Best of the SNL Presidents

Saturday Night Live has been the go-to source for politcal satire since it’s inception in the mid-70’s. A lot of pundits speculate that SNL has a significant impact on the way undecided voters pick thier candidate. Either way, SNL has been a surreal voice of reason, while skewering the issues of the day. 

So we here at CRAVE though we would share some of our favorite SNL presidential sketches from Chevy Chase’s Gerald Ford right up until Fred Armisen’s Barack Obama. 

Thanks to SNL for decades of great laughs and remeber DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!


1. Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford. 

During it’s first year, Chevy Chase tackled then-president Ford. At the time during its starting years, SNL was pretty much made up as it went along and the Ford sketches do a great job of capturing the vibe of the freshman show along with laying the groundwork for future SNL politcal themes:


2. Dan Aykroyd as Jimmy Carter. 

As the show started to gain momentum the cast members and writers began to get more comfortable with the flow of live TV. Aykroyd’s Carter is a great example of a taking a single quirk of a President as a charming midwestern huckster and exploiting it hilarious levels: 


3. Phil Hartman as Ronald Reagan.

The early to mid eighties were an odd time for SNL, especially after Dick Embersol took over the show. During that time numerous people stepped in to fill the role of conservative champion Ronald Reagan such as Joe Piscopo, Randy Quaid, and Robin Williams. Though none of them shine through as much as SNL ultility player Phil Hartman:


4. Dana Carvey as George H.W. Bush. 

Dana Carvy’s awesome impression of George Bush Sr. got people talking again about the politcal parody that SNL was known for (even during the first Iraq war). The president himself stated that he thought the impression was funny:


5. Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton:

Now it’s hard to choose between Phil Hartman’s Clinton and Hammond’s Clinton as both are wonderfully hilarious. But with the tragic passing of Hartman, Hammond was able to step up and take the presidential character to new levels:


6. Will Ferrell as George W. Bush:

Though W. has been played by greats like Jason Sudeikis, Chris Parnell, and Will Forte, there is no denying that Will Ferrell is the master of this cock-sure redneck president: 


7. Fred Armisen as Barack Obama:

The future of this character is up in the air (and at the time of this writing, to be played by SNL sophmore, Jay Pharoh), though we’ll throwback to Amrisen’s Obama, because he hasn’t let us down yet: