Looking Back At Dana Carvey's SNL Impression Of President George H.W. Bush Former President George H.W. Bush became a fan and friend of Saturday Night Live performer Dana Carvey who impersonated him on the program.
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Looking Back At Dana Carvey's SNL Impression Of President George H.W. Bush

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Looking Back At Dana Carvey's SNL Impression Of President George H.W. Bush

Looking Back At Dana Carvey's SNL Impression Of President George H.W. Bush

Looking Back At Dana Carvey's SNL Impression Of President George H.W. Bush

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/673022621/673022622" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Former President George H.W. Bush became a fan and friend of Saturday Night Live performer Dana Carvey who impersonated him on the program.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

And now a comment on a comic impression of former President George H.W. Bush.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

DANA CARVEY: (As George H.W. Bush) Feel like going jogging tonight...

(LAUGHTER)

CARVEY: (As George H.W. Bush) ...In the nude.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

(Laughter) That's Dana Carvey. On "Saturday Night Live," Carvey's impression of Bush exaggerated personal tics of the one-term president such as his tendency to shun personal pronouns and definite articles.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

CARVEY: (As George H.W. Bush) Wouldn't be prudent at this juncture - not going to do it, not going to do it.

KELLY: Carvey revealed that to impersonate Bush 41, quote, "you start out with Mr. Rogers, and then you add a little John Wayne."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

CARVEY: (As George H.W. Bush) You know, it's been a while since I talked to you. Let me tell you. It's been a good summer up there in the Bush family compound, up there in Kennebunkport Bay, that whole area up there. I'm in that speedboat going round and round, doing loop-the-loops.

(LAUGHTER)

CARVEY: (As George H.W. Bush) Did some fishing.

(LAUGHTER)

CARVEY: (As George H.W. Bush) Didn't catch any - not the point.

(LAUGHTER)

CARVEY: (As George H.W. Bush) No, sir, got out there on that water, got in that relaxation mode, recharged the batteries.

(LAUGHTER)

CHANG: Carvey borrowed phrases that underscored the patrician upbringing of the president. Some of those lines happened to be written by fellow "SNL" writer and future U.S. Senator Al Franken.

KELLY: And Bush for his part took the ribbing in stride. He even appeared in a "Saturday Night Live" cameo alongside Carvey.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

CARVEY: (As George H.W. Bush) Thousand points of light still operating, coming in from all those areas.

(LAUGHTER)

CARVEY: (As George H.W. Bush) Not going to do it. Not going to do it.

(LAUGHTER)

GEORGE H W BUSH: Hey, George Bush here. I'm watching you doing your impression of me. And I got to say it's nothing like me, bears no resemblance. It's bad. It's bad.

(LAUGHTER)

CARVEY: Well, I'm sorry, Mr. President. I think it's a fair impression.

BUSH: Don't see it.

CARVEY: You don't?

BUSH: It's totally exaggerated. It's not me, those crazy hand gestures, the pointing thing. I don't do them. And also, na ga da (ph) - never said it.

CHANG: After Bush left office, the pair kept in touch. When Carvey heard the president had died, he wrote about their relationship.

KELLY: That's right. He wrote, (reading) it was an honor and a privilege to know and spend time with George H.W. Bush for over 25 years. When I think of those times, what I remember most is how hard we would laugh. I will miss my friend.

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