Dana Carvey on John McLaughlin: 'He Was an American Original'

Former 'SNL' star remembers man who inspired famous 'SNL' skits

Dana Carvey praised John McLaughlin, whom he impersonated on 'Saturday Night Live.' Credit: Raymond Bonar/NBC/Getty

Comedian Dana Carvey, whose imitation of McLaughlin Group host John McLaughlin on Saturday Night Live turned the pundit into a pop culture icon in the 1990s, paid tribute to McLaughlin, who died this week at age 89.

Carvey joined the SNL cast in 1986, and used The McLaughlin Group as the inspiration for a skit starting in 1990. McLaughlin joined in on the fun, appearing in the skit the following year.

In a statement to The Wrap, Carvey described McLaughlin as "an American original. Quick-witted and funny." "I loved impersonating him on SNL," Carvey continued. "His speaking rhythms were so quirky and musical that my impression didn't have to be exaggerated much to get big laughs."

The McLaughlin Group Facebook page posted news of the pundit's death on Tuesday. "Earlier this morning, a beloved friend and mentor, Dr. John McLaughlin, passed away peacefully at the age of 89," the statement noted. "As a former Jesuit priest, teacher, pundit and news host, John touched many lives. For 34 years, The McLaughlin Group informed millions of Americans. Now he has said bye bye for the last time, to rejoin his beloved dog, Oliver, in Heaven. He will always be remembered."

Following his death, a number of TV show hosts remembered McLaughlin on Twitter. "Theatrical, pyrotechnical, a firecracker of a man," Chris Matthews wrote. "John McLaughlin, you were damned good company." 

"RIP John McLaughlin," Seth Meyers noted. "My parents made us watch him every week which made the SNL sketches all the sweeter."