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Politician Guest-Star

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"Well I can take a joke just so far, but I won’t have this high office ridiculed. I won’t be stumbling around, making a fool of myself, for some late night comedy show."

This is going to be a special episode. This is going to be a Pilot, Pilot Movie, Grand Finale, Origins Episode, Reunion Show, or maybe even a Very Special Episode. Or a regular episode, in which we want something that will make it special. We need a guest star, but not any guest star. And not another episode where Metallica's in town. We need someone real big, like, the president of the United States! Or Russia! Or the British prime minister! Maybe even a member of the Royal Family! Or the Pope! No matter — he just needs to be a well-recognized political or religious leader. If he's popular, his face itself will earn thousands. And if for some reason people don't like him, we‘ll just chip with him, and they‘ll love us. It doesn't matter if the whole story revolves around about him, or he makes only a short appearance, if at all — it will work perfectly.

Compare Our Presidents Are Different.


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    The actual politician, in person 
  • Barack Obama invited the MythBusters to the White House library to request they retest the "Archimedes Death Ray".
  • Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue has a preface from George H. W. Bush. Few kids who were watching it knew who he was, but still. Airings in other nations included similar forewords from the heads of government of those states.
  • Tony Blair appeared on The Simpsons once. Like, the actual Tony Blair. Details here. Blair also appeared as himself in a Catherine Tate sketch for Red Nose Day, meeting her sixteen-year-old schoolgirl chav Lauren Cooper.
  • The possible Ur-Example is the UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson appearing with smash-hit comedians Morecambe and Wise, who regularly commanded audiences in the high twenty millions. He figured this sort of TV exposure showing him as a generous-spirited man with a sense of humour, who could go with jokes at his own expense, was something that would not do his career any harm.
  • The Canadian sitcom Corner Gas had two Prime Ministers make cameos (Paul Martin and Stephen Harper), along with a smattering of Members of Parliament and mayors.
  • Former Swedish prime minister Göran Persson at one point appeared on a kid's show, and danced with a woman in a cow-suit.
  • Al Gore appeared on the network-mandated green episode of 30 Rock. They had fun with it:
    Al Gore: Quiet! A whale is in trouble... I have to go!
    • He also makes quite a few appearances in Futurama, owing to his daughter Kristin Gore having worked as a writer for the show.
    • And Gore has hosted a season 28 Christmas episode of Saturday Night Live, and cameoed on a season 35 episode where he outlines his plans to act crazy (such as taping toy guns to trees and planting the trees outside a politician's house so when he walks outside, he'll think the trees have come to get their revenge) so people will take his environmental views seriously. Of course, Saturday Night Live has had a lot of politicians (and political hopefuls) host and/or cameo in its 30+ years on the air, as you can see here, but does anyone remember Barack Obama cameoing on the Brian Williams episode from season 33 (a full year before he would become President)?
  • Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke appeared on The Comedy Company to deliver regular sketch character Con the Fruiterer his citizenship papers.
  • Bob turned up again in A Country Practice to give a speech about the International Year of Peace in 1986.
  • Canadian politicians frequently make the rounds on This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Rick Mercer Report. American politicians would also sometimes show up. Most memorable was then-presidential hopeful George W. Bush being asked by Rick Mercer what he thought of Canadian Prime Minister "Jean Poutine".
  • The Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe appeared in Doctor Who as one of Mr. Saxon's celebrity supporters.
  • Top Gear has had then-Mayor of London Boris Johnson as a Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. Then-Prime Minister David Cameron also had a brief cameo at the start of the India special (that consisted of him telling the presenters not to go to India).
  • Johnson has also made four appearances as the host of Have I Got News for You. Charles Kennedy has clocked up nine episodes, one as host. Many other politicians have also featured on the programme, though not while actually in the highest offices.
  • Two NYC Mayors, specifically Rudolph "Rudy" Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, have appeared on Law & Order.
  • Mayor Bloomberg has also appeared in Curb Your Enthusiasm to ban Larry David from New York City.
  • One 2008 episode of WWE Raw featured campaign speeches from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. Later in that same show, Obama and Clinton impersonators went head-to-head in a wrestling match.
  • British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher performed a sketch she wrote herself with the cast of the sitcom Yes, Minister, where she played, funnily enough, herself as Prime Minister.
  • John McCain had a walk-on role in the fourth season of 24.
  • NYC Mayor Ed Koch appeared in The Muppets Take Manhattan.
  • A few appeared on The Late Show (1992), as part of an Almost Famous Name running gag. For example, former Victorian state premier Joan Kirner was "accidentally" hired by Mick instead of Joan Jett, singing "I Love Rock and Roll". She was accompanied by her Health Minister David White on the guitar. Another episode had former Immigration Minister Al Grassby booked instead of David Crosby (along with Lucky Grills, Christopher "Nudge" Truswell, and Gwen Plumb.
  • Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy is well-known to be a big fan of Batman, and made quite a few cameos. Promoted Fanboy, anyone? He even donates the royalties he gets to a library in Vermont where he read said comics as a child.
  • This trope is Older Than Cable TV ... Richard Nixon once made a cameo appearance on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.
  • Bill Clinton had a cameo appearance in the film First Kid, asking the (in-film) current president if he's seen his missing saxophone.
  • On Parks and Recreation's Season 5 premiere "Ms. Knope Goes To Washington" features Senators Olympia Snowe, Barbara Boxer, and John McCain. "Leslie vs. April" beats that by having Vice President of the United States Joe Biden. Newt Gingrich briefly appears in "Two Parties". Michelle Obama shows up in the season six finale to briefly name-drop her youth activity and diet programs. Season 7's "Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington" has Senator Boxer show up again along with Madeleine Albright.
  • U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun (by then retired) appeared as (by then long-dead) Justice Joseph Story in Amistad.
  • Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis played himself on an episode of St. Elsewhere, limping into the Emergency Department to get his ankle taped after he sprained it while jogging.
  • When legendary British disc jockey and talk-show host Terry Wogan retired from his long-running breakfast show, one of the many heartwarming farewell messages he received on the day of his final show was from Gordon Brown, the current British Prime Minister.
  • Former Texas Governor Ann Richards appeared in an episode of King of the Hill, where she briefly dates Bill, of all people.
  • Massachusetts Congressman and Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill once ducked into Cheers to get away from a woman on the street who was bothering him (turns out it was Diane). The rest of the bar recognized him and goaded Norm (who was in the bathroom) to share his opinion of that "Do Nothing Congress" which O'Neill found amusing. Was a big factor in the show getting noticed by the general public at the time. Subsequent episodes featured "could-have-been-President, could-still-be-President" Gary Hart (in 1986, before a scandal torpedoed his career) and Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, who also ran for President.
  • The Philippines—a lot of politicians there weren't just guest stars, they were often full-fledged, full-time celebrities — actors, singers, basketball players and other athletes, newscasters, and various other media personalities — leveraging their media popularity to handily win elections. Possibly only the most prominent example was former Philippine President Joseph Ejercito "Erap" Estrada, an action star who became mayor of San Juan city for several terms (and went back to being mayor, this time of Manila, after his presidency expired, via impeachment).
  • One episode of The Brittas Empire had an appearance by MP at the time Sebastian Coe. He winds up chained to a siderail whilst an army of Romans rampage through the center.
  • In the series premiere of The New Statesman, one of the candidates in the Haltemprice election is David "Screaming Lord" Sutch of the Monster Raving Loony Party, appearing as himself.
  • The fourth-season finale of Star Trek: Discovery features voting-rights activist, liberal politician and avowed Trekkie Stacey Abrams as the President of Earth.
  • President Barack Obama appeared twice in The Colbert Report:
    • The first being in June 2009, in "Operation Iraqi Stephen", when Stephen Colbert was filming the show for US troops in Iraq:
      Obama: (via satellite) First, I want to send my greeting to the men and women of our armed forces in Iraq. And I and all Americans thank you for your service.
      Obama: ...I wasn't talking to you. Now, second, General, I overheard your conversation about Stephen's hair.
      Colbert: Wait a second, you overheard? Are your spy satellites really that good?
      Obama: No, but my ears are really that big. General, as the Commander-in-Chief, I hereby order you to shave that man's head.
      Gen. Ray Odierno: Yes, Mr. President!
    • The second was in December 2014. During the show's penultimate week, Stephen filmed the show in Washington, D.C., when President Obama walked onstage and decides that he could do as good a job as Colbert. He takes over "The Word", which he retitles "The Decree", and proceeds to read Colbert's lines word for word, including a little Self-Deprecation on the president's part. Apparently, Obama's the kind of guy who likes to talk about himself in the third-person.
  • Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego: Joe Biden, then senator of Delaware, made a cameo in a 1993 episode in which he calls Special Agent Greg to inform him that he tried to make him Detective of the Year, only for the position to be whittled down to the Overly Narrow Superlative "Somewhat Notable Detective of the Next 12 Minutes."

    Just the politician's likeness 
  • George Bush Jr. has a guest appearance in The Ultimates.
  • Barack Obama got a special, short story in The Amazing Spider-Man. And thanks to Follow the Leader effect it was followed by his appearances in Thunderbolts, Secret Warriors, The Savage Dragon, Youngblood, opening of The Superhero Squad, and even making him main character in Conan the Barbarian parody comics, and sequel of some After the End comic.
    • Obama appeared as a playable 'character' (actually a skin) in the add-on to Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, although he wasn't actually President yet at the time. Sarah Palin was also playable. Sadly, he's only playable in the add-on missions, and all of them are vehicle-based, meaning you only really get to see him in the hub area, and can't take the POTUS on a mass Venezuelan killing-spree. Now that would have got Chavez pissed off.
    • Perhaps it should be mentioned that before the election (and to a lesser extent afterward) John McCain and Sarah Palin also got comics based on them. Not to mention Michelle Obama, and the new White House dog.
  • Canadian example that does this with the Queen, sort of. The absolutely terrible 1980s Captain Canada comic by Geoff Stirling features a cameo by Liz and Chuck as they are about to get stepped on by a giant robot, only to be rescued by the greatest Canadian hero ever (oh, and Captain Canada)!
  • Captain Britain had Gordon Brown in it once, which naturally amused the British Newspapers immensely: Telegraph, Mail, Sun. (Clue: that looks nothing like him.)
  • President Kennedy was occasionally treated like this. There was a Superman story where he reveals his secret ID to the President, causing unfortunate implications (but not Unfortunate Implications) when he died at the time the issue came out and the story could be taken to mean his secret's safe with the President because he's dead.
    • Of course Kennedy was treated like a pop star too.
    • The Kennedy Superman example also has JFK holding up a picture of John Glenn as an example and Superman being impressed. Only in The '60s...
  • Ronald and Nancy Reagan appeared in Ed the Happy Clown by Chester Brown, but they deliberately look nothing like their Real World counterparts. The prime minister of Canada shows up, too. Further subverted by the fact that the talking head of a "Dimension X" version of Reagan appears on Ed the Happy Clown's penis.
  • Obama appeared in Savage Dragon but he was not the first president to appear in the pages of that series. Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have appeared in the past.
  • In the first episode of the live-action version of The Tick (2001), the heroes must save former president Jimmy Carter from a communist Killer Robot. The fact that it's not a real cameo is lampshaded by making him The Faceless.
  • The Games had John Howard (the actor) pretending to be John Howard (the Prime Minister).
  • Contact featured then-president Bill Clinton through careful manipulation of news footage. Needless to say, the White House was not impressed.


Video Example(s):


Sebastian Coe OBE MP

Real-life politician Sebastian Coe makes a visit to Whitbury New Town Leisure Centre... where he promptly ends up being chained to a stair railing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

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Main / PoliticianGuestStar

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