Love him or hate him, one thing that can be said of former president George H.W. Bush is that he could laugh at himself. And that brought a certain level of class and humility to the White House.
One example of this is in how he handled relentlessly being impersonated on Saturday Night Live. Actor and comedian Dana Carvey famously took on the role of impersonating the president and routinely got many laughs for it.
This was when Dana Carvey’s endearing impression of George H. W. Bush really hit its stride https://t.co/Gku2RZRtbe
— Bill Scher (@billscher) December 1, 2018
But rather than get angry at the impersonation or shots taken at him, Bush did something amazing. RedState wrote that following his election defeat in 1992, Bush invited Carvey to perform at a Christmas celebration at the White House.
The video of that performance is approximately 8 1/2 minutes long. It shows Carvey noticeably feeling a bit uncomfortable doing his impersonation in front of Bush and his wife, Barbara.
Carvey claimed he called the Secret Service while staying in the Lincoln bedroom, as President Bush, and told them he wanted to take a late night jog. In the nude.
He also talked about how he did the impersonation of Bush. It was one part Mr. Rogers and one part John Wayne.
However, the video also shows Bush laughing and acting with incredible grace during the roasting and teasing. He appears to be quite good-natured about the whole thing.
In fact, Bush must have been good-natured about all the ribbing Carvey did on SNL in order to have invited him to the White House to do the impersonation for the Christmas crowd. And Carvey shared that the president called him personally to invite him to do so.
He diverted for a moment to impersonate failed presidential candidate Ross Perot, but then, as Bush, said the Bush impersonation was much better. He also took time to list out, exaggerate and mock the president’s various regularly use hand gestures.
At one point both the president and the first lady joined Carvey at the podium, upon his request. They joined in on the teasing and fun.
Barbara teased about hitting Carvey. She noted he was lucky she had the restraint not to do so.
But George took a different approach. After joining in mocking himself over his hand gestures, he then jokingly tucked his hands into his jacket so he’d stop gesturing.
Then he got a little bit serious, giving nothing but high praise for Carvey. He honored the comedian and said Carvey had given him many laughs over the years.
And that is a fine example of grace, class, and humility we can all learn from. It is something that perhaps would be a refreshing change to see more of in this ever-divisive world.
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