The Real Ronald Reagan, as Portrayed by Phil Hartman (by msaroff)
In this Saturday Night Live skit from the late 1980s, Phil Hartman plays Ronald Reagan as a man definitely in control — behind the scenes — while playing it dumb for the masses. Very funny…
I had never heard of Phil Hartman (or his murder by his wife in 1998) as I wasn’t living in the country then, but after reading about him on Wikipedia, I feel like looking up more of his work.
I read a reference to this skit in Timothy D. Wilson’s book, Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious, as Wilson cites one theory of the relationship of the conscious self to the unconscious one as “consciousness-as-Ronald-Reagan,” i.e., a figurehead not exerting much control.