When Dana Carvey appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert earlier this year he debuted an impression of President Joe Biden that instantly surpassed anything that Jim Carrey—or any other SNL impersonators for that matter—managed to pull off over the past couple of decades.
Now, with Colbert back on the Ed Sullivan Theater stage for the first time since before the pandemic began, Carvey upped the ante big time with a full-on Biden interview sketch, appearing “via satellite” from across the pond.
The actual president would have been a huge get for Colbert’s first show back, but Carvey’s version was undoubtedly more entertaining. After finding his way to the camera, Biden said, “I appreciate you, Merv,” the first of many gaffes delivered in the soft-spoken dialect that has defined the president’s later years.
Getting down to more important matters, Carvey’s Biden said, “Let me be clear: the last guy, Trump, was bananas! But look at me, look at me, Europe. I’m nice and easy. Listen to my voice, I’m whisper-calm, not going to make any sudden moves.”
The impression, though clearly exaggerated, somehow seemed to capture something about Biden that no other comedian has, in the same way that Carvey embodied an over-the-top George H.W. Bush on Saturday Night Live more than 30 years ago.
Asked if he’s worried about meeting face-to-face with Vladimir Putin after calling him a “killer,” the president replied, “Come on, now, I once called a nice lady a ‘dog-faced pony soldier.’ No one knows what the hell I’m talking about, especially me.”
Ultimately, he admitted that he’s never been “good with words,” explaining, “They’re like Republicans: They don’t want to work with me but I keep trying anyway.”
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