Saturday Night Live cast member and master impersonator Jay Pharoah has certainly lived through some awkward moments – like when one of Jay-Z‘s friends made Pharoah do his famous Jay-Z impression in front of the rapper – but none were as scary as doing his Barack Obama in front of the President himself.
“It was the most petrifying experiences,” Pharoah, 28, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I met him in 2013 and had to do it right in front of his face. And you don’t want to tick off Barack Obama! He’s got access to the military. I’m sure he know where I live! You might never hear from me again!”
Luckily Obama had a great sense of humor about it. “He thought it was great,” Pharoah says, diving into his best POTUS. “He said, ‘You did good.’
As for his run in with Jay-Z, Pharoah says he didn’t realize Jay was standing right behind him when he dove into his hilarious mimic.
“He was like, ‘Oh, snap!’ and then gave me a handshake and said, ‘What up, fake Jay-Z!’ ” recalls Pharoah, adding, “He’s a legend.”