The celebrated impressionist tells us how to impersonate Bob Dole

By Michael Sauter
September 20, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

Vaughn Meader had JFK. Rich Little had Richard Nixon. But Jim Morris (below), today’s most celebrated political impressionist, doesn’t have such easy pickings in this year’s two major presidential choices, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. The Republican presents a particular challenge, according to Morris. How do you make the crabby Kansan funny? Morris’ secrets:

1. ”Clutch a pen tightly. It will remind you to stay as rigid as possible.”

2. ”Keep your facial muscles contracted. You’re going for a puckered frown. Try eating a slice of lemon for the same effect.”

3. ”Blink, blink, blink at irregular intervals.”

4. ”Speak in staccato bursts. Try to sound like Johnny Cash doing Humphrey Bogart.”

5. ”Refer to yourself in the third person. Like Dole says, ‘Why does Bob Dole always use the third person? Ask Bob Dole.”’