SNL political humor definitely did not start with Tina Fey’s impeccable impersonation of Sarah Palin or Will Ferrell as George W. Bush. These sketches go way back – all the way to the Jimmy Carter days.
Here are some of our favorite, and maybe not so favorite, United States Presidents in the 6 best SNL political sketches:
1. President Gerald Ford Takes A Phone Call (1975)
One of the very first political sketches that launched SNL into American late-night comedy superstardom was Chevy Chase’s reoccurring impersonation of President Gerald Ford.
Ford was known for being somewhat of a klutz, which we will always remember because of Chase’s first impersonations of the 38th president taking a phone call.
2. President Jimmy Carter Takes Calls From America (1977)
We see Dan Aykroyd portraying Jimmy Carter and answering questions from the American public on a CBS radio series, giving smooth and well-timed answers to common, every day complaints.
3. President Ronald Reagan Mastermind (1986)
Consistently a contender for one of the best SNL sketches of all time, Phil Hartman portrays Reagan in this comedic take on one of our most famous presidents.
4. President George H. W. Bush on his Approval Ratings and Night Vision Goggles (1990)
Throughout the 90’s, Dana Carvey developed his iconic portrayal of George H. W. Bush. With his spot on accent, over-exaggerated hand gestures, and lovable quirks, watch Bush Sr. tell us about his waning approval ratings, Saddam Hussein, while showing us the appropriate way to dawn a pair of night vision goggles.
5. Bill Clinton Goes to McDonald’s (1992)
In one of the funniest sketches about Bill Clinton, Phil Hartman (portraying Clinton) waltzes into a McDonald’s shaking hands, discussing small business, kissing babies and answering foreign affairs questions with the assistance of fast food goer’s chicken nuggets, French fries and milkshakes.
6. Tom Brokaw Pre-Tapes Gerald Ford’s Obituary (1996)
Continuing to poke fun at President Gerald Ford, Tom Brokaw, played by Dana Carvey, covers some ludicrous death scenarios that Ford may experience while Brokaw is away on vacation.