1957

Birthplace: San Francisco

Family ties: Single; in a relationship with writer/producer Jaime Fox; has two children with ex-wife Lucy Webb, a writer/actress

TV credits include: “Amen,” “thirtysomething,” “Who’s the Boss?” “The Drew Carey Show,” “The Wonderful World of Disney,” “Ed,” “Life With Bonnie,” “Shark,” “Entourage,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Childrens Hospital,” “Mom,” “House of Lies,” “Angie Tribeca,” “Drunk History,” “The Good Fight,” “NCIS,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Billions”

Movie credits include: “Willow” (1988), “Avalon” (1990), “L.A. Story” (1991), “A Few Good Men” (1992), “Grumpy Old Men” (1993), “The Usual Suspects” (1995), “Casino” (1995), “That Thing You Do!” (1996), “The Whole Nine Yards” (2000), “The Whole Ten Yards” (2004), “Red State” (2011), “The Front Runner” (2018)

Directorial credits: “Misery Loves Comedy” (2015), “The Late Bloomer” (2016), “Waiting for Helen” (forthcoming), “Swag” (forthcoming)

Celebrity impressions include: Liam Neeson, William Shatner, Robin Williams, Christopher Walken, Peter Falk, Robert De Niro, Alan Arkin, Jack Nicholson


George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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