Election Day is just around the corner, next week, with a race to become the next POTUS between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
I am not a political analyst, so what I can do is make a ranking of the best presidents on TV, as there have been several unforgettable portrayals both on comedy and sketches, as on Drama Television, and even on Sci-Fi.
Top Ten Best Presidents on TV
1- President Jed Bartlet – The West Wing:
The best President on a TV Show must be Martin Sheen´s rendition of Josiah Bartlet in The West Wing.
This Aaron Sorkin TV series is one of the best TV Shows ever, starting in 1999 was one of the first HBO bets in terms of pushing the envelop with a television series.
It also had an amazing cast headlined by Allison Janney, John Spencer, Bradley Whitford, Richard Schiff, Rob Lowe, Stockard Channing and a very young Dulé Hill.
2- President Barack Obama – Key & Peele:
Jordan Peele´s rendition of President Barack Obama in this sketch show is spot on and very funny. Having Keegan-Michael Key portraying Luther, his anger management translator is what brings this presidential rendition all the way to top 2 on our list of Presidents on TV. Comedy Central has today´s best president on TV.
3- President Mackenzie Allen – Commander in Chief:
Geena Davis played the first ever woman to get to the oval office as the President of the United States of America. The time for that to become reality can´t be so far from happening. As Mrs Hilary Clinton was almost the Democrats´ candidate in 2008. Geena Davis excelled once again in this role. She was joined by Donald Sutherland, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Harry Lennix among others.
Too bad it didn´t last longer.
4- Richard Pryor – The Richard Pryor Show:
It was 1977 when the incredible Richard Pryor dreamed of a Black President in the office and did a skit in his sketch show. Times were different back then. Fortunately the United States of America caught up to those dreams of Dr Luther King and Mr Richard Pryor.
This great of greats ever comedian is one we sorely miss.
5- George W Bush´s portrayals – Saturday Night Live:
The first one who tackled him was Will Ferrell, then Chris Parnell, Darrell Hammond, Will Forte and finally Jason Sudeikis.
Each played him differently, and audiences probably have one as the favorite among the rest. Perhaps Will Ferrel´s was the most celebrated, I personally preferred Forte´s. To each his own. All in all, a classic character.
6- Bill Clinton on Saturday Night Live – darrell hammond:
The previous President to George W Bush was Bill Clinton, and he was portrayed a gazillion times by everybody, comedic actor or not. The most memorable, was Darrel Hammond´s on Saturday Night Live.
Hammond appeared 68 times on the show as President Bill Clinton, standing quite afar from the other castmembers who also played him: Phil Hartman, Michael McKean and Dana Carvey.
7- President David Palmer – Dennis Haysbert – 24:
Dennis Haysbert played an amazing President Palmer on 24. If you don´t remember how good he was, let me remind you with this quote:
Vice President Jim Prescott: If military strikes do not occur imminently casualties to American soldiers will increase by tens of thousands of lives. That analysis is undisputed.
President Palmer: The risk of attacking innocent countries is unacceptable. We have to be sure.
Vice President Jim Prescott: Everybody is sure, Mr. President. Everybody but you.
President Palmer: Well, as it happens, I’m the only one who counts.
8- President Nathan Petrelli – Adrian Pasdar – Heroes
We only saw him as President in a potential future timeline of Heroes. But that was enough for the show to launch a campaign called Vote Petrelli that overtook the social media space, making it a very interesting case study in terms of viralized campaigns for TV shows.
We mostly saw Nathan Petrelli as a Congressman, but we knew he was on the future timeline in the oval office back when Heroes was a show on TV, back when it was still a good one.
9- President Elias Martínez – Blair Underwood – The Event:
Much like Bill Pullman on Independence Day and Jack Nicholson on Mars Attacks; Blair Underwood´s President Elias Martinez was responsible for leading the US during a visit from aliens, with different outcomes for each.
The show was shortlived and only lasted 22 episodes, but his presidential portrayal was awesome enough to put him on this list.
10- President Fitzgerald Grant – Tony Goldwyn – Scandal:
This is the president with the least amount of episodes on his back making it to this list; but between Shonda Rhimes pen and Goldwyn´s performance, it´s well deserved.
Sometimes he is likable, sometimes he´s not. That´s very tough to achieve on a TV show.
What do you think? Who is your favorite TV President? Is he/she on this list? Who did I miss? Head to the comments.
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