Happy Presidents' Day Sale Day! In commemoration of all the wonderful presidents we've had (Lincoln, Washington, FDR, JFK, ummmm… I guess that's it, right?), we here at Indecision wanted to bring you a little something special.
No, not half off coupons on a Toyota Corolla or a mattress or whatever. That would be really cliché.
Because we know how much you, the Internet, love lists, we're counting down the greatest fake presidents. When we say fake president, we don't just mean George W. Bush (waits for applause from likeminded crowd).
This is a list of movie and TV presidents who led our country through deadly meteors, alien attacks, and Annette Bening blowjobs.
We didn't feature a list of real presidents because on President's day, shouldn't we focus on the Presidents we dream of having rather than the ones we probably deserve to get stuck with?
10. Deep Impact – President Tom Beck
Eloquent even when preparing the world for certain annihilation, President Tom Beck, played by Morgan Freeman, speaks in that calming voice-overy cadence that steered us through the more penguin-y death filled scenes of March of the Penguins.
I remember when the film was released theatrically, my South American cousin asked, "Where are all of the other world leaders? Why is the U.S. seemingly the only country that takes action during a fucking worldwide asteroid crisis?"
The answer is simple. When Morgan Freeman is president, you don't need any other leaders. At the time, I was too young to effectively explain this, so I settled with repeatedly chanting into his ear, "U.S.A! U.S.A!"
President Beck thoroughly plans a realistic contingency plan in case the astronauts assigned to destroy the asteroid fuck it all up. Of course, the astronauts fuck it all up in their first attempt because Billy Bob Thornton is clearly no Bruce Willis.
I would have put President Beck higher on the list, but, let's face it, Deep Impact isn't a very good movie. I really wish President Beck could have somehow created legislation so this movie wouldn't suck and be boring as hell.
9. Primary Colors – President Jack Stanton
It's unfortunate Primary Colors isn't widely remembered, because it is genuinely a decent film. President Jack Stanton in the film is a totally original and interesting character.
He is a silver-haired, womanizing, southern politician who narrowly avoids numerous sex scandals due to his mesmerizing charisma. How do they come up with this stuff?!
I almost didn't include President Jack Stanton in the countdown because he is played by John Travolta. I have nothing personal against Saturday Night Jack, but the idea of Travolta becoming president makes my stomach churn and my thetans feel nauseous.
8. The American President – President Andrew Shepherd
President Andrew Shepherd, played by Michael Douglas, has a lot in common with The West Wing's President Bartlett. In fact, this entire movie is basically The West Wing, but with Annette Bening in place of Richard Schiff.
Like any good Hollywood liberal, The American President's writer, Aaron Sorkin, would dutifully recycle material when creating The West Wing, making this film feel a tad obsolete.
As a result, I'm sure director Rob Reiner spends his nights crying into a patty melt.
7. Frost/Nixon – President Richard Nixon
Like most Americans, I loved Frost/Nixon. I speak obviously only of the trailer, because like most Americans, I actually didn't watch Frost/Nixon. But the fictional character of President Nixon in the trailer is by far one of my favorite fictional presidents ever.
In fact, I am even willing to overlook his hideously fake name. Nixon? Really? Who would ever vote for an ugly ass name like Nixon? Who would ever vote for an ugly ass person like Nixon? Sorry, Frank Langella, but you played an ugly dude.
Other than that, President Nixon is pretty badass.
You know that scene from the trailer where Nixon asks Frost, "Did you do any fornicating last night?" And then Frost is all like, "Whaaaaa?"
That's a pretty great scene. Or at least I guess it's a good scene. I'll probably never know for sure, since that slash in the title makes the film seem a little too smart for my tastes.
6. 24 – President David Palmer
24's President David Palmer is just plain wonderful. Although he might not be perfect and his entire family needs several walk-in closets just to begin hiding their skeletons, he is highly principled when allowing Jack Bauer to exploit our fears of terrorist attack for the sake of dramatic tension.
There are claims President David Palmer's presence prepared America for a black president. If this is true, how come Geena Davis didn't do shit for Hillary?
After deciding not to run for a second term, President Palmer followed in Bob Dole's footsteps and hawked Allstate Car Insurance for a living. Many polls indicate he may even be more popular than that goddamned Geicko gecko.
Unfortunately, President Palmer was assassinated in the fifth season but by then, the only people paying attention to 24 were Keifer Sutherland and John McCain.
5. The West Wing – President Josiah Bartlet
President Josiah Bartlet is basically the most perfect president in all of media history. He might make mistakes, but at the end of the day, his firm belief in not being a realistically flawed president in any way shape or form trumps everything.
Aaron Sorkin, The West Wing's creator, often claims he based Bartlett on Bill Clinton and his father, but I'm pretty sure he actually based Martin Sheen's character on Mother fucking Teresa.
Bartlet's biggest Achilles' Heel is his Multiple Sclerosis, which mostly just recalls Franklin Delano Roosevelt, one of our most beloved real life presidents.
He's probably the greatest fake president who is actually celebrated for doing a president's real job instead of personally killing terrorists and aliens with his own two hands.
The only reason I'm not putting him as number one is because President Bartlet is still grounded in some reality. He is realistically unbelievable, which sounds like an oxymoron, until we get to some other fictional presidents who are truly oxymoronic, but in an amazing way.
4. Superman Comics- President Lex Luthor
Back in 2000, Superman's arch nemesis, Lex Luthor, ran for President and won. Despite the fact he was a villain, he still managed to do a lot of good by stopping the use of fossil fuels. That's the great thing about comics. They can fantasize about a great escapist future where we aren't literally burning our planet from the inside out. What imaginations!
Under Luthor's presidency, he protected Earth against an alien invasion. It was later revealed President Luthor knew about the incoming aliens and allowed them to attack Topeka, Kansas.
Superman and the rest of the Justice League are obviously aghast by this fact, but they completely ignore that FDR totally knew about Pearl Harbor and was all like, "Fuck it, dog. I'm wheeling my polio ass to bed."
So, by this logic, President Luthor was only doing what FDR would do, and like I already mentioned, he is one of our greatest presidents.
'Nuff said… oops, that's Marvel's catchphrase.
3. Super President – President James Norcross
Back in the late 60's, NBC aired a limited animation cartoon based on the exploits of a super powered chief of state. When President James Norcross becomes zapped by cosmic rays, he acquires superpowers, transforming him into Super President.
With the power to turn his molecular composition into any substance, President Norcross can easily defeat his numerous foes, like Russian spies, domestic terrorists, and congressional leaders.
The best part, as animation historian Jerry Beck points out, is Super President's chubby sidekick who bears strong resemblance to real life super villain, Karl Rove.
The series was short-lived since it was considered poor taste in light of the JFK assassination to depict an invulnerable president who could materialize into any substance, including a not dead president.
But now that we've had plenty of action hero presidents and a real life messiah president, isn't it time to revive our first super hero president too?
I smell a tent pole picture starring Shia Lebeouf as Super Prez.
2. Independence Day – President Thomas J. Whitmore
Bill Pullman playing Thomas J. Whitmore is exactly how George W. Bush sees himself. He's a no nonsense president who is slipping in the polls but following his inner principles. After America is attacked by foreigners (they are foreign to the planet Earth), President Whitmore rises to the occasion and personally protects freedom.
He is exactly like Bush, except, you know, he never weaseled his way out of military duty. Also, George W. Bush never climbed into a fighter jet to personally fight an enemy. Bush wisely limited his fighter jet experience to ill-conceived PR opportunities.
If the world was actually ambushed by aliens, Bush would not slip into his pilot jumper and board a military jet. He'd probably just hire a mercenary organization like Blackwater. And then they'd definitely end up killing all our good aliens, like ET, Chewbacca, and Mac from Mac and Me.
1. Air Force One – President James Marshall
Harrison Ford as President James Marshall is like Officer John McClane from Die Hard except he uses the word "fuck" a lot less. After all, we can't have our president going around using curse words.
I'm almost certain if any president was taken hostage, they would do one of two things, a.) sell out their beloved country to save their own presidential hides or b.) die with dignity knowing we cannot compromise our values to brute force (i.e. not negotiating with terrorists). In the real world, those are the only two realistic options. But in the movie world, those are the only two COMPLETELY BORING options.
Instead, President Marshall takes matter into his own hands, ejecting an empty escape pod, killing several terrorists, and freeing many of the hostages through the plane's parachute hanger.
When Bill Clinton saw the movie, he complained the real Air Force One didn't have an escape pod or a parachute hanger, as if this was the only unbelievable part of the film.
Bill Clinton, let's stop being polite and start getting real. The most unbelievable part of Air Force One isn't the escape pod or the parachute hanger. It's that the president of the United States acted like he was elected to pass legislation and kick ass, and he was all out of legislation. President Clinton, you can barely go for a morning job without stopping at a McDonalds.
The only time Bill Clinton ever uttered the words, "Get off my plane," was when he wanted Al Gore to stop boring him about the fuel efficiency of the aircraft.
Closing Thoughts – President Me
Now, before you all go off the handle in the comments section bitching about how I didn't include your favorite fake president, take a deep breath and go grill something already. Enjoy the day off. Unless of course you work in retail, in which case, get back to work you lazy bum!
Tags: President's Day, Richard Nixon