Another season of ‘SNL’ brings with it a new batch of political impressions from the cast and guest stars, including Jim Carrey playing Joe Biden in season 46. Take a look back at the stars who’ve played notable politicians on ‘SNL’ over the years.
Saturday Night Live has solidified itself as the place for political impressions. Over the years, your favorite stars and SNL cast members have taken on some of the biggest U.S. political figures. On Saturday Night Live, the comedians have made an art out of producing the most skewering political commentary through their expert impressions of the biggest government figures of the era.
Since Donald Trump became the President of the United States in 2016, Saturday Night Live has ramped up its political coverage big time. Now that we’re just weeks away from the 2020 presidential election and season 46 premieres Oct. 3, you know the sketch comedy series is going to take a whole new level. See the stars who have played politicians on Saturday Night Live.
Jim Carrey as Joe Biden
The iconic Jim Carrey, 58, is stepping in as the former Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, 77, for season 46. The legendary comedian showed off his Biden transformation in an SNL promo on Oct. 1. Jim is notoriously anti-Trump, so this should get really interesting.
Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump
Alec Baldwin, 62, will be back as the current POTUS for season 46. Alec first made his SNL debut as Trump in October 2016, just before Trump was elected. The 30 Rock alum has continued to make appearances over the last 4 years as Trump. Alec completely transforms into Trump — complete with a blonde wig, orange skin, and that signature pout. He also has nailed Trump’s infamous voice.
Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton
Kate McKinnon, 36, has played a number of political figures, and one of her most beloved impersonations is former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 72. She first started impersonating Hillary way back 2013, and we continuously saw Kate’s impression throughout the 2016 election. In the season 41 premiere, Hillary actually made an appearance in a sketch featuring Kate as Hillary. It was iconic.
Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris
Maya Rudolph, 48, is a master impersonator, and her most recent work as Kamala Harris, 55, is nothing short of spectacular. She recently won the 2020 Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for playing Kamala. The SNL alum will be returning for season 46 and reviving her Kamala impression. When Maya first started impersonating Kamala on SNL, Kamala was running for president, but now she’s Biden’s vice-presidential running mate. Maya and Jim are going to make a great team.
Larry David as Bernie Sanders
Larry David’s impersonation of Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, 79, is pure TV perfection. Larry, 73, nails every single aspect of the Bern, including his voice. Bernie may no longer be running for president, but we have a feeling we’ll see Larry back sometime in season 46. If you want to reminisce, the best Bernie sketch on SNL is definitely “Bern Your Enthusiasm,” which aired in 2016.
Kate McKinnon as Elizabeth Warren
Other than Hillary, one of Kate’s best political impersonations is of Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, 71. Kate first debuted her Elizabeth impression in 2017 and it quickly became a fan-favorite. She’s popped up a number of times, especially as SNL started covering the 2020 presidential election. During a March 2020 episode of SNL, Elizabeth actually made a surprise appearance and came face-to-face with her SNL doppelganger.
Cecily Strong as Melania Trump
Cecily Strong, 36, has appeared a number of times on SNL as Melania Trump, 50, alongside Alec Baldwin’s Donald and in individual sketches. Back in 2018, Cecily revealed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon that the First Lady actually likes her impression. “She pointed at me when she walked in, and then I think [Donald Trump] said, ‘She likes your impression,’” Cecily told Jimmy Fallon. “I heard through the grapevine that she watches the show and she likes it.”
Will Ferrell as George W. Bush
Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush is one of the most legendary political impersonations in SNL history. Will, 53, first started impersonating the 43rd president during the 2000 presidential campaign and into Bush’s first year as POTUS. Will had Bush’s Texas accent down pat, along with Bush’s go with the flow attitude. Will brought Bush back to SNL in 2018 for a memorable cold open.
Tina Fey as Sarah Palin
Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin impression is simply iconic. Tina, 50, appeared in the season 34 premiere as the Alaska governor, and the rest is history. Tina wowed viewers as she effortlessly adapted Palin’s mannerisms and accent. Tina won the 2009 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for portraying Sarah Palin, 56.
Beck Bennett as Mike Pence
Beck Bennett’s spoofs on Mike Pence, 61, have continued to be a bright spot on SNL. Beck imitates Pence perfectly, even capturing the Vice President’s stiffness a little bit too well. Beck’s Pence impression has appeared in a number of SNL cold opens over the years.
Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions
Honestly, there’s no political impression Kate McKinnon can’t do. Her Jeff Sessions, 73, impression is downright hilarious and terrifying. Kate completely transforms into the former U.S. Attorney General with that thick Southern drawl and white wig. Kate has fun with all of her impressions, and her Sessions impression is one of the best.
Melissa Villaseñor as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Melissa Villaseñor, 32, is one of the new SNL cast members, and she continues to prove why she is incredible at impressions. Melissa first took on U.S. congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 30, in 2019 and dazzled in the “Women of Congress” sketch. When AOC herself got a look at Melissa’s impression, she “loved” it!
Kate McKinnon as Ruth Bader Ginsburg
One of Kate’s most beloved impressions is that of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Kate channeled the best of the best of RBG on “Weekend Update” and in the “RBG Workout” sketch. Ruth died on March 15, 2020, at the age of 87. HollywoodLife learned EXCLUSIVELY about the future of Kate’s RBG impression. “She loved playing RBG on SNL, but right now, Kate would be more than happy to retire the character,” a source told HollywoodLife.
Jay Pharoah as Barack Obama
Jay Pharoah, 32, debuted his impression of former President Barack Obama, 59, in the season 38 premiere. Jay has nailed so many impressions over the years — his Kanye West impression remains supreme — and his impersonation of 44 is no different.
Kate McKinnon as Nancy Pelosi
Seriously, what would SNL be without Kate McKinnon? Her impression of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, 80, is spot-on. We don’t know how Kate transforms into all these politicians so effortlessly, but we’re glad she does!
Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer
Melissa McCarthy’s impression of former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, 49, was the biggest and best surprise of 2017. Melissa’s performance as Spicey became instantly iconic. Melissa went all-out to play Sean Spicer, even riding on a motorized podium through the streets of New York!