Sarah Palin (Tina Fey)
If you had a Mt. Rushmore of SNL political impersonations, this would be right smack dab in the middle of it. Fey would be the first to tell you that she was not an inherently skilled impressionist. But she was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time, and with the right take on the most polarizing political candidate of the 2008 election. The show didn't even have to invent most of its satirical dialogue: Oftentimes, simply having Fey repeat what Palin said during the week was enough. (And her delivery of "And I can see Russia from my house!" made it a bona fide comic slam dunk.) You could feel the show shaping how people viewed the political "maverick" from week to week, one folksy, incomprehensible going-rogue statement at a time.