George Bush: civility and Saturday Night Live

George Bush took good humor and civility one step further than most presidents, honoring the Saturday Night Live impersonator that earned a living by mocking him.

Saturday Night Live has drawn comedic blood from Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr., Obama and, now, Donald Trump.

Other than President Trump, every president has reacted to their sometimes-brutal impersonations by laughing it out, at least in public.

Dana Carvey

SNL comedian Dana Carvey impersonated George Bush, and, like always, it was not flattering.

Still, in December 1992, Bush called his staff to the East Room for a formal Christmas greeting, the last of which would occur before Bill Clinton would take over the reins. When “Hail to the Chief” began to play, and Bush was expected to enter the room, SNL’s Dana Carvey walked to the podium instead. Bush had invited the comedian to the White House to do a final impersonation with a laughing Bush in the audience.

Carvey and Bush went on to develop a lasting friendship. Was it Bush’s good grace or Carvey’s respectful touch in his comedic routine that allowed that friendship to flourish? Right now, it’s hard to imagine President Trump inviting Alec Baldwin, his SNL impersonator, to the White House.

Geek out on President Trump’s tweets about and from Alec Baldwin.

And, in our Debater, we continue to look at President Bush by comparing two presidents from the same political party that brought two very different messages to their campaigns. Let’s take a look.


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