Paul Simon, the presidential candidate, drew a rave review yesterday for his performance with Paul Simon, the singer, on the comedy show "Saturday Night Live."

"He's got a future as a stand-up comic if he doesn't make it in this race," said fellow Democratic contender Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis.

Simon, the Democratic senator from Illinois, appeared in his customary bow tie and horn-rimmed glasses when he stepped on stage with the singer at the outset of the show.

Yesterday Simon the senator described the appearance as giving him national exposure.

"You have to get a little exposure, and that was an exposure last night," Simon said during an appearance on ABC-TV's "This Week With David Brinkley," which Dukakis also appeared on.

In his routine with singer Simon on Saturday night, the candidate said he did not know who was supposed to be the host of the show for the evening.

"It's a comedy show and it's a music show, so it's got to be me," the musician said. But the senator replied that he just wished "somebody had told me sooner. I've been rehearsing since Thursday."

The singer suggested that the other Simon stick around in case anything happened to him during the show and they needed another star.

"Sort of a 'Hart'-beat away," the senator said, referring to Gary Hart, who returned to the Democratic presidential race last Tuesday.

The two Simons joked that people have gotten them mixed up before. The singer said he showed up expecting to perform at candidates' debates, and the politician said he arrived at Madison Square Garden where he had a tough time trying to debate rock star Bruce Springsteen.

NBC has asked all the presidential contenders to appear on the show. Simon was the second to appear. Former Arizona governor Bruce Babbitt was on the program in October.