Henry Ross Perot — the Texas billionaire most famous for his 1992 presidential campaign (and a bit less so for his one in 1996) — died on Tuesday, prompting fond recollections of that time a wealthy businessman tried, twice, to run for the most important job in the country. It also reminded many of one of the things that most made Perot incredibly famous: Dana Carvey’s boisterous, shrill, bizarre folksy aphorism-spouting impersonation of him on Saturday Night Live.
During the 1992 presidential cycle, Carvey’s Perot squared off against Phil Hartman’s McDonald’s-loving Bill Clinton as well as Carvey himself, who had been doing his cocky twist on George H.W. Bush since the Reagan years. (When the time came for the big three-way debate sketch, Carvey had to pre-record his Perot bits, which were spliced into the live broadcast.)
For some — including those who were young at the time and received the majority of their political intel from sweetly savage sketches on SNL — Carvey’s Perot, who appeared in 10 sketches, was more famous than Perot himself, and the comedian’s impersonation arguably made him all the more lovable to the masses.