25 of the Best Political Impersonations on Saturday Night Live

Credit: SNL/NBC
Credit: SNL/NBC /
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10. Beck Bennett as Vladimir Putin

Beck Bennett has played quite a lot of characters over his time at SNL. From random guys in sketches to himself in a game show about Benedict Cumberbatch, he seems to be everywhere. But most recently he’s gotten acclaim for his take on the Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Not that he does a perfect Putin. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one single picture of Putin with his shirt off wearing nothing except a gold cross. But just the way he plays Putin makes us always remember everything he says.

In a lot of these impressions, it is hard to remember every moment. But with Beck, most of us can recite a lot of his lines as Putin because he’s just that good. To test the waters (seemingly), the show did a cold open with Putin addressing the American public.

Most assumed it was to see if the Putin caricature could hold up on its own whenever Alec Baldwin couldn’t play Trump. To the audiences joy and SNL’s (probably) delight, the cold open did extremely well. And that mainly has to do with Beck and his portrayal.

Again, it isn’t that it is even remotely anything like Putin. His impression of the president is just what we, as Americans, view him as and it works for the show’s purpose. If we see someone making fun of a man most Americans hate, we can freely laugh about it.