As presidential election season comes to a close, it’s probably safe to say that most of us could use a good laugh. Months upon months of attack ads, debates and snotty Facebook statuses from crazy, forgotten uncles have left many so exasperated that four years may not be enough to recover from this campaign season.
But before we give the bi-partisan bickering a not-so-fond farewell, let’s take a moment to relax and enjoy some of the more memorable political send-ups provided by Saturday Night Live over the years.
Al Gore and George W. Bush’s First Debate
Has it honestly been 12 years since the first debate between a vice president named Al Gore and a hot-shot Texas Governor named George W. Bush? Who could forget that magical event? Painful sighs from Gore, frequent mispronunciations from Bush, and an overall lackluster first impression made by both candidates are just a few of the night’s highlights.
But some good did come out of that ill-fated debate. SNL based one of its most memorable political bits ever of the debate. One-liners about strategery and lockboxes have well outlived national memory of the sketch as a whole, and the bit also established Will Ferrell as the definitive George W. Bush impersonator.
The Sarah Palin Network
In 2009, SNL alumnus Tina Fey famously reprised her eerily spot-on impression of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The bit imagined a Palin-run television network intended to rival Oprah Winfrey’s OWN channel.
Anyone who saw Palin’s TLC reality show probably didn’t have trouble believing that the former Alaskan governor could launch her own network with programming like Man in a Helicopter with a Sniper Rifle vs. Wild or Dancing with the Real Stars: America’s Small Business Owners. And it’s hard to say whether the existence of such a block of programming would be the most entertaining thing ever, or the most terrifying scenario imaginable.
George Bush at the Berlin Wall
To be perfectly honest, any of Dana Carvey’s appearances as former president George Bush could go on this list. Heck, for those of us born in the ‘80s, this caricature of George senior is almost as real as the actual “Bush 41.”
What made Carey’s impression so special was that he really didn’t have to say any actual jokes to get a big laugh. His cartoonish and fairly inaccurate delivery of the former president’s mannerisms was enough to carry these sketches. Just watch the video posted above and try not to laugh as Carvey simply describes the activity taking place on the green-screened image behind him.
Saturday Night Live airs every Saturday at 11:30 pm EST on NBC