Saturday Night Live has been a late night sketch comedy staple for decades, bringing audiences joy with their off-brand political and social commentary.
I Can See Russia From My House! – Tina Fey (Sarah Palin)
Within that arena SNL often finds comedic gold in America’s favorite past time. No I’m not talking baseball; I’m talking politics. The multi-decade Lorne Michaels helmed NBC staple has become such a cherished part of society that it has even been known to alter the course of politics, most notably with Tina Fey’s iconic Sarah Palin impersonation in 2008.
From Jimmy Carter to Hilary Clinton, FIlmFad would like to list off our Top 10 Favorite Saturday Night Live political sketches.
10. George H. W. Bush – Dana Carvey
SNL’s sketch where George Bush debates Governor Dukakis is just one of numerous comedically golden sketches that bolstered Dana Carvey’s iconic George H. W. Bush impersonator status. The SNL funnyman was infact so good at impersonating Bush, that George Sr. invited him to the White House and coaxed Carvey to do the impersonation for him over Brandy and Cigars.
9. Al Gore – Darrell Hammond
Before Darrel Hammond was the SNL announcer he was a longstanding cast member with a host of impressions. From Sean Connery on Celebrity Jeopardy to Bill Clinton, Hammond has won over SNL fans with his slew of spot on impressions. Perhaps one of his most notable political impressions came in the form of Al Gore during his presidential bid against George Bush. In this video we see Hammond’s Gore detail his campaign strategy in specific detail… down to ‘lock and key?’
8. George W. Bush – Will Ferrell
Just as Dana Carvey gave an iconic rendition of the Bush Sr., the hilariously awkward Will Ferrell gave an equally memorable George W. Bush impersonation. What is more iconic than Ferrel’s Bush versus Al Gore debate in which he summarizes his entire campaign strategy in one powerful (made-up) word?
7. Barrack Obama/The Rock Obama – Jay Pharroh & Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
After a frustrating exchange spawned from the actions of Rep. John Boehner played Taran Killam, Senator Ted Cruz poetically played by Bobby Moynihan and Sen. Tom Cotton played by Kyle Mooney make the POTUS get upset turning President Obama played by Jay Pharaoh into the unforgiving The Rock Obama played by Dwayne Johnson.
6. Sarah Palin – Tina Fey
With the amount of publicity surrounding Palin, it was almost as if SHE was the presidential candidate not Mccain. Well the hockey mom’s popularity reached a new high when SNL writer/cast member Tina Fey hit America with a formidable Palin impression that leaked into the campaign itself. If you didn’t catch this one, it is a must see political sketch.
5. Hilary Clinton – Kate McKinnon
From her time as 1st lady, to her 1st bid for democratic candidate, to Secretary of State and now to her 2nd whack at POTUS, it is no question that Hilary has been in the political spotlight for decades. So it is without question that Kate McKinnon’s accentuated and embellished Hilary gives audiences a “Hard” laugh. In this video Hillary Clinton played by Kate McKinnon announces she’s running for president in a social media video co-starring her husband, Bill Clinton played (of course) by Darrell Hammond.
4. Jimmy Fallon – Donald Trump
With Donald Trump leading the Republican party for a bid at the presidential election, it goes without saying that SNL alum Jimmy Fallon’s Trump may Trump Trump. In the wake of Gawker leaking Trump’s phone number, President Obama called him with a bit of guidance on how to approach the GOP debate.
3. Chris Christie – Bobby Moynihan
Saturday Night Live took on New Jersey’s handling of Hurricane Sandy with a skit mocking the New Jersey Governor’s alleged bromance with President Obama all with the aid of a flamboyant sign language interpreter. Played by Bobby Moynihan, Governor Christie steps into the top ten political SNL sketches.
2. Barrack Obama – Jay Pharaoh
In this highly-aggresive SNL political sketch we find the perfectly Barrack Obama played by Jay Pharaoh expressing his concern with Russia’s, namely Vladimir Putin’s, invasion of Ukraine. In this video the POTUS employs the aid of Liam Neeson who expresses his specific set of skills and Obama speaks to Putin in a way he would understand.
1. Miley Cyrus – Michelle Bachman
It was fall 2013 and America was bobbin their heads to Miley Cyrus’ party-loving pop anthem “We Can’t Stop” as it reigned over the nation’s airwaves. In lesser concurrent news, the United States government was signing a different tune in the key of government shutdown. So, what better way to embrace the fall of 2013 than with SNL’s political parody entitled “We Did Stop (The Government).” The sketch features an underwear clad, bejeweled and spray tanned John Boehner played by Taran Killam. Add a sexy-skirt suited Michelle Bachman played by Cyrus and we have comedic gold that’ll have any SNL fan yelling “If you’re not ready for healthcare/Can I get a hell no!” The golden moment is when we catch Barrack Obama played by Jay Pharaoh peering in through the window with a perplexed look of fear mixed with exclusion.