Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

''Saturday Night Live'''s best political impersonations

”Saturday Night Live”’s best political impersonations — A rundown of the most memorable performances from Phil Hartman, Will Ferrell, and more

Posted on

Phil Hartman

as President Bill Clinton

Any discussion about SNL?s greatest all-time impressionists could do worse than begin — and perhaps end — with Phil Hartman. The late lamented comedian captured Clinton?s folksy charisma — as well as his appetites for everything from foreign-policy discussions to Egg McMuffins.

Dana Carvey

as President George H.W. Bush

Carvey?s grinning, wildly gesticulating, but rather coquettish Bush is a great example of an impression that basically became a character in its own right, thanks to Carvey?s exaggerated accent (”Notgonnadoit”) and mannerisms. He was also more lastingly memorable than the real thing.

Will Ferrell

as Janet Reno

No one did an impersonation of Janet Reno quite like Will Ferrell. Of course, we can?t think of anyone who actually tried. But who would have had the nerve, given the dominance of his freakish, booming, dance-party-obsessed portrayal of the attorney general?

Chevy Chase

as President Gerald Ford

Chevy Chase didn?t look or sound like Gerald Ford. He probably didn?t even fall over like him. But his tumbling idiot of a president captured and reinforced the notion, deserved or not, that Ford was not the sharpest tool in the soon-to-be-tripped-over box.