American presidents don’t just affect war, peace, and Wall Street. They influence important stuff like movies, music, and television. Over the decades, our Commanders-in-Chief have shaped our idea of ourselves and inspired optimism, cynicism, and even some sitcoms. EW looks back at presidential pop culture.
1961-1963: John F. Kennedy
In JFK’s day, Doris Day was queen. Camelot was king. And everything seemed possible. Also: Peanuts, West Side Story.
1969-1974: Richard M. Nixon
He destroyed public trust in the presidency, but some of the best films of the 20th century were made during his reign. Pretty tricky, Dick. Also: The Godfather, Tony Orlando & Dawn, All in the Family, The Exorcist.
1981-1989: Ronald Reagan
He presided over Rambo, Madonna, the Brat Pack, and unapologetic patriotism. Also: The Cosby Show, Top Gun, Rubik’s Cube, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Lee Iacocca.
1993-2001: William Jefferson Clinton
Like his presidency, it was a mixed bag: Backstreet Boys, Titanic, and the rise of reality TV. Also: Titanic, The West Wing, Who Moved My Cheese?, Julia Roberts, ‘N Sync.
2001-2009: George W. Bush
Are you his Facebook friend? Thank him for American Idol, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and 50 Cent. Also: Carrie Underwood, The Dark Knight, Jarhead, 24, Guitar Hero.