What's Rich Little reading?

Comedian Rich Little’s new book is “Little by Little: People I’ve Known and Been.”
Comedian Rich Little’s new book is “Little by Little: People I’ve Known and Been.”
Published Dec. 7, 2016


Rich Little

Canadian-born Little, 78, is renowned for his impressions, including those of past presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. So, how about the president-elect? "I haven't perfected Donald Trump yet. I'm still working on it,'' the comedian said. "It's going to be a good subject. He's outrageous. He's much more colorful than the average politician. He says a lot of things off the top of his head.''

We caught up with Little by phone from Las Vegas on Nov. 22. His new book, Little by Little: People I've Known and Been, is in stores now.

What's on your nightstand?

I have Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency by Bill O'Reilly.

I read that Reagan told you that you did a better Ronald Reagan than he did.

He said, "You do me better than I do. You should become president." I told him that I couldn't be president because I was Canadian. He said, "I can fix that."

Has the book shed light on something about Reagan you didn't know?

I didn't know anything about his life really after he got Alzheimer's disease. That was kept very hush-hush, so I was fascinated about that aspect of the book. It was very sad, his final years. That was the part I wasn't aware of. I just knew him as president.

I also just read Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep by Michael Schulman. I think she's the greatest actress of all time. If you look at her body of work, nobody is as great as she is.

This is a column for books, but I also wanted to ask you, how does someone become funny?

What's funny and what's not funny is pretty personal, but when it comes to comedy, I think comedians learn from other comedians, and I learned a lot from guys like Jack Benny, Dean Martin, Don Rickles. There were so many great comics. Red Buttons is another one.

What young comedians are you watching these days?

I like Brad Garrett. I like him a lot, but not too many others. Nobody tells jokes anymore. The young comics today are pretty blue.

Contact Piper Castillo at Follow @Florida_PBJC.