by Andrew Wantuck
This week I interviewed a comedian that you would not recognize unless he is wearing make-up. Steve Bridges impersonates Presidents. The make-up is so realistic and he does the impression so well, that he appeared regularly on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and even stood side by side with George Bush in the correspondence dinner. In this interview we discussed Ronald Reagan's fans, standing next to the acting President of The United States, and the secret to solving the health care crisis.
Andrew: Do you have a President that you enjoy lampooning the most?
Steve: It would be George Bush because I have the most experience with that character, but I do wish I would have had more time with President Clinton 'cause he was just a lot of fun. Also, in the back of my head, I wish one of these days to do Ronald Reagan, but the audience that would remember him is sort of ancient now.
Andrew: [laughs] What was it like performing correspondence dinner and performing in front of President Bush?
Steve: I was really nervous because we were side by side and I was his 'thought bubble' that was being spoken out loud. I was hoping it would work, but I wasn't too sure. Then we got out there it was really working. It went great.
Andrew: How did you find yourself impersonating Presidents?
Steve: Basically, I was good at it. My manager found me because he heard my impersonation of Bush on a hold message for a comedy club and asked who I was. The club gave him the number and he called me and said 'what if we put you in make up?' I said sure!
Andrew: Are you interested in politics yourself?
Steve: I used to be a lot more than I am now. Now politics has become more like a job in the sense that where I am impersonating a president. Now I don't care as much about the political issues as I do focusing in on that president more and more or whatever particular president I am impersonating.
Andrew: What is the most interesting place you have done your act?
Steve: The Jeff Foxworthy roast on Comedy Central was huge. To walk out there and see all these other comics onstage it totally took me aback. My head wasn't in the game. I knew it was a show, I knew it was big deal but I didn't fully grasp it until I saw onstage, and in the audience, all these comics. It just jolted me like, whoa, this is a big deal. The other one was a show I did, I won't even say what state it was in, but we did it in a guys backyard for a private party he was having. I swear to you, I think I was doing a show for the mob. I can't say for certain but I was like, whoa. I had a feeling almost like the Sopranos. It had a little bit like that feel. These guys in the back saying "Yeah, yeah this guy is funny," but not laughing. I wanted to leave as soon as it was done.
Andrew: [laughs] How long does it take you in the makeup chair?
Steve: It varies on who's doing the makeup and how long we've been doing it. It can be anywhere from two to four hours. Usually about three.
Andrew: If someone wanted to book you how would they go about tracking you down?
Steve: They could go to stevebridges.com
Andrew: Since you are currently doing Barak Obama, what is your stance on Health Care?
Steve: Don't get sick.
Steve Bridges performs regularly at The Comedy & magic Club in Hermosa Beach. Reservations Required. (310) 372-1193 or comedyandmagicclub.com. ER.