Well, here we are! 40 entries have been posted on the blog and that leaves…
The Top Ten
Let me simply state that compiling this list was not easy and it was especially hard to decide what impressions made the final cut and especially the Top Ten. This just goes to show the rich history of SNL and its amazing performers. And now a confession: a particular entry was written down on my master list and somehow I didn’t circle the name for inclusion on the list. Good news is: the impression would probably be right where I’m listing it… so we’ll call #10 1/2. Without further adieu, here’s my personal Top Ten (and a half):
10 1/2: Will Ferrell as James Lipton
Ferrell’s classic take on the “Inside the Actors Studio” host comes complete with Lipton’s heightened sense of himself and the overly “actor-y” pompousness. And you can’t beat the huge stack of blue note cards.
10. Jimmy Fallon as Barry Gibb
The future “Tonight Show” host and the great Justin Timberlake gave us one of the best series of sketches in the SNL cannon. Fallon’s portrayal as Barry Gibb as a character who loses his s**t if someone says the wrong thing is unforgettable.
9. Dana Carvey as President George H.W. Bush
Carvey’s take on Bush 41 isn’t going for accuracy, but instead the terrific Carvey goes way over-the-top in hilarious fashion. Wouldn’t be prudent… not at this juncture! Not gonna do it!
<div style=”font-size:12px;”><a href=”http://www.metacafe.com/watch/400999/dana_carvey_as_bush/”>Dana Carvey As Bush</a> – <a href=”http://www.metacafe.com/”>Click here for more free videos</a></div>
8. Will Ferrell as Harry Caray
Hey!!! Cubs win!!! Ferrell’s impression of the legendary sports announcer is side splitting fun and totally bizarre in the best way.
7. Darrell Hammond as Vice President Al Gore
Had Al Gore won the 2000 election, Darrell Hammond’s spot-on impersonation might rank even higher because we would’ve seen more of it. Still, this is one of the greatest impressions in SNL history. Lock box.
6. Darrell Hammond as President Bill Clinton
Hammond strikes again in the political world. Phil Hartman’s take on Bubba ranked high as well, but the edge goes to Hammond’s take, which got the 42nd President’s mannerisms down to a tee.
5. Dana Carvey as Ross Perot
As much I love his Bush impression, Carvey’s Ross Perot is even more genius. The 1992 debate with Carvey playing Bush and Perot, alongside Hartman’s Clinton, is one of the top sketches period.
4. Eddie Murphy as James Brown
A perfect impression per usual from Murphy, but his James Brown ranks highest due to the Hot Tub sketch… a Top Ten SNL skit.
3. Fred Armisen as Governor David Paterson
Inappropriate. Edgy. And also absolutely tears streaming down your face uproarious. Armisen boldly made his impression about the ex-New York Governor’s blindness. And damn it was funny.
2. Will Ferrell as President George W. Bush
Ferrell’s impression of the #43 is so legendary that he did a full Broadway show as Dubya. No matter what side of the political fence you’re on, his impersonation is the top Presidential entry in a show full of wonderful ones.
1. Tina Fey as Sarah Palin
No other impression became the cultural phenomenon than Fey’s take on the 2008 Vice-Presidential contender. As soon as Governor Palin burst onto the scene in fall 2008, everyone knew it would be Tina doing her on SNL. Expectations were high and Fey came through and then some. When all is said and done, very few historical write-ups about Palin won’t mention Tina. And for that… Tina Fey’s Palin earns the #1 spot.
And there you have it! 50 terrific SNL celebrity impersonations from the most important comedy show ever.