Glenn as Hillary, Meryl as Donald and More of Our Favorite Political Impersonations
Every election season is a gift not only to the spirit of democracy, but to the world of comedy.
From Saturday Night Live skits to late-night talk show bits, comedians revel in the goldmine of material as larger-than-life personalities compete for the American public’s trust. We look back at our favorite products of humor and politics’ ever-fruitful union.
Glenn Close as Hillary Clinton
Spoofing the musical A Chorus Line at the 2016 Tony Awards, Glenn Close stepped into Hillary Clinton‘s pantsuit for a brief turn as the presumptive Democratic nominee. “I really need this job,” she sang, performing the musical’s “I Hope I Get It.” “Please God, I need this job. I’ve got to get this job.” (James Corden dubbed the whole bit A Clinton Line.) Also phenomenal? Andrew Rannells’ Donald Trump.
Meryl Streep as Donald Trump
Someone call the Academy – it’s time for another Oscar for Streep. The actress took on the “role” of the Republican presidential nominee at the Shakespeare in the Park gala in N.Y.C., where she dueted with Christine Baranski (as Hillary Clinton) to the tune of “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” from Kiss Me Kate. Streep, with an orange face and over-the-top wig, was perfection as usual.
Will Ferrell as President George W. Bush
Ferrell gave his classic SNL impersonation the attention it deserved in the 2009 one-man Broadway show You’re Welcome America – A Final Night with George W. Bush. In the play, “Bush” recounted his life leading up to and in the Oval Office, including his rambunctious days at Yale.
Larry David as Bernie Sanders
After last week’s debate, the world realized why Bernie Sanders had seemed so familiar all this time: he’s actually just Larry David. David was part of a spot-on SNL ensemble that included Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton (more on that later) and Alec Baldwin as Jim Webb. Every line David dropped as Sanders was funnier than the next.
Tina Fey as Sarah Palin
Fey’s Palin just might have been the highlight of the 2008 presidential race. The beloved funny-woman already had an uncanny resemblance to the vice presidential hopeful and her immaculate take on Palin’s mannerisms took it over the edge. Her parody of the Alaska governor’s interview with Katie Couric (Amy Poehler) was particularly memorable.
Jimmy Fallon as Donald Trump
We got to see just how perfect Fallon’s go at the most-impersonated person of the moment is when he performed it face-to-face with the man himself. Before that, Fallon captured Trump’s narcissism and unapologetic response to the Megyn Kelly controversy.
Darrell Hammond as President Bill Clinton
Hammond drew from an arsenal of politician parodies during his time on SNL. The comedian took on Dick Cheney, John McCain and Al Gore, proving that the political landscape was truly his own personal playground. But Hammond’s coverage of America’s 42nd president is probably his most iconic, and makes a great excuse for him to keep going back to SNL for more.
Jay Pharoah as President Barack Obama
The young SNL star’s Obama voice is almost scarily convincing, from his well-placed “uhs” to his flawless tone. When he joined SNL in 2010, America got the Obama impersonator it deserved. Here, a vindicated Obama reacts to his re-election.
Jon Stewart as President George W. Bush
As hilarious as he was, Ferrell didn’t hold a monopoly on Bush-isms. The longtime host of The Daily Show always made sure to sneak in dead-on Bush affectations while recounting the news of the day during his presidency. Squinty-eyed impressions are high up on the list of the many things we miss about the former fake news anchor.
Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton
McKinnon continues to perfect her Clinton act as the presidential race chugs on. Hammond joined her as Bill in an April sketch about the hopeful’s campaign announcement, which the actress nailed. And McKinnon’s admirable impersonation really shined when the candidate herself joined her on the SNL stage as a carefree bartender named Val. We can’t wait to see what the sketch-master has in store for this weekend’s recap of the Benghazi hearings.
Related Video: Senator Bernie Sanders Reacts to Larry David’s Epic SNL Impersonation