Yes, he's the actor who became President. However, many of these jokes don't work very well, because when his political career commenced in 1966 he was only the "former actor who's running for Governor of California"; after he vacated that office, he became known as the "former two-term Republican Governor of California who's running for President." Which is a kind of scary concept, if you're unfamiliar with the clause which excludes all foreign-born people from becoming President.Actually, people today will more likely know Ronald Wilson Reagan as the conservative guy who was President in The Eighties. You either love or hate him: If you see someone in a film or TV show talking about how great Reagan was, then it's a surefire indication that the character (or his/her writer) is a Republican. In fact, most Republicans will couple him with Lincoln and Washington when they talk about their favorite presidents. Conversely, if you see someone in a film or TV show disparaging Reagan, expect the character (or writer) to hold mainly left-of-center beliefs (though Democrats do exist who think fondly of him, known as "Blue Dogs" or "Reagan Democrats", and there are also self-described conservatives who dislike him, mostly for his support for policies that they do not think are conservative). British media substitute Margaret Thatcher for Reagan to precisely the same effect. Reagan's other use in popular culture is to evoke The Eighties, so expect him to be referenced in anything set in a Popular History version of that decade.Reagan is known for the demand, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Funnily enough, he started off as a Democrat, casting his first four presidential ballots for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a fact he would joke about in later life, saying that he didn't leave the Democratic Party — it left him.He beat Jimmy Carter in the 1980 election by a popular vote margin of just under ten percentage points, although he only got 50.7% of the popular vote due to a losing Republican primary candidate, John Bayard Anderson, running as a more moderate independent. The Electoral College victory was more emphatic (489 votes for Reagan, 49 for Carter, 0 for Anderson). He was, and still is, the oldest man to hold the office of president, taking office just seventeen days shy of his 70th birthday and serving a full two terms. He is also the first president elected in a year ending in 0 who did not die in office since James Monroe (who was reelected in 1820), though he did come scarily close.A man obsessed with Jodie Foster (and who wanted to be as famous as her) shot Reagan in 1981, possibly in imitation of Travis Bickle. Reagan wasn't actually aware that he had been shot for several minutes. He also was cracking jokes on his way to the hospital — one can only imagine the look on Nancy Reagan's face as he said, "Honey, I forgot to duck." His most notable line, however, was telling his surgeons, "I hope you're all Republicans!" (The chief surgeon, a liberal Democrat, is said to have answered "Today, Mr. President, we're all Republicans".)The 1984 victory over Democratic candidate Walter Mondale (previously Carter's second in command) was the second-largest electoral beatdown in U.S. historynote after FDR's first reelection in 1936 — a 49-state landslide, with Mondale only winning his home state of Minnesota (and even then, by a small margin) and Washington DC.It was during Reagan's time in office that AIDS was recognized. It is widely alleged the he did little about it until his friend and fellow actor Rock Hudson died from AIDS. In reality, Reagan inaugurated federal action on AIDS research and treatment in 1981, allocating half a billion dollars in the years prior to Hudson's death, with over 5 billion*
All told, $10.6 billion in 2012 dollars
more coming in the years following.Late in his life, Reagan began succumbing to Alzheimer's Disease. The time and speed of its onset is somewhat contended, especially as to how much of his tenure as president was possibly compromised by it. As a result, the most well-known satirical portrayal of Reagan is as a bumbling Cloudcuckoolander or, at the very least, a doddering old man.This particularly applies to the Iran-Contra scandal, where Reagan stated on a number of questions regarding that scheme (which in essence was "sell arms to Iran illegally so they'll help ensure the release of American hostages in Lebanon, then use the proceeds to buy weapons for a Nicaraguan rebel group Congress has barred us from arming") that he couldn't remember the relevant meetings.Reagan's era saw Peace Through Superior Firepower reach its greatest apex which helped end of the Cold War (although it is still hotly debated how much his influence hastened the collapse of the already wobbling USSR); he got essentially everything he wanted in the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty and liberation of Eastern Europe, followed years later by the collapse of the Soviet Union. How much of it was a direct result of his actions is debatable (see above).Appropriately enough for a former actor, Reagan was very much in touch with the popular culture of the time, and became known as the "Great Communicator" for his speaking skills. He called the Soviet Union an evil Empire, and quoted Back to the Future (he reportedly found the above lines from that movie quite amusing) in a State of the Union Address. His favorite television show was Family Ties, which may or may not be related to the fact that one of the show's lead characters admired Reagan. Ironically, in private, he and Gorbachev became good friends, and this helped thaw U.S.-Soviet relations leading into George H.W. Bush's term.He has an aircraft carrier, as well as quite a few other things, named after him. He is the first former President to benefit from an organized project to polish his presidential legacy after the fact. Grover Norquist's "Reagan Legacy Project" lists, among its goals, getting at least one major landmark in every state named after him, and at one point launched a campaign to get his image on the $10 bill, until it was discovered that legislation (signed into law by Reagan himself!) requires a person to have been dead for 50 years before they can appear on U.S. currency. He passed away in June of 2004 and, thus, is currently (until June 2054) ineligible. However, in 2005, the Presidential Dollar Coin act provided for the release of dollar coinage featuring all the presidents who were in office up to that point and died at least two years before the issuing of their coinage. Reagan's coin is scheduled for 2016. (This maybe considered less valuable since one-dollar coins have never been particularly popular in the United States). Humorously Republican Reagan, the oldest man ever elected president was one of two fully Irish-American presidents (as opposed to being "of Irish descent", of which there are eleven Presidents in total, including Barack Obama), the other being Democrat John F. Kennedy, the youngest man ever elected President.He is the Ur Example of many recent examples of President Buffoon, most notably, a recurring list a statements such as "more of our imports come from overseas", "how hard it is to put food on your family", etc. These are often immediately redistributed to George W. Bush or Dan Quayle, who are actually the source of some of them. Unfortunately, much of this kind of humor, and above all the quite real statements of "do not recall" during the Iran-Contra affair, became a Funny Alzheimer's Moment, i.e. not so funny any more (and the "imports" knee-slapper misses that two of America's largest importers are Mexico and Canada. D'oh.). He was also the Trope Namer for The Capital Of Brazil Is Buenos Aires.In a nationwide public poll conducted by the Discovery Channel in 2005, Ronald Reagan was voted the greatest American of all time. Yes, he even ranked above George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Though, it is worth mentioning that the poll was conducted only a few months after his death and this probably helped a bit.Reagan's Movie CareerReagan appeared in quite a number of movies between 1937 and 1964, but nothing especially famous. Because he was extremely nearsighted, he could not go overseas and so spent World War II making training films.In 1940, he played real-life American Football Player George "The Gipper" Gipp in the movie Knute Rockne, All American (about a Notre Dame football coach), which featured the line, "Win one for the Gipper." "The Gipper" became one of Reagan's nicknames. Another film Reagan (in)famously played in was Bedtime for Bonzo, in which he costarred with a chimpanzee in a standard Ain't No Rule story, and eventually became his Never Live It Down film. (Actually, Reagan always displayed a sense of humor about this movie; he's famously said to have once signed a promo photo of himself and Bonzo with the inscription "I'm the one with the wristwatch.") There's also a common story that he was originally slated to star in Casablanca, but The Other Wiki seems to think it's not actually true.His most famous role was probably in the 1942 film Kings Row, which contains the famous line: "Where's the rest of me?" (his character had lost both of his legs.) Where's The Rest Of Me? was the title of his 1965 autobiography. He had a memorable Playing Against Type role as a brutal crime kingpin in his last film, The Killers (1964).He was also, ironically, strongly pro-union during this period, a two-time President of the Screen Actors Guild, named names before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and stood up to Herb Sorell's attempted take-over of SAG. Sorrell threatened those who opposed him, such as Reagan, saying, "There may be men hurt, there may be men killed before this is over." Sorrell's faction was financed by the CPUSA.Though often smeared by those who hate him as being involved in blacklisting, Reagan said at the time "As a citizen, I would hesitate to see any political party outlawed on the basis of its political ideology. However, if it is proven that an organization is an agent of foreign power, or in any way not a legitimate political party — and I think the government is capable of proving that — then that is another matter. But at the same time I never as a citizen want to see our country become urged, by either fear or resentment of this group, that we ever compromise with any of our democratic principles through that fear or resentment." He also made a number of statements critical of McCarthyism as being un-American. He did, however, during the Red Scare in the late 1940s provide the FBI with names of people whom he believed to be communist sympathizers within the motion picture industry.Please remember the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment.
Tropes present in Reagan's life and legacy
Actually Pretty Funny: During the second debate, Reagan was pretty much on the defensive after he made a poor showing in the first. His tired look in the first debate was the subject of a question whether he was too old for the Presidency (being, at the time, 73). Reagan immediately fired back:
"I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."note His opponent, Walter Mondale, was 56 at that time, and had been a powerful senator (for twelve years) as well as Vice President.
The camera cut to a shot of Mondale laughing along with the rest of the crowd. Looking back on the campaign, Mondale recognised that was the moment he had totally lost the election.
Sam Donaldson, ABC News: About the continuing recession, you have blamed mistakes of the past and the Congress. Does any of the blame belong to you?
Reagan: Yes, because for many years I was a Democrat.
Arch-Enemy: During Reagan's tenure as president, his primary opponent was the ever-so outspoken Democratic Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill, the second-longest running Speaker after Sam Rayburn.
Though political commentator Chris Matthews has offered the Alternate Character Interpretation that Reagan and O'Neill were friendly after work, noting that Reagan once said "We're all friends after five o'clock."
Ascended Fanboy: Reagan was a lifelong fan of the Western genre. As an adult, he finally achieved his dream of becoming a rancher when he bought a ranch nestled in the California mountains, Rancho del Cielo, and actually did the necessary work on the ranch, mostly by hand. One Reagan assistant noted that the President was at his happiest when he was at the ranch doing simple things like clearing brush, tending to the horses, or chopping firewood.
At the start of his career, Reagan was simply an actor and spokesman with an interest in politics....
Attack of the Political Ad: Although his more positive "Morning in America" ads are more famous, he was not immune to this either.
The second also doubles as an Ironic Echo to Nikita Khruschev's "We will bury you" speech (in actuality, he said something to the effect of, "the USSR shall outlast the US").
Beam Me Up, Scotty!: President Reagan never said that ketchup was a vegetable.note It was actually a government report on school nutrition that apparently considered ketchup to be a substitute for vegetables. Whether that is true or not, Reagan himself had nothing to do with it.
The Chessmaster: To an extent, mainly with how he helped combat communism and the Soviets.
For one example, it's been theorized that Reagan never intended to fully or even substantially implement the Strategic Defense Initiative (better known as "Star Wars"), not the least reason being the massive technical hurdles that 1980s technology would have had to surmount to have space-based lasers capable of shooting down Soviet warheads accurately. Instead, it's believed that the program was a massive shell game intended to force the USSR, especially under the Brezhnev/Andropov/Chernenko governments, to try and outspend the US in anticipating and defeating such a system, helping to bankrupt them.
Conspiracy Theories: Whoo boy. A lot of people theorize over how much, if any, Alzheimer's affected his time in office. His wife, Nancy, is known to have had a very big influence on both Ronald and the number of people who got to see him. Some conspiracy theorists have not ignored this. Additionally, some people believe that Vice President Bush was the real leader during Reagan's last few years in office. (See The Man Behind the Man below.)
Controversy Proof Image: Reagan earned the nickname "Teflon Ron" due to how no matter what seemed to happen in Washington during his presidency, his massive popularity was never affected. Also, lets face it, anyotherpresident would have been impeached and thrown out of office for presiding over something as shady as the Iran-Contra affair; however, all Reagan had to do was make a televised address apologizing to the nation and he was off scot-free. The Democrats would put a similarly slick man in office not long after Reagan left, and keep him there for eight years too.
Cool Old Guy: A lot of people, even if they disagreed with his policies, seem to like Reagan as a person.
Curse / Screw Destiny: Appears to have broken a curse that all presidents elected in years divisible by 20 die in office after the assassination attempt failed (for proof George W. Bush, elected 20 years after Reagan, survived both his terms without any significant threat to his life).
Full Name Basis: Nowadays, out of respect, his supporters primarily refer to Ronald Reagan by his full name.
Go Karting with Bowser: Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill clashed fiercely over politics, but supposedly were quite friendly after the debates were over.
More famously, Reagan and Gorbachev apparently got along very well, despite being the leaders of opposing superpowers.
Happily Married: The love story of "Ronnie and Nancy" is often touted as one of the greatest love stories of modern American politics. Watching Nancy give her final goodbyes to her husband during his funeral is truly heartbreaking.
Headbutting Heroes: 38th president Gerald Ford strongly disliked Reagan, which stemmed from Reagan challenging him for the Republican nomination in 1976.
I Am Not My Father: Applies to his son, Ron Reagan, at least politically. Ron is a liberal pundit and had a show on Air America Radio as well as being a commentator on MSNBC. Ron commented that he disagreed with his father, but back when Ronald was president was an era where someone could respectfully disagree politically with someone without it turning into a media circus.
Intergenerational Friendship: With Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who was 28 years younger than the Gipper and was also elected by an historic landslide.note Tellingly, Mulroney was elected for the first time in 1984, about two months before Reagan was reelected.
"My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."
The Man Behind the Man: Some Presidential historians have theorized that by 1987, Vice President George HW Bush was effectively running the Reagan Administration due to advanced age and stress taking a major toll on Reagan's mental health. However, this has been disputed.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: During the Cold War, Reagan was among those that wanted to defeat communism and the Soviet Union, and to achieve that end, he supported and helped propped up several regimes at the time that would later cause the U.S. any manner of trouble or embarrassment, including those of Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. Furthermore, he trained, equipped and funded an the Islamist Mujahideen resistance fighters in Afghanistan (positioning them ideally to become warlords) with virtually no concern over what this would do to Afghanistan once the Soviets left.
In the 1980s, Egypt under Mubarak was seen as being not just an ally against the Soviets but as an important moderating force in the Middle East and a front-line ally against Colonel Qadaffi (remember that the U.S. fought a series of sea and air clashes with Libya over the so-called "Line of Death" and then bombed Libya in retaliation for terrorist attacks), and the U.S. also wanted to bolster Egypt to reward it for having made peace with Israel. The USA also had absolutely nothing to do with the Mubarak government, repeatedly urged him to be more democratic, and provided support only to the Egyptian Military for the above stated reasons. Mubarak could have risen to power and kept his hold on Egypt with or without American support.
U.S. support of Iraq was more in the manner of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" than anything else (before the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq's chief foreign ally had been the Soviet Union); notwithstanding the arms-for-hostages fiasco, the U.S. and Iran were openly hostile throughout the decade and indeed fought a series of naval engagements in the Persian Gulf in 1988. Nonetheless, U.S. support of Iraq was comparatively limited compared to the cornucopia of arms and aid it poured into, for example, Egypt; it mainly took the form of providing intelligence support and escorts for oil tankers from Iraqi and Kuwaiti ports (Kuwait, along with the other Gulf Arab states, supported Iraq). In fact, the number one backer of Iraq was... France.
A better example may be The Falklands War. The U.S. initially got itself into a rather awkward position because Argentina, which had invaded and occupied British territory (the Falkland Islands), was providing important support to the U.S. in its operations against Marxist guerrilla movements in Central America (especially El Salvador). The Reagan Administration therefore sought, not too successfully, to take a neutral posture between Argentina and Great Britain. In the end, however, America ended up tilting toward the U.K., providing crucial logistical and intelligence support to the fleet steaming south to retake the islands.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Many in the public saw Reagan as a cute old grandfatherly figure if they were fans of his, or an "amiable dunce" if they were his opponents. In the decades since his presidency, declassified documents and interviews with people close to him reveal that Reagan was arguably quite clever and politically savvy, particularly when it came to his relationship with Mikhail Gorbachev.
Put A Face On The Company: During his Hollywood years, he was a host of General Electric Theatre and worked as a spokesman for the company. (His time working for GE helped push him to the right.)
What the Hell, Hero?: Even the staunchly anticommunist Margaret Thatcher was angry about the U.S. invasion of Grenada (apparently she had been reassured by Reagan just days before that the invasion was not going to happen).Grenada was part of the British Commonwealth, so invading it without at least informing her was at best rude and at worst outright betrayal. She also thought it would be unpopular and damage the USA in the eyes of the rest of the world (which it did — the UN voted in a landslide to condemn it, and America would likely have faced Security Council sanction were it not for its veto), and, most importantly for her, it made what was an already difficult Parliamentary in Britain situation worse: the already unpopular move to site nuclear cruise missiles in the UK was made even more so, and Thatcher faced one of the toughest battles of her career: ramming the Bill that let the USAF deploy Pershings through Parliament.
Gerald Ford's response to Reagan challenging him for the Republican nomination in 1976. Ford took Reagan's challenge as an insult and believed it would divide the party, thus undermining his reelection bid and allowing the Democrats to win the presidency; He was right. From the 1976 presidential election Ford developed a strong dislike of Reagan and the two would never reconcile.
Wide-Eyed Idealist: Especially in his speeches, his idealism about freedom and the American way of life shows though (see the slogans "it's morning in America", "this Wall will fall" etc). As his actions on Grenada, Iran, Libya, and Nicaragua show, he was capable of being much more hardheaded in private.
Worthy Opponent: Despite being the leaders of opposing superpowers, Reagan and Gorbachev had a great deal of respect for each other.
Reagan appears in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns as a disturbingly shrunken and senile wretch who's stayed in office 20 years longer than is legal.
In The DCU, wannabe superhero Michael Jon "Booster" Carter, calling himself Goldstar, traveled back in time to 1986 and managed to save Reagan from an assassination attempt. When Ronnie asked him his name, he responded "Boost... er, Gold...," and was forever more known as Booster Gold.
Issue #344 of Captain America had The Viper using a serum she got from Slithers (a minor X Man villain) turning Ronald and Nancy into Brainwashed and Crazy serpent-men with the rest of Washington, DC in an earlier stage of the transformation. The Captain (as he was known at the time because of a dispute with the government) didn't manage to stop the plot before throwing down with the suddenly scaly Commander-In-Chief who was clad only in his underwear. Reagan even used old glory as a weapon during the fight. While Cap was preoccupied with the president, Viper was able to make a Villain Exit Stage Left but she was not able to get very far before she was stopped and defeated by Cobra (who is usually an enemy of The Mighty Thor). He said it was payback for Cap helping Sidewinder retake control of the Serpent Society and had nothing to do with his political affiliation.
In the 1980's Action Comics ran a Deadman storyline in which at one point Deadman and the Devil drop in at a Washington soiree, possess Reagan and Gorbachev, respectively, then switch to Mrs. Gorbachev and Mrs. Reagan, respectively. And then◊ they fight◊.
In Watchmen (an Alternate History where Richard Nixon is still president), editors at a right-wing newspaper mock the idea of a "cowboy actor" like Robert Redford running for president; the film dispenses with subtlety and has them mocking the idea of Reagan himself running, despite the fact that he would be eight years older on taking office and probably beginning to show signs of Alzheimer's, not to mention losing some of the original irony. The actual dialogue rewords it as just "a cowboy running for President", turning it into a dig at someone a little more recent.
The very first issue of Jon Sable Freelance featured a clever, forceful Reagan blackmailing Sable into helping with presidential security against an assassin who happened to be an old enemy of Sable's.
Reagan: Do you know me? Sable: I know who you look like. Got any ID? Reagan: (holding up American Express card) Will this do?
A Strontium Dog story in 1987 involved Johnny and Durham Red rescuing Reagan from alien freedom fighters from the future who were threatening to kill him in order to create a Time Storm if all humans did not leave their planet. It's clear that Alan Grant was not fond of Reagan.
The opening quote is from the first Back to the Future film. In the second, the '80s Cafe is shown, a bit of a Theme Park Version of the decade. Reagan was shown on a Max Headroom-like display offering Marty a drink, vying with an animated Ayatollah Khomeni for his attention.
Additionally, the filmmakers wanted Reagan to play the mayor of 1885 Hill Valley in the third film, but he had to decline due to prior commitments.
Actually, Reagan wanted to play the mayor, but it was his aides who turned down the offer.
He's mentioned several times in Born in East L.A.. When the immigration officer asks Rudy who's the president, he answers John Wayne by mistake, which is "proof" enough that he's an illegal despite his protests and his ability to clearly speak English.
Rudy:I'M AN AMERICAN CITIZEN, YOU IDIOTS! THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS RONALD "DICKHEAD" REAGAN!
An indirect shout out in the 1967 (early in Reagan's political career) spy comedy In Like Flint has the president replaced by a double. Flint, hearing the whole evil plan, incredulously mutters "An actor as President?"
Rumor has it that George Lucas named "Nute Gunray" of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace after Newt Gingrich and Ronald Reagan, which would make it a Take That. Alternatively, "Nute" may have come from Knute Rockne: All American, the film which gave Reagan his nickname "The Gipper." Supposedly, Lucas was upset about the SDI's nickname, even though it was Reagan's critics who dubbed it "Star Wars," not the President. (See alsoReal Life, below.)
The killer in The Tripper is a psychotic, hippie-hating Reagan-fanatic who dresses and acts like him.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish featured "Know-Nothing Bozo the Non-Wonder Dog", so named "due to a remarkable similarity to the American President". The dog's owner and his friends would play a game with the dog where they would shout "Commies!" repeatedly and watch as the dog went berserk.
In Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, one of the characters, Susannah is transported from the America of 1964 into a fantasy world. When she meets Eddie, who came from 1987, she doesn't believe that Reagan is the president by then, and thinks he's just kidding.
In Frederik Pohl's The Coming of the Quantum Cats, an alternate Ronald Reagan exists in two of the universes. In one, he's a former actor viewed as a subversive by the government. In the other, he's the First Gentleman — Nancy Reagan is president.
Inasmuch as The Kite Runner is based around the events in Afghanistan from the 1970s up to the present day, Ronald Reagan's election is mentioned. Amir's father Baba is a huge supporter, going out and buying a poster of Reagan the day after the "Evil Empire" speech.
James Brolin played Reagan in the controversial 2003 miniseries The Reagans.
Reagan was one of the four X -Presidents on Saturday Night Live's "TV Funhouse," and the comic books based on it, a group of superheroes who fought crime.
Reagan: Just say "no" to pissing me off!
Sadly, due to constant cast turnovers brought about by behind-the-scenes problems, Reagan was largely unscathed by Saturday Night Live's political humor during his tenure. It was only until the very end of his tenure as President, that SNL found its definitive Reagan in the form of Phil Hartman. Sadly, by this point, they were only able to get one notable skit out of Hartman's Reagan, which famously portrayed Reagan as a shrewd, harsh tactician who simply put up a facade of being a doddering Cloudcuckoolander to get away with the Iran-Contra Scandal. This sketch is usually the only one that you'll see on "best of Presidential spoofs" clip shows.
The Ramones released a song in 1985 called, "Bonzo Goes to Bitburg", criticizing Reagan for making an official visit to a German cemetery where a number of Nazi SS officers were buried. Of particular note because the band included lifelong Republican Johnny Ramone.
Every punk band around in the '80s has at least one song about him.
As did many Heavy Metal bands and Hip-Hop artists that veered into politics as subject matter for song lyrics.
"Battalions of Fear" by German metal band Blind Guardian is about his policies. As you can probably guess by the title, it's not positive.
Michael Jackson appeared with Ron and Nancy in a Rose Garden photo op. Reagan honored Michael for allowing the Just Say No campaign to use the song "Beat It" in an ad. According to the Jackson biography, The Magic and the MadnessThe First Lady found Michael somewhat peculiar but attractive. To say that this was controversial would be... an overstatement.
The music video for The Minutemen's "This Ain't No Picnic" included clips of Ronald Reagan from a war film. The clips were edited to make it look like Ronald Reagan was shooting at and bombing The Minutemen from a fighter plane.
"Secret Service Freedom Fighting USA" by The World Inferno Friendship Society is often introduced during live shows as being titled "I shot President Ronald Reagan, AND I'M GONNA DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN!" The song itself is supposedly based on an incident from the lead singer's teenage years, when (unaware that Reagan was making an appearance a few towns over) he shouted that during a prank call and was subsequently arrested.
Genesis' video of 'Land of Confusion' uses Spitting Image and their puppets, including that of Reagan as a would-be superhero.
Owl City uses part of Ronald Reagan's famous speech about the explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle as an intro to the song "Galaxies", which is a tribute to the twenty-fifth anniversary of the tragedy.
This is based on actual conspiracy theories by some black militants, citing, among their reasons, the fact that his first, middle, and last names All had six letters.
In a 1981 series of Bloom County strips, Santa's elves go on strike; Reagan (who is never depicted but heard as a voice on a TV seen from the side) fires them all and replaces with scabs, breaking the union. Any resemblance to the 1981 air traffic controllers' strike is purely intentional.
In the musical Assassins, John Hinckley Jr. shoots Reagan as an act of love for Jodie Foster. Reagan survives. Like the other assassination attempts, it's presented as a carnival game, with a buzzer sounding every time Hinckley fails to kill the president, and the Proprietor mocking him with Reagan's various quips.
Hinckley: He died so our love could live!
'Reagan': Sorry, Nancy, I forgot to duck.
'Reagan': I sure hope that's surgeon's a Republican.
'Reagan': Where'd that kid learn to shoot, the Russian army?
'Reagan': There you go again.
The 1984 off-Broadway musical Rap Master Ronnie, co-written by Elizabeth Swados and Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau, satirizes key Reagan administration events and individuals. A movie version was released in 1988.
The heroes of the Engrish-laden classic Battle Rangers also set out to save president Ronnie from a boomerang-tossing despot.
"Senile Reagan in a Bikini" was the original cohost of the game show segment in Bushgame, a politically-charged spinoff of the Emogame series. Out of... respect(?) after Reagan's death, the character became the more lucid "John Snow".
Edge The Devilhunter features Reagan ressurected as a demon called The Gipper. The Gipper resembles a set of male genitalia on legs, with Reagan's head appearing in place of the tip of the penis.
Ansem Retort also used the REAGAN SMASH joke mentioned below...except this time Reagan turned into The Incredible Hulk and really did tear down the Berlin Wall.
And as it turns out, the reason Ronald Reagan can turn into The Incredible Hulk is because Axel brought a gamma bomb from the future and set it off at the set of Kings Row.
REAGAN RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE!
Ronald Reagan is a member of the cast of Shortpacked!, after the owner of the eponymous toy store heard one of his employees remark "Bring back anything from the '80s, and it's money in the bank" (just how he was "brought back" is never really addressed although Imported Alien Phlebotinum capable of resurrecting the dead does exist in the strip's universe). "Ronnie" is played as a kindly old man, slightly absentminded, with an occasional tendency to burst into a Patriotic Fervor and total inability to retain information about AIDS.
He is also portrayed as remarkably accepting of homosexuality, despite his politics, a stance he explains by reminding people that he got his start in Hollywood and personally knew Rock Hudson.
Reagan is the candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 1976 in Fear Loathing And Gumbo On The Campaign Trail Seventy Two; he narrowly loses the election to Democratic candidate George Wallace. Reagan then runs for the Republican nomination again in 1980 but loses the primary election to Donald Rumsfeld.
He's mentioned in Nineteen Eighty Three Doomsday as having survived Doomsday and managed to escape the crumbling US for Hawaii. But en route to Australia, his plane vanishes in the South Pacific, leaving George Bush Sr. as the head of the American exile community.
The SCP Foundation has SCP-1981, an anomalous VHS tape of Reagan's 1983 "Evil Empire" speech. Something happened to the tape so that every time it's played back its contents are different, with the contents always consisting of Reagan giving nonsensical (and creepy) anecdotes and parables while he's being mutilated by an invisible force.
SCP-095 is a pulp science fiction magazine titled The Atomic Adventures of Ronnie Ray-Gun, where the main character strongly resembles Reagan.
In The Simpsons, members of the Springfield Republican Party mention that they have a mission to rename everything after Reagan. (For example, all schools named in Millard Fillmore's honor will be transferred to Reagan's.)
Truth in Television (though obviously a satirical exaggeration); there is an organized movement in the U.S., funded by right-wing Republican anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, to name at least one public building, monument, park, etc., in every U.S. county after Reagan.
When seeing Homer's Barbershop Quartet, The Be Sharps, sing at the Statue of Liberty's Centennial Anniversary, Reagan turns to wife Nancy and remarks, "Damn ceremonies. This is time I could be working, Mommy."
Similar to the above Simpson example, the penultimate episode of Mission Hill has Kevin mentioning that the location of the supermarket Super Pig in his home suburb has changed its name to Ronald Reagan Parkway rather than FDR Parkway.
In The Boondocks, Reagan is caricatured as a strawman being incredibly anti-Civil Rights by other characters to the point that the revolutionary extremist Huey states that "Ronald Reagan is the devil." Black-hating black man Ruckus however idolizes him for this ideal, who in his dreams stated that he spent his life attempting to make life miserable for black people.
Reagan is depicted in the Family Guy episode "Peter's Got Woods" saying his "Tear down this wall" line and then beating on a brickwall with his bare fists yelling: "REAGAN SMASH! REAGAN SMASH!". It turns out it was the wall of a McDonald's and the workers inside comment that it was nothing to be concerned about, and that he tends to wear himself out quickly. He is then seen curling up like a child, muttering: "Reagan sleepy …"
More recently, the episode "Family Gay" implied he and Gorbachev were gay lovers.
In an Animaniacs episode, "De-Zanitized," Reagan appears in Scratchansniff's flashback, taking place when he was an actor, and tells the doctor about his dream where he becomes president. Scratchansniff deems him incurable.
He is often referred to on King of the Hill, being one of Hank's two leading presidential heroes (the other being LBJ, who for obvious reasons serves as the only Democrat whom Hank holds in such high esteem).
Hank: Now go do a report on a real president. Bobby: But which president should I … [Hank glares] … Ronald Reagan.
"I miss voting for that man."
"Hey, now, if Ron Reagan dyed his hair — and I'm not saying he did — it was only to show his strength to the Communists."
One episode of Tiny Toon Adventures featured Buster and Babs going to Washington to request aid against a Moral Guardian lady sucked up Acme Acres' residents' "tooniness". The bunnies go to the Lincoln Memorial for guidance, and seem to hear Abraham Lincoln's voice coming from the statue, urging them not to give up. They walk off, inspired, not knowing that it's just Ronnie in his pajamas, talking to his teddy bear.
In the "Rap-unzel" episode of the ALFTales cartoon, Reagan (in Melmaccian form) is the doddering, clueless royal father of Prince Gordon, and is finally convinced by him to set up a Federal Communications Commission to foil the Evil Witch's broadcasting monopoly.
American Dad's Stan Smith worships Reagan more than he does Jesus (and he already does a lot of that). At one point, he asks Nancy Reagan what her husband would have done in a difficult situation. Nancy performs a mocking seance and sends him on his way.
Although not technically fiction, Phillip Adams gave Reagan a Detractor Nickname: "Ronnie Raygun" — a reference to the Strategic Defense Initiative, which sought to put the United States at the front of technological arms race during the cold war by putting satellites in space to shoot down any nuclear missiles headed the United States' way with Frickin' Laser Beams, nicknamed the "Star Wars" project.
The lack of good Saturday Night Live sketches about him has been rectified a bit by Dana Carvey's "Reagan Oracle" routine, portraying him as having masterminded every presidential election of the next twenty years at the end of his own term.