Ranking the 7 funniest 'SNL' president skits throughout the years

Ranking the 7 funniest 'SNL' president skits throughout the years

Alec Baldwin's performance as President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live has earned him accolades from his fans and numerous angry tweets from Trump himself. The famous sketch comedy show has reaped plentiful material from the unpredictable commander in chief, with Alec Baldwin parodying his mannerisms and drawing material from his blatant sexism, apparent lack of preparation and ability to successfully do his job

Trump hasn't shied away from criticizing the show, even though it featured him as a guest host during his political campaign, and, with Baldwin scheduled to host on Feb. 11, viewers can expect even more parodies that will inevitably find their way under Trump's notoriously thin skin. But Trump is hardly the first elected official to be the target of Saturday Night Live's sketches. 

Below is a ranked collection of some of our favorite presidential parodies, starting with the very best. 

President Bill Clinton works the crowd at McDonalds 

Former President Bill Clinton's love of fast food was widely known, as was his charisma and ability to connect with the American people. Phil Hartman depicted that combination in this 1992 skit that showed Clinton stopping at McDonald's while out on a job because he wanted to "mingle with the American people" — and steal their food. Hartman portrays Clinton's charm as he effortlessly converses with diners at McDonald's and sneaks bites of their burgers and fries, while Secret Service agents unsuccessfully encourage him to order a salad. 

You can watch the sketch on the SNL website here.

President George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore discuss the election  

Following the controversial 2000 election's recounts and hanging chads, this skit poked fun at the media's obsessive "breaking news" reports, as well as former President George W. Bush's boyish immaturity and lack of preparation for the office. Played by Will Ferrell, Bush laments the recount as "a process rife with fraud and Democratic voodoo mind reading" and mistakenly reads his acceptance speech as a plea for help from his father, admitting that he did not expect to actually win. Then Darrell Hammond comes on as Al Gore, highlighting the candidate's perceived stiffness and lack of charisma as the two attempt to find common ground.  

You can watch the sketch on the SNL website here

President Ronald Reagan reveals his secret genius 

In this 1986 skit, Phil Hartman plays former President Ronald Reagan as a behind-the-scenes genius who only acts good-naturedly, slow and dim in public. Tireless, demanding and multi-lingual — and the only one who knows what is happening in his administration — he apparently has a room of brilliant colleagues hiding just off the Oval Office. Perhaps Donald Trump is employing a similar technique?  

You can watch the sketch on the SNL website here.

President Jimmy Carter takes calls from concerned citizens

Dan Aykroyd pokes fun at former President Jimmy Carter's earnest do-gooder attitude in this 1977 sketch. For the bit, Carter attempts to engage with the country by taking unscripted calls from his constituents on a radio show. He sincerely answers various questions, including advising a teenager panicking on an acid trip on how to come down, going so far as to suggest some gentle music to listen to. 

You can watch the sketch on the SNL website here.

President Richard Nixon markets his book

Dan Aykroyd took on the role of former President Richard Nixon the following year, in 1978. In this sketch, Nixon is promoting an autobiography about his time in the White House. Mimicking Nixon's walk and speech pattern, Aykroyd clearly has a fine time poking fun at the former president, who famously declared to the country, "I am not a crook." 

"When I was president, I did some bad things," he admits, urging people who have refused to purchase his work to take the plunge. "If you hate me, buy the book and kick it around. You don't have to read it... If you think I'm a crook, take it out on the book." 

You can watch the sketch on the SNL website here.

President Gerald Ford makes a mess

Chevy Chase's deadpan humor poked fun at President Gerald Ford's accident-prone reputation in this 1975 skit. He places phone receivers on the wrong hooks, drops charts on the floor and pours a glass of water on his lap, all the while giving a childish, defensive speech stating, "As President, I will change my mind whenever I want." 

You can watch the sketch on the SNL website here.

President Barack Obama gets drunk 

President Barack Obama's calm demeanor and focus on bipartisanship didn't provide a lot of material for comedic satire, but when you throw in a bottle of bourbon and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, played by Taran Killam, some laughs are inevitable. In this 2014 skit, Jay Pharoah captured Obama's measured way of speaking while tapping into the goofiness (and drunken snack cravings) that lay beneath the diplomatic exterior. 

You can watch the sketch on the SNL website here.

BONUS:

Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton talk sexism in the media


Amy Poehler and Tina Fey joined forces for this skit, which offered a blunt portrayal of sexism and double standards in political coverage, both between men and women and between Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton. Fey's depiction of Palin's clueless charm — complete with over-the-shoulder posing and some air guitar — and Poehler's determinedly fixed, jaw-clenched smile say it all. But there's plenty of hilarious writing in there as well, especially Poehler's delivery of the line "If I could change anything, I probably should have wanted it more." 

Hillary Clinton announces her candidacy 

Poehler's Hillary Clinton was a tough act to follow, but Kate McKinnon put on the pantsuit, strode into the role and made it her own. In this skit, when Clinton announces she is running for the presidency, McKinnon depicts Clinton's steely determination and impatience to get to work while attempting to "act natural" and "soft." McKinnon brilliantly pokes fun at how Clinton is perceived while also honoring her years of public service. And Darrell Hammond's cameo as Bill Clinton is a great bonus.