Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Friday, January 13, 2017


With Trumps inauguration just a mere six days away, we here the DUNER BLOG have some advice for The Donald: Learn how to take a joke. Here's an example: Since the 1970's, the TV show Saturday Night Live has parodied presidents. And… for the last 42 years…Commader In Chiefs have accepted it as part of the job. However, thin-skinned Trump simply cannot handle being teased. “Can’t get any worse” he tweeted after the last episode. Sigh. This is an American tradition! To recap, here is a chronological list of their famous parodies:
GERALD FORD (Chevy Chase). SNL’s first season was edgy and had a less-rehearsed feel than today. Case in point: The impersonations of the president involved no make-up or costumes. Instead, Chevy Chase just acted like a buffoon, pouring water on his face instead of answering the phone. GRADE: C+
JIMMY CARTER (Dan Aykroyd) A more accurate portrayal, Aykroyd not only had Carter’s famous hair, but he also mastered his stutter and mannerisms as well. The main joke involved exaggerating Jimmy’s intelligence. One sketch had Carter as a guest on a radio talk show. He was talking a caller down from a bad LSD trip. “Sounds like you took some Orange Sunshine, Jimmy..” GRADE: A+
RONALD REAGAN. (Joe Piscopo). For Reagan’s first term in the Oval Office, SNL didn’t involve him in any shows. In his second term, producers tried to overcome a huge age difference (Joe was in his twenties; Reagan was in his seventies) to lampoon the Gipper. Piscopo pulled off many silly gags where Ronny gets lost and can’t find his way home. GRADE: C-
GEORGE BUSH SR. (Dana Carvey). A master of impersonations, Canadian Carvey was ecstatic when Lorne Michaels gave him the opportunity to play G.W. Bush. Concentrating on George’s many catch-phrases (“1,000 points of Light,” “Read My Lips: No New Taxes”), Dana was the only SNL cast-member to receive an Emmy award AND to have the actual president visit on stage. GRADE: A+
BILL CLINTON (Phil Hartman). Another Canadian (!?) was selected to impersonate the President when Clinton assumed the office in the 1990’s. This time, the jokes were mostly related to Bill’s appetite for food and women. Our favorite sketch poked fun at Clinton’s jogging routine: He stops at the McDonald’s every day midway through his run. GRADE: A-
GEROGE BUSH JR. (Will Ferrell). Elation filled the halls of 30 Rockefeller Plaza when bumbling Bush was elected president. Comedians nationwide found him an easy target, constantly providing material to chide. When asked about portraying Bush, Ferrell replied: “Just focus on the ceiling and intentionally flub your lines. Easiest impersonation ever!” GRADE: B+
BARACK OBAMA (Jay Pharoah). Initially portrayed by Armenian Fred Armisen, some speculated that Pharoah joined the SNL cast based solely on his Obama impression. He succeeded in bringing life to a relaxed personality and even received a written compliment from the Prez himself. Unfortunately, Barack outlasted Jay, who was cut from the cast last summer. GRADE: B
DONALD TRUMP (Alec Baldwin). For the first time, an outsider was brought into the SNL cast to specifically to play one role. Although not known for impersonations, Baldwin clearly has the gravitas needed to mimic the outlandish Trump. Here’s his secret: “Trump takes long pauses to search for the perfect word…But never seems to find it.” Sounds about right, Alec! GRADE: A-

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