As soon as I learned that Will Ferrell would be hosting Saturday Night Live, I knew that it would be a good one. But I wasn't expecting it to start as strong as it really did. Will Ferrell reprised his George W. Bush impression on SNL and it will make you so nostalgic. God, I missed this parody. Possibly the best thing to come out of the eight years George W. Bush was president was Ferrell's Bush impression (that and peasant skirts which you can pry out of my cold, dead hands). After what seems like an eon of Alec Baldwin's Trump, Ferrell's Bush was like a cool drink of water.
In fact, the country's newfound love for "dubya" was the major subject of Ferrell's cold open as America's 43rd president. He pointed out right off the bat that his approval ratings right now have never been higher. He also pointed out that he was "terrible" as president. Regardless of how you feel about Bush (or Ferrell) this was a pretty funny conceit for the whole skit. After Ferrell's longtime absence from the show, it was so much fun to see him bring back one of his most popular characters ever.
"Now I don't know if you've read the news lately I certainly have not," Ferrell said as Bush, his folksy Southern accent as pitch perfect as ever. "I'm suddenly popular AF." He went on to explain that a recent poll stated that his approval ratings are now at an all time high. Next to Donald Trump, he's started to look pretty sweet in comparison. But it's just possible that the American people are looking back on the mid-2000s with rose-colored glasses. Was Bush's presidency really all that great? Is it possible we're missing something? Well, Ferrell's Bush doesn't believe so.
"I just wanted to address my fellow Americans and remind you guys that I was really bad," he said. In case you were wondering, Bush's approval ratings may be great now, but while he was in office they were, well, not so great, particularly in his second term. Ferrell went through a quick recap of some of the things Bush was criticized heavily for during his time in office including, "Don't forget we're still in two different wars that I started." He then made the very bold claim, "Hey what has two thumbs and created ISIS? This guy," — a joke that received as many groans as laughs. But despite the controversial joke, people were thrilled to see Bush back on the show.
Ferrell's impression of Bush also brought back a few tried and true quirks from No. 43, including Bush's constant malapropisms. Remember the word "strategery?" In the 2018 edition, Ferrell claimed to be "no economer" and also asserted that he definitely wasn't a "Trump synthesizer." Ferrell also brought up Trump's famous hatred of the media, and reminded everyone that Bush didn't always have the greatest relationship with the press either. "One time an Iraqi reporter threw an actual shoe at me," he said. "Then he gathered himself, took off another one, and tried it again." But he added his own special Ferrell-Bush spin on the anecdote by summing up with a lesson: "Shoe me once, shame on you. Shoe me twice, I'm keeping those shoes."
The other highlight of the skit? Leslie Jones as Condoleezza Rice. The two finished the sketch by singing a song reminiscent of the good old days to the tune of, "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here," from Annie. I'm so glad Ferrell is back for this episode. It's always nice to enjoy a little presidential nostalgia.
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