Ross Perot loved it when Dana Carvey made fun of him on ‘SNL’
Ask Donald Trump what he thinks of Alec Baldwin’s impersonation of him on “Saturday Night Live” and you’ll likely get a not-so-flattering response.
However, not all political figures felt the same when they got the “SNL” treatment.
Two-time presidential candidate and billionaire tycoon Ross Perot, who died Tuesday at the age of 89 after a five-month battle with leukemia, was amused when comedian Dana Carvey poked fun at him on the long-running NBC show.
“He loved it and was very nice about it,” Carvey told Ashley Lee of the Los Angeles Times. “In fact, he called me up once because he wanted me to be with him in Texas on election night.
“He said to me, ‘I got an idea: You go out and do me, and I’ll do me. Then there’s two of me!’ He had a very good sense of humor about it.”
Carvey is one of the all-time great impersonators in “SNL” history, and his take on Perot is one for the history books. Carvey was so good he was asked to pull double duty during the 1992 US presidential campaign, when he played both Perot and his rival, President George H.W. Bush. Carvey even pretaped segments allowing both characters to be used in the same sketch for a live broadcast.
“He just suddenly was on the scene, it seemed,” Carvey said of Perot. “On a Monday, people had never really heard of him; then on Tuesday, Lorne Michaels had a VHS tape of him and asked me to take a look and see if there was anything there.”
“I thought, oh my God, this is amazing — a fully formed comic character. He just had a funny way of talking. It was not a lot of heavy lifting on my part.”
One of Carvey’s most memorable sketches was “Joyride with Perot,” in which he drives a car while trying to ditch running mate Admiral James Stockdale (played by Phil Hartman) following his disastrous debate appearance.
“I really enjoyed doing Ross Perot, such a fun character to play,” Carvey said. “He had this distinct Texas drawl and this old-fashioned pragmatic servitude about his policies, and he’d be very impatient when people didn’t get it. He was a colorful American character.”