Entertainment

Saturday Night Live’s greatest presidential impersonations [SLIDESHOW]

Throughout its 37 seasons, “Saturday Night Live” has given the American public some great laughs. From the Killer Bees to Stefon, SNL is full of hilarious acts, but it always seems the show’s greatest moments come during election season.

With the 2012 presidential election right around the corner, here The Daily Caller’s picks for the best impressions of presidential (and even a couple vice presidential) candidates.

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  • Darrell Hammond's Bill Clinton impersonation gave SNL some of its greatest moments during the 1990s. Hammond played Clinton as a lovable philanderer with a not-so-secret dislike of his wife and perfectly-timed thumbs up.
  • Tina Fey looked so much like 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin that it was sometimes hard to tell them apart. Fey's impersonation was the most popular of the 2008 election, as she depicted Palin as a foxy former beauty queen who didn't always know what was going on.
  • Five SNL cast members attempted to impersonate George W. Bush after Will Ferrell departure in 2002, but none had the success Ferrell achieved as a bumbling, snickering Dubyah. Ferrell's best Bush moment came in the "Axis of Evil" skit, a group that SNL's Bush described as "Iran, Iraq and one of them Koreas."
  • Amy Poehler was so spot-on as 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton trying to bust through the glass ceiling that the real Clinton even thought so herself. Poehler's best moment came during a sketch with Tina Fey's Sarah Palin in which Poehler's Clinton showed bitter disappointment at not being the Democratic candidate.
  • Darrell Hammond and Dana Carvey are the only SNL cast members to appear on this list twice, which is no surprise given Carvey's hilarious George H.W. Bush impression. As the elder Bush, Carvey won laughs with catchphrases such as "“Stay the course” and “wouldn’t be prudent.”
  • Darrell Hammond's Dick Cheney was rough, tough and just a little creepy.  Hammond perfectly captured Cheney's one-sided smile and garnered tons of laughs with his patronizing interactions with Will Ferrell's George W. Bush.
  • Norm MacDonald spent most of his time at SNL hosting "Weekend Update," but his Bob Dole act was a standout. MacDonald depicted Dole as hard in a grandfatherly way, speaking about himself in the third person and always gripping a pin unnecessarily.
  • Ross Perot was, at times, hilarious simply by being himself. Dana Carvey's repetition of "Can I finish?" when parodying the independent candidate always won laughs. Carvey donned a fake nose and always excelled in fake SNL presidential debates.
  • Phil Hartman was a man among boys when it came to impersonating celebrities, and his Ronald Reagan was no different. Hartman's tenure as the president came years before Reagan's eventual Alzheimer's announcement, but Hartman's Reagan was always sweetly forgetful and debonair.
  • Dan Akyroyd's Jimmy Carter was not the first SNL presidential impersonation, but it far exceeded Chevy Chase's attempt at Gerald Ford. Akyroyd had Carter's deep Georgia accent down, and his shining moment came during the sketch "Ask President Carter", when the fake Jimmy tried to talk a teenager down from a bad trip.