He continues: "And then I tried to do Bill Maher a whole bunch of times on SNL at the read-through table. And no matter how great I thought it was, it just didn't resonate. Those are two that did not make it to air. But there must have been 50 people throughout my time at SNL that did not work."
Nice-guy impression: All of them
When you're an impressionist, you walk a fine line between homage and ridicule. That's why Armisen says he always tries to find a shred of good in his characters. "I don't like making fun of people," he tells us. "And it's not a moral thing, it doesn't come from that. In my experience, I think that audiences can tell when you're making fun of someone or being mean about someone, and it's just not fun to watch. I like doing impressions if I like the person. I try to like the person. Even if they are, like, [the former Iranian president] Ahmadinejad or something, they're still people, and I try to figure out what the good parts of them are."