*For 70 years, performers brave enough to take the Apollo stage for Amateur Night have not only risked the embarrassment of being booed, but also the humiliation of being physically booted off the stage by a tap-dancer.
It was Howard “Sandman” Simms that originated the position – for 17 years shooing off booed folk with his cane before performing a soft shoe. But in 2000 comedian, singer and celebrity impersonator C.P. Lacey took over and expanded the gig as “The Executioner.”
“When I hit the stage, I intend to bring it. It’s just what I’m called to do,” said Lacey, currently seen on BET and Centric’s “Apollo Live” and live each week at The Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night in Harlem.
The Portsmouth, VA native served as a security police officer in the Armed Forces and worked briefly as a paralegal in NYC before pursuing his dream to become an entertainer.
He’s performed in a leading role in the “Jackie Wilson Story“ in London’s West End and received the U.N. “Medal of Peace” award for his performances at the United Nations in New York. Just recently, C.P.’s work was honored in a display at The Smithsonian National Museum of American History alongside Tony Bennett and Elvis Costello.
His one-man “C.P. Lacey Show,” which just wrapped a tour in Australia and Japan, features over 30 impersonations, including celebrities Kanye West, President Obama, Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Wiz Khalifa and James Brown; and original characters Morti-More, Shark Bait and Lil L.
The plan now is to expand it to concert halls, theater and television shows in the U.S.
Watch some of his impersonations below.