Revisiting Norm Macdonald's Bob Dole impression after their deaths

Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

One of Norm Macdonald's most memorable turns on "Saturday Night Live" was his impression of Bob Dole, the Republican senator and 1996 presidential candidate who wasn't afraid to laugh at himself.

Dole died Sunday of lung cancer at age 98 — not three months after Macdonald died of cancer at age 61.

Before his own death, Dole honored the late Macdonald on social media by sharing a photo from a 1996 "Saturday Night Live" taping that saw the politician join forces with the comedian (in character as Dole) for a sketch making fun of his failed presidential campaign.

While impersonating Dole on "SNL," a rigid Macdonald often held tightly to a pen or pencil and spoke about himself in the third person.

"Norm @normmacdonald was a great talent, and I loved laughing with him on SNL," the World War II veteran tweeted. "*Bob Dole* will miss Norm Macdonald."

After losing the 1996 presidency to Democratic candidate Bill Clinton, Dole stopped by New York City's Studio 8H to film a comedy bit opposite his most famous impersonator.


Dressed in matching suits and ties, the two men traded meta-commentary about about their intertwined career paths. For example: Macdonald jokingly encouraged Dole to run for president again so he could continue playing him on "SNL."

"It would be good for me," Macdonald quipped during the segment. "Kind of help keep you on the front pages, you know?"

"Well, believe me, Norm," Dole said, "running for president doesn't always keep you on the front pages, unless you, of course, take a dive off of a podium."

Dole then proceeded to sarcastically thank Macdonald for "noticing" when he famously took a tumble on the presidential campaign trail — an unfortunate moment caught on camera and relentlessly mocked on "Saturday Night Live" in another sketch featuring Macdonald.


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