Top 10 SNL Political Sketches

Lily Dolin
  1. “Bill, Saddam and Monica Have a Three-Way Call”

Darrell Hammond is arguably one of the best impersonators Saturday Night Live has ever had, and definitely one of the best Bill Clinton impersonators. His slight southern accent, boyish confidence and solid thumbs up create a spot on impression that is on full display in this sketch, featuring a three way call between Clinton, Saddam Hussein and Monica Lewinsky. This skit isn’t the funniest but gets points for featuring a spot on Clinton impression, and an always funny Will Ferrell.

  1. George W. Bush Addresses His and Dick Cheney’s Health

After Dick Cheney was hospitalized for heart pains, Will Ferrell delivered an address to the nation as George Bush, reassuring America that his health results were perfect, and that Cheney was not going anywhere. Ferrell’s spot on southern drawl and baggy impression make this sketch one to watch.

  1. Democratic Debate Cold Open

Remember the days when there were five Democratic presidential candidates? It seems like so long ago. This very funny sketch portrays the debate between the five Democrats, including Jim Webb (remember him?) played by Alec Baldwin, and one of the best Bernie Sanders impersonations to date, given by the amazing Larry David. With a chain-smoking Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon) Hillary and a neurotic Bernie, this sketch clenches the number eight spot.

  1. The Undecided Voters

Who were the undecided voters of the 2012 election? SNL takes a stab at that question, making fun of the people who, as the election approached, hadn’t made up their minds. These voters ask the important questions, like “when is the election?” and “can women vote?” Featuring an ensemble cast, this memorable sketch is heavy on humor and politics.

  1. Capitol Hill Cold Open

Most people can fondly recall their times sitting in a cramped middle school classroom, listening to “Schoolhouse Rock!”  Those videos taught American children about conjunctions, the number eight and the congressional lawmaking process. But, as SNL points out in this hilarious skit featuring Kenan Thompson, sometimes chain smoking executive orders come around and kick bills off the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building.

  1. Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer

Sean Spicer may be gone from the White House, but Melissa McCarthy’s impression of him will live on forever. She does an amazing job of capturing Spicer’s hostility toward the press, complete with snarky comments, visual aids and a water gun. Later performances include a motorized podium so iconic, the real Spicer replicated it while performing at the Emmys.

  1. 2012 Vice Presidential Debate

People might not have tuned in to watch Joe Biden debate Paul Ryan in 2012, but they probably watched SNL parody the exchange. With incredible performances by Jason Sudeikis (Biden) and Taran Killiam (Ryan), this sketch is one of the best things to come out of the 2012 election. The show makes fun of everything from Biden’s laid back demeanor to Ryan’s annoyingly prominent widow’s peak in a well written sketch that lands the number four spot.

  1. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Town Hall Debate Cold Open

Baldwin and Kate McKinnon absolutely deserved their Emmys. This sketch is almost perfect. The caricatures of both candidates are extreme but believable as the candidates themselves were extreme. One of the best moments in the sketch comes when Baldwin stalks McKinnon to the tune of the “Jaws” soundtrack. It’s both sadly realistic and funny.

  1. Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton Address the Nation

SNL has never been the same since Tina Fey and Amy Poehler left. Those queens of comedy always knew how to make the audience laugh, evident in their impersonations of Sarah Palin (Fey) and Hillary Clinton (Poehler). Most people may not know all that much about the former Alaskan governor, but they probably know, thanks to Fey, that she can see Russia from her house. This skit is hilarious and accurate, and it is perhaps one of the best skits SNL has done to date.

  1. Votes for Trump Ad

This might not be one of the funniest sketches SNL has ever done, but it definitely was one of the most political. The show doesn’t stop short of calling Trump supporters racist, instead it outwardly portrays his base as white supremacists, KKK members and conspiracy theorists. Whatever your political beliefs, this sketch was pretty daring in its declarations, and that’s why it’s the number one political sketch in recent SNL history.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Oct. 5 print edition. Email Lily Dolin at [email protected] 

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