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Jenna Bush Hager Used to Show Her Dad Will Ferrell's SNL Bush Impression: "He Loved It"

"If you're going to be the president of the United States, people are gonna make fun of you," the TODAY Host said, sharing that she and her sister Barbara loved to show George W. Bush the SNL sketches when he was in the White House.

By Samantha Vincenty

Presidential impressions have been a time-honored tradition on Saturday Night Live, ever since original Not Ready for Prime Time Player Chevy Chase played a comedically-bumbling version of Gerald Ford for the first time in November 1975. And few of them are more fondly remembered than Will Ferrell's take on 43rd president George W. Bush. 

How to Watch

Watch Saturday Night Live Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC and next day on Peacock.  

Like seemingly every American back then, George W. Bush did see the exaggerated version of himself that Ferrell brought to life onscreen. But it wasn't because he was up late watching TV in the Oval Office: According to Jenna Bush Hager, she and her twin sister Barbara used to make sure their dad saw them.

"My love language is gently roasting," Bush Hager told her TODAY co-host Hoda Kotb on the March 13 show. "I do like to harass my dad," she admitted.

"When he was the president, Barbara and I would show him the Saturday Night Lives where they made fun of him and stuff," Bush Hager said. "He loved it!"

RELATED: Hoda Kotb's Daughter Doing Her Mom's Job on TODAY Is the Absolute Sweetest

She added that it wasn't just Ferrell's impression that they brought to their dad's attention. Cast members Chris Parnell and Jason Sudeikis also had a turn performing impressions of the junior Bush, just as Dana Carvey played their grandfather, former president George H.R. Bush, before that. 

Split of Will Ferrell as George W Bush on SNL and George w Bush

Jenna Bush Hager says George W. Bush found Ferrell's impression "hilarious"

When it came to jokes at his expense, Bush Hager insists the whole family kept a sense of humor. "He didn't care," she said. "He thought it was hilarious!"

"You know, that's the difference," Kotb said. "I think if you can't laugh at yourself, then you feel like there's some truth to it or something."

"If you're going to be the President of the United States, people are going to make fun of you," Bush Hager said, speaking from experience. 

"You've got to have a thick skin," Kotb agreed. 

"And guess what? It ain't just about you! That's how it is, man," Bush Hager said, pointing out that no high-profile politician escapes the roasting. It's the American way.

First unveiling his GWB impression during the 2000 election cycle, Ferrell earned an Emmy nomination for his work in the season, including the wildly popular election-related sketches. Ferrell even starred in a Broadway play showcasing the impression in 2009, You're Welcome America. 

RELATED: SNL's Most Memorable Cold Opens of All Time

Ferrell revived it when he hosted on January 27, 2018, in a cold open that found him comparing his presidency to Donald Trump's. 

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler played the Bush twins on SNL

The Bush twins were 19 when their father first followed in their grandfather's footsteps, becoming president in 2001. In 2005, when they were in their early 20s, they were played by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in "The Bush Twins Secret Language" cold open from an episode hosted by The Holdovers star Paul Giamatti. Watch it below.