Johnny Counterfit brings impressions to Cumming Playhouse

Like his name implies, Johnny Counterfit is not the real deal. But he’s about as close as it gets.

A top-notch voice impressionist and comedian who has been performing for more than 30 years, Nashville-based Johnny Counterfit will bring his diverse portfolio of voices to Cumming Playhouse audiences during two performances at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on June 24.

Event information

  • What: The Johnny Counterfit Show
  • When: June 24, 3  and 8 p.m.
  • Where: Cumming Playhouse, 101 School Street
  • Cost: $25; $20 for seniors 60 and over, students 18 and under or groups of 25 or more
  • Tickets: Call (770) 781-9178

Counterfit said his love of impressions began when he was just a youngster.

“As a kid, probably around 4 or 5 years old, I would sit in front of the TV, and I discovered that I could do a lot of the voices that I heard on there,” he said. “I’d work and work on them until I sounded just like that person.

“So this is really something that I have been doing my whole life. When I got a little older, I taught myself to sing and play guitar, but everything really grew out of this impersonation thing I had been doing since I was a little kid.”

Today his repertoire features more than 30 voice impressions including what he calls “traditional country and nostalgic pop” performers such as Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakam, Vince Gill, George Strait, Willie Nelson and Frank Sinatra.

And the lineup isn’t just comprised of singers. Counterfit can also imitate actors and comics such Rodney Dangerfield, John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. Audiences might even find themselves hearing a presidential address. 

“I do several presidents, like Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. But it’s never anything political; it’s always all just in good fun. I’m not political at all – I just gently make fun of both sides, and in their own voices.”

Counterfit’s talents have taken him all over the country, performing on stages small and large. And sometimes for very important people.

“I’ve performed at the White House. Bill and Hillary Clinton had me there when Bill was in office in the early ‘90s. And before that, back in ‘80s when George H.W. Bush was the on the campaign trail, I got to do a show for him when he was vice president.”

He has also performed at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry several times. He recalled one of the funniest moments of his career was on this classic stage.

“I was performing as Vince Gill doing Johnny Cash,” he recalled. “I happened to look out, and there was Vince Gill standing there watching. But he was laughing so it was a good moment. All my impressions are meant as tributes so he appreciated it.”

Counterfit’s voice has been featured on numerous radio and television commercials. He has also appeared on many television programs over the years, such as ABC’s “America’s Funniest People” and “Music City Tonight” on TNN (The Nashville Network). In 1987, he starred as Rex, the leading voice role in the stop-action special “A Claymation Christmas Celebration,” which garnered an Emmy.

Counterfit will bring plenty of his voice talents to the Cumming Playhouse, along with his three-piece band, Time Travelers Band, who perform with him throughout the show.

“It’s about a 90-minute show, and in that 90 minutes, I’ll do about 25 different impressions and the band will play several ‘oldies’ songs in addition to performing with me,” Counterfit said. “It’s a lot of fun, it’s a totally clean and family-friendly show, and it will probably bring back a lot of good memories for people.”

Tickets to “The Johnny Counterfit Show” are $25, or $20 for seniors age 60 and over, students 18 and under, and groups of 25 or more. Go to www.playhousecumming.com or call (770) 781-9178 to order tickets or for more information. 

To learn more about Counterfit’s career and to view video clips of his work, go to www.johnnycounterfit.com.