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Biography

Will Jordan (Wilbur Rauch, Bronx, New York, USA, July 27, 1927 - September 6, 2018) was an American character actor and stand-up comedian best known for his resemblance—and ability to do uncanny impressions of—television host and newspaper columnist Ed Sullivan. Jordan was a friend of and early influence on comedian Lenny Bruce.

Sullivan had almost no mannerisms, which made him hard to impersonate. According to Jordan, he invented some funny mannerisms that Sullivan never had, like cracking his knuckles, spinning, and shaking back and forth. Jordan's early appearances mimicking Ed came on The Ed Sullivan Show. In his act, Jordan came up with the catch-phrase, "Welcome to our Toast of the Town 'Shoooo'", which became a stereotypical joke for nearly every Sullivan impersonator after that, usually as the more generic "Really Big 'Shoooo'" (or "shoe").

In virtually all of his film appearances since the 1970s, Jordan has portrayed Sullivan in films that feature characters appearing on Sullivan's famous variety series such as I Wanna Hold Your Hand, which depicted the Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964. Sullivan died in 1974. In 1983, Jordan appeared as Sullivan in the elaborately produced 60s-TV-style video for "Tell Her About It", the Billy Joel hit single.

Jordan impersonated Sullivan in the 2003 film Down with Love. Jordan appeared as Sullivan in the Broadway revival of the musical Bye Bye Birdie, which ran from October 15, 2009, through January 24, 2010. Jordan appeared in the original Broadway production in 1960-1961. He also participated in a recording project called The Sicknicks with Sandy Baron. The pair produced a comedy single, "The Presidential Press Conference," which was a minor hit in 1961.

Jordan's other impressions include Bing Crosby, Groucho Marx and Jack Benny.

On September 6, 2018, writer Mark Evanier announced that Will Jordan had died at the age of 91 that morning.

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