Top 12 Presidential/Vice Presidential Candidates on SNL

These are the Top 12 Presidential or Vice Presidential Candidates as portrayed by the brilliant cast of Saturday Night Live. 


#12.  Darrell Hammond as John McCain

 In the fifteen years that Hammond spent on SNL he perfected many impressions.  McCain was one of them.  He portrayed McCain with a soothing voice and a friendly demeanor, only trying to do what is best for America, my friend.  McCain showed a lot of courage himself by appearing on SNL several times, even hosting the show in 2002.


Classic Sketch: McCain Approves Cold Open    Season 34  Episode 2



#11.  Phil Hartman as Ronald Reagan


 Phil Hartman had just started on SNL when he did his Reagan impersonation.  We knew then that he was a force to be reckoned with.  Hundreds of characters later, his Ronald Reagan is still considered one of his best.


Classic Sketch:  President Reagan:Mastermind  Season 12 Episode 6


 #10.  Jason Sudeikis as Joe Biden

I’m not sure people really thought that Joe Biden could be an interesting character, but Jason made him so.  The loud talking, ever smiling Biden that Sudeikis created made him very enjoyable. 

Classic Sketch:  VP Debate Biden/Palin Cold Open  Season 34  Episode 4


 #9.  Dan Aykroyd as Jimmy Carter


 Aykroyd’s Jimmy Carter was very popular in the late 70’s.  It was a time when making fun of the president was something new that we hadn’t seen done that much before.  His character of Jimmy Carter came off as a laid back president who wants to be just is like every other American.

Classic Sketch:  Ask President Carter  Season 2  Episode 16




#8.  Fred Armisen as Barack Obama

 Fred has had an array of characters during his time on the show, and he stepped into Obama’s shoes with ease.  He has his quick cutting talk and hand gestures down pat.  Obama hasn’t been featured as much as some other presidents have but every time Fred takes him on, it is perfect.

 Classic Sketch:  Democratic Debate #2  Season 33  Episode 6





#7.  Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton

 Amy’s hard driven Hillary was a joy to follow, especially through the 2008 election.  Her sparring with Palin, Obama and even husband Bill was so much fun to watch.  Even Clinton herself came on SNL  in a great sketch featuring Amy playing  Hillary along side the real Hillary. 


Classic Sketch:  Palin/Hillary Cold Open   Season 34 Episode 1



 #6.  Dana Carvey as Ross Perot

 Dana pulled off a double duty stint during the ’92 election season.  Not only did he play George Bush Sr., but he also played one of his opponents Ross Perot.  Perot didn’t need much help making himself funny, a little man with a big nose and twangy southern voice gave Dana a lot of material to work with.  The fact that this rich millionaire was running for president made it all that more amusing.

Classic Sketch: Joyride with Perot    Season 18 Episode 4




#5.  Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford

 In 1975, Chevy Chase started out playing Ford as a klutzy dimwit.  This grew throughout the year and each skit saw him more bumbling and more foolish than the next.  It was a great showcase for Chevy’s physical comedy. 

Classic Sketch:  Christmas Eve at the White House   Season 1 Episode 8




#4.  Tina Fey as Sarah Palin


 Tina Fey was basically hand-picked by the audience to play this role.  She had since left SNL, but when Sarah Palin was first brought into the limelight no one could deny the resemblance.  It was huge when she decided to come back to portray the Alaskan Governor.  People went crazy, as they should have, Fey had Palin’s accent, mannerisms and winks all down to a tee.

Classic Sketch:  Couric/Palin Cold Open  Season 34 Episode 3



#3.  Phil Hartman as Bill Clinton

 Bill Clinton gave a lot of material to Phil Hartman to work with, and he took it and ran with it.  Phil’s portrayal of Clinton was a cool, smooth talking guy.  The laid back President often fought off the ladies while rolling his eyes at Hillary.  The 1992 Election between Bush/Clinton/Perot made for some classic sketches as well as the Monica Lewinsky scandal.  It was a great time for SNL. 

Classic Sketch:  Clinton at McDonald’s   Season 18 Episode 8



#2.  Dana Carvey as George Bush Sr.

 Dana Carvey’s George Bush is almost more famous than the man himself.  His imitation became a pop culture staple in the early 90’s. Carvey brought out Bush’s funny phrases and quirks in a way that made him such an iconic character.  “Wouldn’t be Prudent” and “Thousand points of Light” were just a couple of the memorable lines that Carvey uttered while in office.

 Classic Sketch:  Debate ’92  Season 18 Episode 3






#1.  Will Ferrell as George W. Bush

Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush was a hilarious impression of a president way out of his league.  The southern drawl and the complex words (Strategery) were a few of the things Ferrell nailed.  In a time when Bush was being ridiculed and made fun of by everyone, it was nice to see that SNL was right there with us.

Classic Sketch:   The First Presidential Debate  Season 26 Episode 1


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