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George W. Bush gets candid about whether presidential impressions bothered him

by Scott Stump / / Source: TODAY

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George W. Bush's philosophy about comedy means he was never bothered by Will Ferrell's impression of him on "Saturday Night Live" during his presidency.

"I love humor," the 43rd president said on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Thursday. "And the best humor is when you make fun of yourself."

"Tell that to the president,'' Kimmel replied.

While President Donald Trump has made it clear he's not a fan of Alec Baldwin's impression of him or of "SNL" in general, Bush had no issues with Ferrell's imitation. He just had a minor quibble that he expressed to the show's creator.

RELATED: George W. Bush on his friendship with Michelle Obama: 'We just took to each other'

"I had dinner with Lorne Michaels, the head of 'Saturday Night Live,'" Bush said. "And he said, 'I put a great speechwriter on you, and he came up with "strategery."' And I said, 'Wait a minute, I said "strategery."' And he said, 'No, you didn’t say "strategery."' I said, 'I damn sure said "strategery."' H

e said, 'We invented it.' I said, 'Well, let me ask you this: Did he come up with "misunderestimate"?'"

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Bush admittedly did not watch much television during his presidency.

"You've got a lot to do (as president),'' he said. "You're busy."

George Bush, Will Ferrell impersonates George Bush on SNL
George W. Bush had no problems with Will Ferrell poking fun at him with his impersonation on "Saturday Night Live" during Bush's presidency. Getty Images, NBC

While he thought Ferrell's imitation was funny, it wasn't his favorite.

He cited the late comedian Steve Bridges as the best. The two once came out together at the annual dinner put on by the White House Correspondents' Association — to plenty of laughter.

President George W. Bush, comedian Steve Bridges
President George W. Bush and his inner monologue, played by Steve Bridges, entertained guests at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in 2006.Roger L. Wollenberg / Pool via Getty Images

In promoting his new book, "Portraits of Courage," Bush has shown the ability to poke fun at himself. He even joked about his "Mission Accomplished" gaffe in 2003 during the war in Iraq while talking with Kimmel about the Oscars' screw-up with the best picture award.

Former President George W. Bush uses a plastic sheet to deal with the rain during the inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump
Bush has been able to laugh about his comic disaster involving a rain poncho on Inauguration Day. Reuters

Bush also was good-naturedly teased by Ellen DeGeneres on her show Wednesday for his inability to put on a rain poncho in the stands on Inauguration Day, which became an enduring image on the internet.

"There's, there's...have you put one on?'' she asked as pictures of Bush fumbling with it flashed on screen. "Is that the first time?"

"It looks like it, that's for sure,'' Bush joked.

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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