Saturday Night Live: 5 Weird Reactions To Celebrity Impressions

Imitation isn't always the sincerest form of flattery
Saturday Night Live: 5 Weird Reactions To Celebrity Impressions

From the very early days of Chevy Chase bumbling down a flight of stairs as President Gerald Ford, Saturday Night Live has been a show stacked to the ceiling with celebrity impressions. Ford himself had a surprisingly cheerful reaction to Chase’s unflattering portrayal, even filming an “I’m Gerald Ford and you’re not” bit.  

This just in: Chevy Chase is a comedian.  And Gerald Ford is not. But he was a good sport -- which not all impersonated celebrities can say. Here are five more weird celebrity reactions to SNL impressions.

Anna Delvey created Chloe Fineman fan art

Anna Delvey gets whatever she wants!  At least that’s what Chloe Fineman thought in this sketch lampooning the real-life con artist portrayed in Netflix’s Inventing Anna.

Anna dug the bit so much that she made a drawing based on the sketch and posted it on her socials. Fineman (who must follow Delvey?) saw the drawing and was appropriately wowed. She sent Delvey some sweet PayPal cash for the drawing … and waited. Nothing! Was the scam artist pulling another fast one?

But miracle of miracles, the drawing finally arrived.  And it was beautiful.

What makes the artwork extra-special?  Delvey crafted it from an ICE detention center while she awaits deportation to Germany.  Now that’s a collectors’ item!

Mark Wahlberg threatened to pummel Andy Samberg

Samberg created a recurring bit where Mark “Marky Mark” Wahlberg chats it up with animals. The dopey dialogue included a polite greeting to the neighborhood goat: “Say hello to your mother for me.”

Harmless fun, right? Nothing to get your abs all in a ripple.  But don’t tell that to Wahlberg. He eventually showed up on SNL to “confront” Samburg (and to show he had a sense of humor), but apparently, there was some real-life aggression behind the sketch.  

All seemed OK at first. Wahlberg told MTV that “I love when people do imitations of me; I try to get people who work with me to do it all the time.”  Cool guy!  

But then he went on Jimmy Kimmel and let his true feelings loose:  “When I see that kid, I’m going to crack that big f***ing nose of his. Then I’m going to tell him, ‘say hi to your mother for me.’ I’m going to go down to ‘30 Rock’ and I’m going to slap him in the nose, I guaran-f***ing-tee you.”

Just think of how bad it would be if Wahlberg hated people imitating him. 

Donatella Versace gave Maya Rudolph diva tips


Maya Rudolph’s wicked Donatella Versace impression gave the SNL icon one of her most popular recurring characters.

It was an uproarious impersonation -- but Donatella herself thought it could be better.  While the fashion designer thought Rudolph was “hilarious,” she gave the comic a phone call to offer some notes.

First, get rid of the ever-present glass of booze.  “I don’t drink.”  And second, “Take off the jewelry because it looks too fake -- I only wear real.”  As for general diva behavior? “A real diva would never scream at her guests to get out--she would ask one of her assistants to make the guest get out.”  

“I’m writing it down as we speak,” replied Rudolph. “Notes on being a diva.”

George Bush asked Dana Carvey to cheer up staffers


Carvey had a tough time developing a Bush impression.  While his predecessor Ronald Reagan had a distinct voice, verbal tics, and easily mocked look, George Bush had … nothing.  A pair of glasses?  A slightly Texas twang (but not really)?  Even after Carvey started doing the impression on the show, he thought it was pretty lousy.

The breakthrough came in the middle of the night when a sleep-deprived Carvey tried to make Al Franken laugh. He made lazy circles with his index finger, flattening his voice with a deadpan “those people out there … doing that thing … doing that thing in that whole area over there.”

Bingo. Soon “not going to do it” became “na ga da it” and a comedy star was born. 

Perhaps surprisingly, Bush himself was a fan, telling Carvey that “I never thought your impression of me was nasty — never hit below the belt.”  But he had an unusual request for Carvey:  After he lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton, Bush asked Carvey if he’d come to the White House to entertain his staff, the very same staff that was packing up their boxes and preparing to leave their jobs.  As they say in the business, tough crowd.

Carvey was hesitant but heck, it was the freaking President asking. He agreed, popping into the Oval Office unannounced as Bush making his Christmas list.  

“Love socks, stripy socks, also would love a pumpkin-colored tie — very festive, very pumpkiny.” When Carvey saw that a doubled-over Bush was leading the laughs, he pulled out all the stops.  “NA GA DA IT,” “wouldn’t be prudent,” “Santa doing that thing he does in that whole area over there.” 

Then Bush got in on the act, doing his impression of Carvey’s impression, followed by Carvey doing Bush doing Carvey’s Bush. The whole thing was pretty meta.

The two guys exchanged Christmas cards ever since.  

Sarah Palin got back at Tina Fey with hip-hop flava

Tina Fey wasn’t even on the show anymore when John McCain shocked America and picked Sarah Palin as his running mate.  Lorne Michaels took one look at the VP nominee and got Fey back in the fold.  (Pretty much the whole country noticed the resemblance.)

Even John McCain thought Fey nailed the impression. “Very honestly, the portrayal of her was not fair,” he says. “But it was certainly well done.”

Sarah Palin noticed another aspect of the performance:  “They portrayed me as an idiot, and I hated that.”  So what’s a vice-presidential candidate to do?  Palin’s solution was to appear on SNL herself. “I wanted to come on the show and counter some of that.”

So … a sketch about Palin’s encyclopedic knowledge of economic policy?  Nah. She let us know she wasn’t an idiot by throwing her hands in the air to a Sarah Palin rap, of course (that for some reason was delivered by MC Amy Poehler).  It featured all of the same dumb “I can see Russia from my house” jokes that Palin hated in the first place.

“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!” says Palin. “My goodness, you capitalized on that! Can’t you contribute a little bit? Jeez!”

Annd that's why you were parodied.

For more ComedyNerd, be sure to check out:

15 People We Didn’t Know Were Voices On Bob’s Burgers

5 Comedy Prequels We’d Love to See

What We Do In The Shadows: 11 Behind-The-Scenes Facts

For ComedyNerd exclusive content and more, subscribe to our fancy newsletter:

Sign up for the Cracked Newsletter

Get the best of Cracked sent directly to your inbox!

Top image: Broadway Video


Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?