Dana Carvey Reflects On Years Of Impersonating His Friend, George H.W. Bush

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Comedian Dana Carvey spent Monday evening reminiscing about his friendship with former President George H. W. Bush — a friendship that began some 30 years ago when Carvey impersonated the elder Bush on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”

Carvey, during an appearance on “Conan,” told host Conan O’Brien that he didn’t know the president when he first started impersonating him. By the time Bush lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton, however, that had changed.

“They welcomed my wife and I to the White House after he had lost the election and we really hung out with them, we really got to know them,” Carvey said. “They were so much fun together.”

Conan praised Bush’s acceptance of Carvey’s impersonation. “You were doing an impression every week of the president, and the president saw it and loved it and reached out to you, and you two became friends.”

Carvey agreed, noting how times had changed. “We had so many warm moments. It was a different time; it wasn’t scorched earth, angry politics. They did not demonize the other side. It was a different time.”

Over the course of some 25 years, they exchanged phone numbers and Carvey got to know Bush and his beloved late Barbara. “I’d never seen a marriage that was so effortless. They were so much fun together.”

Carvey smiled as he remembered a phone call from Bush on election night, 2004. “He goes, ‘How you doing Dana?’ I said, ‘Fine, isn’t your son running for re-election?”

Carvey and Conan began taping Monday’s show just after reports of Bush’s hospitalization for an infection that had spread to his blood, and Carvey had nothing but kind words for his friend. “I just love them and wish the best for everybody.”

Watch Carvey as George H.W. Bush: