Edwards mania spawns copy cat

Edwards mania spawns copy cat

Staff WriterJuly 19, 2004 

Frank King has been countrifying his drawl like John Edwards, jabbing his arm triumphantly in the air, even getting an Edwardian 'do.

King, a California comedian, thinks Edwards is the ticket -- King's personal ticket to fame.

The morning John Kerry named Edwards as his vice presidential running mate, King started putting together an act as an Edwards impersonator, with visions of Leno and "The Daily Show" dancing in his head.

"I don't think anybody cheered as loud as I did," King said of the Edwards announcement. "I was getting e-mails from other comedians saying: 'Hey, dude, you know how much you look like Edwards?' "

Well, that's a matter of opinion. But King was in Los Angeles on Friday getting an Edwards-style haircut and some new publicity shots. He'll add fake hair to hide his receding hairline, and other makeup tricks to give him a chin cleft and chubbier cheeks.

Imitating Edwards is not a huge reach for King, who grew up in Raleigh, attended Broughton High School and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is 47, four years younger than the buoyant senator.

King has opened for such comedy acts as Jerry Seinfeld, Dana Carvey and Rosie O'Donnell. Now he's listening to tapes of Edwards' speeches in his car, trying to make his accent more nasal, more country.

"My dialect is North Carolina suburban," King said. "His dialect is more North Carolina rural. ... He pronounces 'fight' as f-i-t-e and 'night' as n-i-t-e."

Aside from the arm thrust, King also is practicing flashing that broad grin and dropping a lip when he talks.

King said he is an Arnold Schwarzenegger Republican but plans to vote Democratic : "I just like John Edwards' ideas on job creation. For me."

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