SNL: 15 Politicians Who Hated Impressions Of Them (And Those Who Didn't)
SNL has been impersonating politicians and celebrities since day one. Some have been great sports about it, but some politicians can get downright petty, especially when an SNL impression can change the outcome of an election.
Good or bad, here’s 15 politicians’ reactions to their SNL impressions.
Bob Dole was a great sport about Norm Macdonald’s impression.
Dole once joined Macdonald on SNL in the cold open. Macdonald broke character and asked the senator if he could keep running for president to help Macdonald’s acting career.
“It would help keep you on the front pages,” Macdonald said to Dole who responded, “Believe me, Norm. Running for president doesn’t always keep you in the front pages — unless you take a dive off the podium.”
Dole was joking about the time he fell off the stage during a rally.
Tina Fey owns and owes Sarah Palin.
When Tina Fey played Sarah Palin in 2008, some say the impression may have cost John McCain votes.
Palin said, "I know that they portrayed me as an idiot, and I hated that. And I wanted to come on the show and counter some of that. If I ran into Tina Fey again today, I would say: 'You need to at least pay for my kids' braces or something from all the money that you made off of pretending that you're me! My goodness, you capitalized on that! Can't you contribute a little bit? Jeez!'"
Melissa McCarthy put “Spicey” in therapy.
After leaving the White House, Sean Spicer joked with Jimmy Kimmel that the impression, “cost me a lot of money in therapy.”
It seems like it stung more for Trump, who hated seeing a woman play his press secretary.
Kate McKinnon made Hilary Clinton self-conscious.
Like those caricatures in the park… “Are my ears that big?”
She said, “Her really dramatic impersonation of me does make me think, ‘Oh my gosh, did I roll my eyes? Lift my eyebrows?’ My laugh, which has been noted since I was a little girl - ’hearty’ is the way it’s often described - I see the exaggerated version of it and I do sometimes think, ‘Well, maybe I should just sort of back off from that.’”
For the record, Michele Bachmann doesn’t twerk.
In 2013, Miley Cyrus portrayed Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in the parody song, "We Did Stop (the Government)."
Bachmann said, "I have a good sense of humor and I never take it personally. I've probably been lampooned six or seven times on Saturday Night Live and that's all done in good fun.”
But… "I've never done twerking in my life, and I don't intend to take it up."
Alec Baldwin’s “Hit Job” on Trump.
Since Gerald Ford, if you’re President, you have to know that SNL is coming for you.
In 2016, less than a month before the election, Trump called Baldwin’s impression, “a hit job on me, stating "Alec Baldwin’s portrayal stinks. Media rigging election!”
Then even after winning the election, Trump tweeted, "Just tried watching Saturday Night Live - unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. Sad.”
Larry David does a better Bernie than Bernie.
Obviously Bernie’s a good sport.
In October 2015, David appeared on SNL as Bernie Sanders, and the impression was so perfect that Sanders wondered if he could pull off a swap during a rally.
Sanders joked, “I think we’ll use Larry at our next rally. He does me better than I do."
Janet Reno came around on the Will Ferrel impression.
About the impression, she told the Post in 1998, “I thought it was just kind of a spoof of this 6-foot-1 big old girl. I can’t figure out why anybody’s that interested in me.”
On her last day as attorney general, she joined Ferrell on SNL for one last dance party.
Pete Davidson’s comments on Dan Crenshaw.
This got under every Republican’s skin.
On the show, Davidson said, “You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hit man in a porno movie. I’m sorry; I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever.”
Crenshaw said, “They probably should apologize, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to demand an apology,” he said Monday on “Fox & Friends,” adding: “They certainly crossed the line, but their apology won’t mean anything to me.”
Bill Clinton introduces his clone on C-SPAN.
About Darrell Hammond’s impression, Clinton’s advisor Paul Begala said, “He had the thickest skin of anybody I ever knew. We loved it; he loved it. I don’t remember any talk at all about pushing back on it.”
At the Radio-TV Correspondents Dinner in 1997, Clinton invited Hammond to the podium for a little impression roasting.
George Bush joined Dana Carvey on SNL.
This one was surprising.
James Andrew Miller, co-author of Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, says Bush "was a fan” of the impression.
He liked it so much that Bush and Carvey appeared together several times. Miller said, “Bush would laugh at it, so I don’t think that was mean in any way."
Jeff Sessions let Trump speak on Kate McKinnon’s impression.
Aww, another female taking down one of your boys, Donald?
Sessions never publicly reacted to his impression, but Trump advisers said that Trump has been turned off by the way Sessions is portrayed on SNL, and a senior White House official told the Post that Trump thinks the impression is "insulting."
Did Will Ferrell or George W. Bush coin the term “strategery”?
You be the judge.
In 2017, Jimmy Kimmel asked GWB if Will Ferrell’s impression bothered him. Bush responded, "Not at all.”
Bush found the impression so good that he tried to take credit for part of it. Ferrell made the word "strategery" famous, and Bush later got into a friendly argument with Lorne Michaels over whether Bush or an SNL writer invented the word.
Lauren Boebert took to Twitter.
This gun nut was triggered.
After the “Fauci Holiday Message” cold open in December, 2021, Lauren Boebert tweeted about the, “poorly acted SNL skit”.
Jason Sudeikis was scary good.
In 2012, Biden was such a big fan of Jason Sudeikis’ impression that he told everyone watching Good Morning America to check it out.
Biden said, "I recommend everybody go back and find that Saturday Night Live deal they did. I have to admit I laughed my head off at that guy playing me. He is so good it scared me."
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