A new episode of ESPN E60 will bring new information to light about a cult figure from the late 1970’s known as “The Great Imposter.” Barry Bremen, who pulled off pranks that included crashing baseball’s All-Star Game dressed as a New York Yankee, playing nine holes at the U.S. Open and impersonating a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, left a secret legacy that was only recently discovered.
The Great Imposter and Me will debut on Tuesday, July 12, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, available for on-demand streaming on ESPN+ after the initial airing.
In the late 70’s, Bremen was living an ordinary life: three kids. A job selling insurance. A house with a white picket fence in the suburbs of Detroit. Then, a bet with some friends changed everything.
Donning a Kansas City Kings uniform, Bremen got onto the floor at the 1979 NBA All-Star game, shooting layups on the court with the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, and Dr. J. The stunt landed him on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and the Today Show. In the years that followed, Bremen would sneak into the World Series as an umpire, impersonate an NFL game official and accept a prime time Emmy award, all as his alter-ego: The Great Imposter.
Bremen died of cancer in 2010. But as the E60 episode reveals, only recently has Bremen’s full legacy come to light. More than three dozen people have learned that Bremen is their biological father, through sperm donation. They found out about each other – and Bremen – through genetic testing and the painstaking efforts of one of them to track their lineage.
The story is written and narrated by Jeremy Schaap, whose personal connection stems back to the moment that put The Great Imposter on the map: an interview on the Today Show with Jeremy’s father, legendary sports reporter Dick Schaap.
The story is told through the voices of Bremen’s social family – his wife, Margo, and three children they raised – and the biological children he never met.
Also included are interviews with former NBA All-Star Otis Birdsong and MLB Hall of Famer George Brett, both of whom developed friendships with Bremen and, along with Dick Schaap, helped him pull off some of his pranks.
It is a tale of celebrity and family, chutzpah, secrets and identity. It’s the true story of a man famous for his disguises—and his final stunning reveal.
The Great Imposter and Me was produced and directed by Russell Dinallo.
Other ESPN platforms also will contribute to the storytelling: excerpts will be included in July 12 OTL on SC segment in the noon edition of SportsCenter and the Saturday, July 16 edition of Outside the Lines (9 a.m., ESPN). The story will be explored in two editions of the ESPN Daily Podcast airing July 12-13.
After the initial airing, in addition to being available on ESPN+, the program will re-air multiple times on ESPN networks.
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