The half-hour show will pit amateur impressionists against each other, with viewers voting on the winner each week. Carvey, along with other celebrity guests, will offer advice to the performers, but also participate in games throughout the show as well.
“There are so many great impressionists and First Impressions gives them an opportunity to showcase their talents,” Carvey said. “Besides, I’ve always enjoyed watching an impressionist nail somebody — as in capture their voice. Now I get paid to watch.”
While USA has placed a series order for the show, a premiere date for First Impressions has yet to be announced.
Carvey, of course, became renowned for his impressions on Saturday Night Live — portraying at least 56 different people during his tenure — and the short-lived Dana Carvey Show. The comedian has taken on everyone from Johnny Carson, Paul McCartney and George Michael to George H.W. Bush, Ross Perot and Dan Quayle. In one SNL sketch poking fun at a 1992 presidential debate, Carvey pulled double duty as Perot and the elder Bush, sandwiching Bill Clinton, played by Phil Hartman (though Carvey has proven he’s capable of a more than serviceable Clinton impression, as well).
The performer’s talents have hardly waned since. Earlier this week, Carvey dominated a Halloween-themed “Wheel of Musical Impressions” on The Tonight Show, taking on Barack Obama, Keith Richards and SNL honcho Lorne Michaels.