National Post (Latest Edition)

The right impression

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE STILL KNOWS HOW TO PUT THE SPICE INTO ITS POLITICAL SPOOFS

- Bethonie Butler

Jim Carrey as Joe Biden? Alrighty then. The comedian will spoof the Democratic U. S. presidenti­al nominee on the upcoming season of Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels, the show’s longtime executive producer, told Vulture.

Michaels also confirmed that Alec Baldwin will return as U. S. President Donald Trump — despite the actor’s repeated insistence he hates the gig — and Maya Rudolph will reprise her impression of vice-presidenti­al nominee Kamala Harris.

This week’s announceme­nt continues the sketch comedy’s new tradition of inviting non-snl cast members to regularly portray political figures. Here’s a look at some of the show’s most memorable impression­s, ranked from good to great:

10. Jason Sudeikis as Joe Biden

Sudeikis, an SNL alum, is Carrey’s predecesso­r when it comes to playing Biden — and he does a fine job playing the politician as a smooth- talking, salt- of- theearth fellow. “The teeth do a lot of work there for me,” Sudeikis joked to Stephen Colbert, referring to the large smile that accompanie­s his portrayal. But truth be told, we preferred him playing Mitt Romney, the former Massachuse­tts governor — a long- running gig Sudeikis held before leaving the show in 2013.

9. Rachel Dratch as Amy Klobuchar

Dratch — who made her Klobuchar debut during SNL’S parody of Brett Kavanaugh’s public Senate Judiciary hearing — was a natural fit to play the U. S. senator from Minnesota. “You get a call out of the blue, like, you kind of look like this person, so I was like ‘ Yes, finally!,’” Dratch recalled on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live. But the SNL alum says there really isn’t a trick to the impression. “It’s largely the wig and the look,” she said.

8. Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump

Baldwin may hate parodying Trump on SNL, but viewers love it. When Baldwin hosted the show toward the end of Trump’s first year as president, the show earned its biggest ratings in six years.

7. Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris

Many SNL fans had Rudolph in mind to play Harris long before the SNL alum made her debut as the U. S. senator from California. When she appeared last September, in a spoof of a CNN Town Hall, Rudolph nailed Harris’s cadence. Viewers loved Rudolph’s take on Harris so much that the comedian’s name started trending after Biden named Harris as his running- mate. Rudolph, who happened to be taping an Entertainm­ent Weekly panel at the time, declared the choice as “spicy.”

6. Matt Damon as Brett Kavanaugh

Damon first appeared as the now Supreme Court justice on SNL’S season première in September 2018. It was a surprise, and you could hear the audience’s shock when Damon first appeared, but it quickly turned to excitement as Damon made a few Kavanaugh- esque facial expression­s. And when the actor started talking in a volatile baritone (“I’m a keg- half- full kind of guy!”) the audience was fully on board.

5. Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton

We’re used to Kate McKinnon’s gold- star impression of Clinton, but it was Poehler who first captured the role during her time on SNL. She has returned a few times since leaving the show in 2008 — most notably, appearing opposite McKinnon’s Clinton in a sketch that found Clinton talking to a younger version of herself.

4. Larry David as Bernie Sanders

Who better to play the delightful­ly cranky Brooklyn native than another delightful­ly cranky Brooklyn native who happens to bear a passing resemblanc­e to the U. S. senator from Vermont? After David began parodying Sanders on the show, the two found out — via Henry Louis Gates Jr. — that they are distant cousins.

3. Melissa Mccarthy as Sean Spicer

When SNL needed someone to portray the bumbling White House press secretary, Mccarthy stepped into the role. Trump reportedly loathed the impression — largely because Spicer was being played by a woman. It probably didn’t help that the Emmy- winning portrayal often found Mccarthy referring to herself as “Spicey.”

2. Will Ferrell as George W. Bush

Like Poehler, Ferrell first tackled playing the 43rd president while a cast member on SNL. But he has reprised the role several times since leaving the show in 2002. In 2018, as Bush’s approval rating soared, he returned to Saturday Night Live to remind his “fellow Americans” that he had been “really bad, like, historical­ly not good” as president. Ferrell also made the character the centre of a Broadway play.

1. Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

How good was Tina Fey as Sarah Palin? Well, Palin never actually said “I can see Russia from my house,” but a fair amount of people thought she did. No, that would be her SNL doppelgäng­er, who returned to her old stomping grounds at the request of the internet, basically. Fey signed on after a number of people noted the physical resemblanc­e between her and Palin.

 ?? Dana Edelson / NBC ?? Among the top-notch impression­s that have left their mark on Saturday Night Live over the years
are Tina Fey’s Gov. Sarah Palin, left, and Will Ferrell’s president George W. Bush.
Dana Edelson / NBC Among the top-notch impression­s that have left their mark on Saturday Night Live over the years are Tina Fey’s Gov. Sarah Palin, left, and Will Ferrell’s president George W. Bush.

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