Top 10 Celeb Reactions to SNL Impressions

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Top 10 Celeb Reactions to SNL Impressions

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox
These celebrity impressions on SNL were hilarious! For this list, we'll be looking at the funniest and most memorable responses that celebrities had to “Saturday Night Live” cast members lampooning them. Our countdown includes Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek, Larry David as Bernie Sanders, Brad Pitt as Dr. Anthony Fauci, and more!
Transcript

Top 10 Celeb Reactions to SNL Impressions


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Celeb Reactions to SNL Impressions

For this list, we’ll be looking at the funniest and most memorable responses that celebrities had to “Saturday Night Live” cast members lampooning them.

Which “SNL” cast member do you think does the best celebrity impressions? Let us know in the comments.

#10: Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek

Once you’ve been impersonated on “SNL,” you know you’ve made it. Or at least that’s how the late “Jeopardy!” host felt. He shared that barely a “Jeopardy!” taping went by without an audience member asking how he felt about Will Ferrell’s impression. He would always reply that he loved it. In fact, he was such a big fan that he even made a surprise cameo during Ferrell’s final show as a series regular. Trebek said that the parody was a sign that “you’ve arrived” since the writers clearly thought that you were popular enough to be instantly recognizable. Still, he admitted that Ferrell was only his second favorite impressionist, the first being Eugene Levy.

#9: Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

Apparently, Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin imitation was so good that it helped boost the show’s ratings. Among its many fans, was the actual Republican VP hopeful herself. Fey had the voice and mannerisms down and their physical likeless was almost uncanny. So much so that apparently Palin once dressed as Fey for Halloween. The conservative politician enjoyed Fey’s performance, for the most part, making a cameo alongside her once. She even joked that she was keeping Fey “in business.” However, not the same could be said for Fey as reports later claimed that her Emmy-winning takeoff may have actually hurt McCain’s Presidential campaign.

#8: Vanessa Bayer as Miley Cyrus

Vanessa Bayer has had the joy of playing Miley Cyrus in front of Miley Cyrus twice. And from what she’s shared, the singer has always been a great sport about it. Bayer told Conan that once she even advised the singer on how to nail a great Miley Cyrus impersonation. Cyrus also played Justin Bieber on Bayer’s recurring sketch, “The Miley Cyrus Show.” Now, it’s one thing to perform in front of the person you're impersonating and, have them love it. It’s a whole other story when you have to do it in front of their mom as well. Luckily, mama Cyrus loved it too.

#7: Chloe Fineman as Carole Baskin

Unlike everyone on our list so far, this big cat activist did not think that imitation was the sincerest form of flattery. In fact, her response was incredibly catty. In an appearance on Dennis Quaid’s podcast “The Pet Show,” she said, “I could just slap that woman!” Me-ow! She also didn’t appreciate that people had started to request that she imitate Chloe’s impression either. Luckily, her sendup found fans in other celebs including Gwyneth Paltrow, Mandy Moore, Emma Roberts, and more. With Kate McKinnon set to play her in the “Joe Exotic” series, let’s hope that she doesn’t bring out her claws again.


#6: Kenan Thompson as Steve Harvey

The “Family Feud” host had a generally good-spirited response to Kenan’s take on him. However, he made sure to instill a little fear into the comedian too to ensure that he stays in line. While he believes there’s some room for improvement, he generally finds Thompson quite funny. The duo has known each other for quite a long time and Thompson even played a recurring character on “The Steve Harvey Show” in the 90s. So he’s definitely had plenty of time to nail his characteristics and quirks. Overall, there’s no bad blood here and Harvey has definitely taken it all in good humor.

#5: Larry David as Bernie Sanders

Keeping it in the family, it seems like these distant cousins inherited a similar sense of humor from their shared ancestors. The senator was fond of David’s takeoff, even joking that he should appear at his next rally. Of course, it was brought up on many occasions throughout his campaign trail and the presidential hopeful was happy enough to play along. We’ve seen him exchange banter with the comedian on the “Today” show, as well as display his own Larry David imitation too. David was worried about Sanders becoming president because he wasn’t sure he wanted to keep the gig up for four years.

#4: Kate McKinnon as Ellen DeGeneres

Kate McKinnon is the queen of impressions and an “SNL” treasure. Among her very impressive arsenal of characters is a hilariously spot-on, if at times over-exaggerated, impersonation of the talk show host. Kate shared with Ellen that she studied her 2003 stand-up show “Ellen DeGeneres: Here and Now” to perfect the character. And well, she certainly did her homework. Considering that Ellen has invited her to do the impression on her talk show, on multiple occasions no less, we think it’s fair to assume that she’s a fan. In fact, she responded with, “I didn't like it. I'm just kidding—I'm Ellen!”

#3: Kate McKinnon as Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Another unforgettable impression from Kate McKinnon was that of larger-than-life and highly accomplished Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In the 2018 biographical documentary, “RBG”, Ginsburg said that McKinnon was “marvelously funny” even if the impression didn’t resemble her “not one bit.” Later at the Sundance Festival, she complimented Kate again saying, “I liked the actress who portrayed me” and revealing that she occasionally enjoyed saying “Ginsburned” to her colleagues. The pair even had a chance meeting while watching a production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” When she sadly passed away in 2020, Kate and “SNL” gave RBG a fitting and incredibly touching send-off.

#2: Brad Pitt as Dr. Anthony Fauci

How many people get to choose who plays them on “SNL?” Well, when Dr. Fauci joked that he’d like to see one of his favorite actors, Brad Pitt, in the role, “SNL” and the actor were only too willing to oblige. So did Pitt live up to Fauci’s expectations? Yes, it seems so. He called it “surrealistic,” but overall seemed quite happy saying, “I think he did great.” He especially liked how he broke character to thank everyone who’d been working tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Fauci’s dream casting earned Pitt an Emmy nomination but don’t worry, he won’t let that go to his head.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Maya Rudolph as Donatella Versace
The Renowned Fashionista Offered Rudolph Some Tips on Perfecting the Impression

Ariana Grande as Jennifer Lawrence
She Loved It! Just Don’t Ever Call Her a “Regular Person”

Kenan Thompson as Neil DeGrasse Tyson
He Didn’t Love It but He Appreciated That It Got People Talking about Science

Gilda Radner as Barbara Walters
It Took Walters Time to Learn to Love Radner’s Sendup

#1: Dana Carvey as George H.W. Bush

Dana Carvey certainly had an impeccable talent for capturing this president’s unique qualities. In fact, it remains one of the best “SNL” political satires of all time. And it seems like his number one fan might have been the man himself. After losing the election in 1992, President Bush invited the comedian to help raise staff morale over Christmas. He told his staffers just how much Dana Carvey had made him laugh over the years. This also marked the beginning of their friendship, which continued up until Bush’s death in 2018. It just goes to show how impactful a good sense of humor can be.
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