ALEX COHEN, host:

More on movies and movie stars, here's a story we're reprising. It's from our former colleague Alex Chadwick.

(Soundbite of NPR's Day to Day, February 19, 2007)

(Soundbite of traffic)

ALEX CHADWICK: Hollywood Boulevard on a February evening, and I've come along here to a little place, almost kind of a storefront, but it's a theater, and tonight, there's the performance of a play called "All About Walken."

Mr. PATRICK SULLIVAN: (As Christopher Walken) (Singing) Well, this boots are made for Walken, and oh, that's just what they're going to do. One of these days, these boots, well, they're going to walk all over you.

CHADWICK: He's not a leading man, he doesn't drip movie star glamour, but there is something about the actor Christopher Walken. He's like a natural resource to be mined by comics and impersonators.

Unidentified Man #1: (As Christopher Walken) Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream.

CHADWICK: So, "All About Walken" is a show that is entirely an homage to Christopher Walken, from those Walken moments that are embedded in the culture like small jewels.

Ms. LILY HOLLEMAN: (As Christopher Walken) I tell you this because as an artist, I think you'll understand.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Unidentified Man #2: (As Christopher Walken) I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell.

(Soundbite of song "Don't Fear the Reaper" with cowbell)

CHADWICK: The show's writer/producer/director and one of the Walkens is Patrick Sullivan.

Mr. SULLIVAN (Actor/Director/Producer, "All About Walken"): There were so many people that were good at it, but they were different, and it was becoming popularized by, like, Jay Mohr.

(Soundbite of TV show "The Simpsons")

Mr. JAY MOHR: (As Christopher Walken) Don't make me tell you again about the scootching.

Mr. SULLIVAN: And then you see Kevin Spacey do it on "Saturday Night Live."

(Soundbite of TV show "Saturday Night Live")

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. KEVIN SPACEY: (As Christopher Walken as Han Solo) Chewie here tells me you're looking for passage to the Alderaan system.

Mr. SULLIVAN: And Kevin Pollack did one last year in "The Aristocrats."

(Soundbite of movie "The Aristocrats")

Mr. KEVIN POLLACK: (As Christopher Walken) It's crazy.

Mr. SULLIVAN: And you start to realize that it's kind of like this movement...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SULLIVAN: Where everybody loves the attempt at impersonating him, whether they are good or not. So many people try to do it, you know?

Unidentified Man #3: (As Christopher Walken) To be or not to be. It's a question.

CHADWICK: When you say that so many people try to do it and do it well and they were all different, how could you possibly all be different and still all be doing Christopher Walken?

Mr. SULLIVAN: You know, there are so many things to study in his physicality, his voice, the pauses, that I think different people hit on different things. So, it gives you this variety, where you're going, wow, those are all, in some way or another, Walken.

Unidentified Woman #1: (As Christopher Walken) Like a virgin.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Unidentified Woman #1: (As Christopher Walken) Touched for the very first time.

Mr. SULLIVAN: Over the course of the run, we've had two Asian Walkens, three female Walkens, one African-American Walken, you know, Walkens in their 20s, Walkens in their 50s. And I wanted that spectrum...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SULLIVAN: Because I knew the joke would get old, so you had to have that much variation within the show.

Ms. HOLLEMAN: (As Christopher Walken) Sometimes when I'm driving on the road at night...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Unidentified Man #3: (As Christopher Walken) Hey, oh, little man, boy, I've sure heard a bunch about you.

Unidentified Man #4: (As Christopher Walken) She knows him.

Unidentified Man #5: What?

Unidentified Man #4: (As Christopher Walken) She knows him. She knows him.

CHADWICK: Some of the people in this performance have done Christopher Walken impersonations before.

Mr. SULLIVAN: Right.

CHADWICK: Some of them hadn't.

Mr. SULLIVAN: No.

CHADWICK: They're just actors.

Mr. SULLIVAN: So, when they came in, I said, don't worry about it, OK? I think the best example is probably Lily.

Ms. HOLLEMAN: (As Christopher Walken) I can anticipate the explosion.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SULLIVAN: Because she came in and she is, you know, a 20-something-year-old, blonde woman.

Ms. HOLLEMAN: (As Christopher Walken) Sound of shattering glass.

Mr. SULLIVAN: She'd done impersonations before, but she hadn't done Walken.

Ms. HOLLEMAN: (As Christopher Walken) Flames rising out of glowing gasoline.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SULLIVAN: But she's a comedian and she's an actress. So, I said, look, go home, pick three things that he does and do them so extreme that people will just appreciate that you even went there.

Ms. HOLLEMAN: (As Christopher Walken) My name is Lily Holleman. I play Christopher Walken. I'm actually five foot two.

CHADWICK: This is it about actors. Lily looks about as much like Christopher Walken as she does James Carville.

Ms. HOLLEMAN: (As James Carville) And on the left side, I'm James Carville.

CHADWICK: She does him, too.

Ms. HOLLEMAN: (As James Carville) Does this administration have what it takes to finish the job?

CHADWICK: That is terrifying.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. HOLLEMAN: Another interviewer quoted me by saying that I've done James Carville before; I just like to do weird older men.

(Soundbite of laugher)

Ms. HOLLEMAN: I didn't mean it that way at that time, but that's how it came out.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CHADWICK: Yeah. And so, how did you get it? How did you get Mr. Walken?

Ms. HOLLEMAN: So, I 'fessed up to Patrick. I was like, I don't know what I'm doing. He's like, it's OK. He's just like, just go aaah, and I was like aaah...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. HOLLEMAN: And he was like, yeah, you can do it.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CHADWICK: Part of the charm here is the lack of pretension. These are Hollywood actors, but the show runs just one night a week, Mondays, because they're all doing this around other things. And the show's creator, Patrick Sullivan, for instance, he's a waiter at a famous old showbiz restaurant; Monday is his only night off.

Can you teach me to do a Christopher Walken impersonation? Why...

Mr. SULLIVAN: I think I can.

CHADWICK: OK.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SULLIVAN: Tell me what you did when you woke up this morning.

CHADWICK: I got up and I tried to be quiet so I wouldn't wake up my wife.

Mr. SULLIVAN: (As Christopher Walken) I got up. I tried to be quiet so I wouldn't wake up my wife.

CHADWICK: (As Christopher Walken) I got up and tried to be quiet, so I wouldn't wake up my wife.

Mr. SULLIVAN: See, you've already got the pattern. OK, now, you got to add the rasp. So, you say:

(As Christopher Walken) I got up, tried to be quiet so I wouldn't wake up my wife.

CHADWICK: (As Christopher Walken) I got up and tried to be quiet so I wouldn't wake up my wife.

Mr. SULLIVAN: Right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SULLIVAN: You're on your way.

(Soundbite of laughter)

COHEN: That report from the former host of Day to Day and budding Christopher Walken impersonator, Alex Chadwick.

Mr. SULLIVAN: (As Christopher Walken) (Singing) Well, these boots are made for Walken, and well, that's just what they'll do. One of these days, these boots, well, they're going to walk all over you.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. SULLIVAN: (As Christopher Walken) OK, here we go. Are you ready, boots?

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. SULLIVAN: (As Christopher Walken) Start walking. Ho.

(Soundbite of music)

BRAND: (As Christopher Walken) More to come on Day to Day from NPR News.

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