4. Dubya throws his hat back into the ring on SNL (NBC)
Saturday Night Live has already scored a couple of coups this election season: getting Hillary Clinton play a bartender in a sketch with Kate McKinnon; calling on Larry David to do a Bernie Sanders impression so spot-on that it’s now impossible not to hum the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme every time the candidate appears on television. (And then there was the whole “Donald Trump hosting” thing, which was … not the show’s finest hour.) But on Saturday, the late-night show pulled off maybe its best presidential surprise yet, in a cold opening that reintroduced “the people’s politician”: Will Ferrell playing George W. Bush. For five glorious minutes, the former SNL MVP brought back his halting Texas accent, to do what amounted to a celebrity roast of the leading Republican candidates, from Rubio to Cruz. (“Sounds like a Miami law firm. If you’ve been injured on the job, call Rubio and Cruz.”)
The bit had everything Ferrell fans love about his Dubya: He flashed some smug frat-boy swagger while mocking his “brother” Jeb’s new exclamation point (“I don’t like the taste of broccoli, but it doesn’t get any tastier if you call it ‘Broccoli!'”). And he even threw in a random comment about Tex-Mex food, saying, “I enjoy the slow-roasted carnitas at Chevy’s. Laura always orders the Baja Sampler with the blue crab enchiladas.” In short: It was a terrific old-school SNL sketch, and one predicated on the somewhat discomfiting idea that if G.W. really did run for president again, he’d be more appealing than anyone else the G.O.P. have to offer right now.