History of Politicos Comedy Brigade
Long before the founding of Politicos Comedy Brigade, Executive Producer Dustin Gold owned a think tank and hired Barack Obama impersonator Reggie Brown for one of his projects. And that’s where it all began...
One thing led to another, and Dustin Gold began managing Reggie Brown not long afterward. After signing Brown, Gold leveraged his media connections and quickly secured a recurring role for Reggie Brown as an Obama impersonator on FOX News’ Huckabee with Governor Mike Huckbee.
Shortly thereafter, Dustin Gold’s fledgling talent management company signed renowned Bill Clinton impersonator Tim Watters, the man who popularized the modern art of Presidential impersonation and made over 200 appearances on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. At the same time, Dustin Gold began managing and developing Patti Lyons, a former interior designer who, with the help of Gold’s vision and her own incredible natural resemblance to Sarah Palin, became the top lookalike and impersonator of the former Vice Presidential candidate. Within Patti Lyons’ first two months on the job, Dustin Gold launched her into prime time by securing her a sketch appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
With three of the best impersonators under contract, Dustin Gold saw an excellent opportunity to innovate and revolutionize political comedy by creating a performing comedy team. Gold brought the impersonators together and produced his first live multiple character show, which he called “Politicos DC: Unplugged.” The show experienced considerable success because it represented the first truly bipartisan option in live political comedy, allowing clients and media to book well-produced political comedy knowing that audience members on both sides of the political spectrum would enjoy the show thoroughly. Another benefit of Dustin Gold’s new model was that the introduction of more than one political impersonator into the same live show allowed for longer shows, which gave clients much more for their entertainment dollars.
Over the next few months, Dustin Gold and his firm, the newly minted William Gold Entertainment, continued to push Reggie Brown, Tim Watters, and Patti Lyons into the mainstream along with his new political comedy brand, the Politicos. Gold started by hiring branding and marketing expert Anthony Marenna, now General Manager of Politicos Comedy Brigade, to create explosive media coverage for the Politicos.
Anthony Marenna began his efforts at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where he and Dustin Gold fooled the Associated Press and dozens of other major national news outlets into believing that Patti Lyons was the real Sarah Palin, who had previously declined an invitation to deliver the convention's prestigious keynote speech. The resulting media blitz featured Patti Lyons as a trending topic on Twitter for over twelve hours, the top story on Yahoo News, over 100 original articles and thousands of re-posts around the country, and interviews with every nationally syndicated radio talk show on the air from CPAC’s famous Radio Row.
In the wake of Lyons’ success at CPAC, Reggie Brown appeared live on C-SPAN for a nationally broadcast performance from Republican Leadership Conference 2011 in New Orleans, where his culturally potent political comedy set resulted in over 110 original articles, more than 70 live radio interviews, a trending topic on Twitter, and more than 15 live interviews on national cable and network news.
The massive public awareness created by William Gold Entertainment’s publicity efforts in 2011 allowed the political comedy group to begin the early stages of production on a reality show in early 2012. Also on the heels of the major media stories generated by Dustin Gold and Anthony Marenna, William Gold Entertainment added several more of the best impersonators to the comedy team, by this time renamed from Politicos to Politicos Comedy Brigade.
2012 was a period of rapid growth and expansion for Politicos Comedy Brigade, including:
- William Gold Entertainment securing Obama impersonator Reggie Brown a spot among The Suit Magazine’s Seven Most Influential People of 2011;
- Politicos Comedy Brigade develops Mitt Romney impersonator Mike Cote and secures his appearance in Governor Rick Santorum’s controversial Presidential campaign ad ‘Rombo’;
- Politicos Comedy Brigade produces Comedy Campaign 2012, a political comedy debate special between President Obama and Mitt Romney impersonators, hosted alternately by Bill Clinton and Donald Trump impersonators... and sends it on an election season tour;
- Politicos Comedy Brigade signs Donald Trump impersonator and multi-talented character John Di Domenico (20th Century FOX’s Meet the Spartans, Lionsgate’s Disaster Movie, HBO’s The Sopranos);
- Politicos Comedy Brigade signs Obama impersonator Louis Ortiz (HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Showtime’s Paulytics with Pauly Shore, NPR’s This American Life, Saving Daylight Productions’ The Audacity of Louis Ortiz);
- Politicos Comedy Brigade adds impressionist and popular KNIX Phoenix radio host Ben Campbell (Sirius XM’s The Howard Stern Show) as a voiceover artist covering President Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Jay Leno, Morgan Freeman, Will Smith and others;
- Politicos Comedy Brigade launches a dedicated Youtube Channel, releasing hours of archival footage, media clippings, footage from the road, and behind the scenes clips;
- Politicos Comedy Brigade ventures into live ticketed shows, the enormous success of which proves there is a market for produced live political comedy featuring the best impersonators in the world;
- Bloomberg Businessweek covers Dustin Gold, William Gold Entertainment, and Politicos Comedy Brigade; and
- Politicos Comedy Brigade launches Presidential Apprentice, a highly produced live multi-character political comedy show starring the best impersonators of Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and host Donald Trump.
In recent years, Politicos Comedy Brigade has become the most exciting, perennially newsworthy, and best produced show in political comedy, and if things continue at this rate, it is clear that the best is yet to come.