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Sen. John McCain showed his spot-on comedic talents on ‘SNL’

Senator John McCain (left) plays stoned, hippie art teacher "Pete Van Bleet" opposite "SNL" cast members Maya Rudolph and Rachel Dratch in the recurring sketch "Wake Up Wakefield!" in 2002. | NBC

The late John McCain was the first sitting senator to host “Saturday Night Live,” in 2002. He appeared on the late-night series three times in all, once as host and two times as a special guest/cameo, notably lampooning his unsuccessful campaigns for president.

One of his more outrageously funny characterizations (in that 2002 debut) was his portrayal of 7th grade hippie art teacher “Pete Van Bleet,” a special guest on the middle-school talk show “Wake Up Wakefield!” hosted by “Megan” (Maya Rudolph) and “Sheldon” (Rachel Dratch). Describing his latest art project, Van Bleet (McCain) explains: “These aren’t jack o’ lanterns. They’re abstract o’ lanterns! There ain’t no fascist right wing law that says you have to carve the same thing every year! Use your imagination! I carved these pumpkins into the original line up of Steely Dan.”

Here are some of his finest “SNL” moments:

John McCain’s 2002 opening monologue featured Venezuelan nightclub comedian “Fericito” (Fred Armisen) and the senator’s new catchphrase:

“McCain in One” (2008)— “What should we be looking for in our next president? Certainly someone who’s very, very very old”:

Three days before the 2008 presidential election, McCain and “Sarah Palin” (Palin doppelganger Tina Fey) hawk campaign collectibles “on QVC”:
“Reverse Maverick”: Sen. McCain reveals the “Sad Grandpa” campaign strategy on Weekend Update with Seth Meyers in 2008:

“Meet the Press”: In a 2002 appearance, “Tim Russert” (Darrell Hammond) keeps asking the senator if he’ll run for President again in 2004:
“To Love, Honor and Stalk” — In 2002, McCain, with the help of Amy Poehler, spoofed Lifetime movies with plenty of unforgettable lines (“Shall I loofah your back?”) and a hilariously creepy character: