From Chevy Chase's bumbling commander in chief to Tina Fey's dim-witted veep wannabe, political satire always has been a part of Saturday Night Live. And over its 39 seasons, actual politicians have clamored to be in on the joke. President Ford, running for a second term against a peanut farmer named Jimmy Carter, appeared on the show's very first season, in April 1976, to deliver the cold open ("Live from New York, it's Saturday night!"). Since then, presidents, first ladies and candidates of all stripes have made campaign stops at Studio 8H.
For a time, after 9/11, the cast and writers gave politics a rest. As Amy Poehler recalls, "The news was so bad [we] could barely do anything political." But political humor made a roaring comeback with the 2008 election.