'Oh, but it looks good on you though'
One of Caddyshack’s most memorable characters, Al Czervik, lives on. thanks to Marc Melzer, an impersonator who has the twitchy horse’s ass real-estate developer’s persona down pat.
After almost 20 years of impersonating Rodney Dangerfield’s character, Melzer nails it – down to Czervik’s bug-eyes, tics and shoulder shrugs. Melzer works a cocktail party the same way Czervik worked the dining room at Bushwood Country Club.
A few years ago, I ran into Meltzer/Cvervik at a reception during the annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. The event was sponsored by the Salamander Resorts to promote their golf properties, Hammock Beach Resort, Reunion Resort and the Innisbrook Resort, among others.
I spotted him from across the room thanks to his garish yellow, green and orange cardigan and his string of Czervik one liners.
“Could you scare up another round for our table over here? And tell the cook this is low-grade dog food. I’ve had better food at the ballgame, you know? This steak still has marks from where the jockey was hitting it.”
I wanted to yell out “DOG FOOD??!!”
Melzer has mind-melded with Al Czervik
As he came our way, I heard familiar lines being fired off in machine-gun fashion. “Last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it.”
“Oh, this your wife, huh? A lovely lady. Hey baby, you must’ve been something before electricity.”
“He called me a baboon, he thinks I’m his wife.”
Melzer says once he recognized his physical resemblance to Dangerfield’s Al Czervik character in the 1980 movie, he started working on his routine, using his family as guinea pigs.
After his wife gave him the garish sweater, he knew he was destined to play Al Czervik professionally.
“I started 15 years ago telling jokes to my daughters and wife; they told me to take it to the stage and get it out of the house,” he said. “I get no respect at all.”
He’s worked golf tournaments, including the Puerto Rico Open, and fundraisers from California to Florida. Melzer’s Al Czervik sometimes partners with a Bill Murray/Carl Spackler lookalike to work state fairs as “The Bushwood Boys.”
He once performed at The Villages at a fundraiser that also featured Jack Nicklaus, Jim Furyk, and David Duval. He plans to be at the 2024 PGA Show in late January.
During our interview, it was hard for Melzer not to stay in character, even as we parted.
“Oh, this is the worst-looking hat I ever saw. What, when you buy a hat like this I bet you get a free bowl of soup, huh?” he said. “Oh, it looks good on you though.”
Now, I can’t remember if I was even wearing a hat.
A version of ts article first appeared at New Mexico Golf News in 2019 and is reprinted by permission
Featured image of Marc Melzer by Dan Vukelich