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Politicians' Moments in Pop Culture That Are Straight-Up Embarrassing

Where do we start with former President Donald Trump's most embarrassing moments?EXPAND
Where do we start with former President Donald Trump's most embarrassing moments?
John Raedle/Getty
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After months of speculation, Matthew McConaughey revealed last month that a run for the Texas governorship was something he was “giving consideration.” This wouldn’t be the first time the Academy Award-winning actor has hinted at political aspirations, but his recent comments inspired an onslaught of that routine response many performers get when they discuss political matters: “Stick to acting.”

It’s easy to mock actors who stick their noses into politics, but what about when it's the other way around? If Hollywood’s stars are called on to focus on their craft, then perhaps politicians could do the same and refrain from trying to insert themselves into debates about movies, television and music.

Case in point: Texas’ Sen. Ted Cruz. There’s a debate to be had on what's Cruz’s most embarrassing moment. Was it taking a vacation to Cancun in the middle of a statewide crisis? How about endorsing the president who insulted his wife and accused his father of killing JFK? Does dismissing a national insurrection even come into consideration? The answer is none of the above, because Cruz has been unable to top this moment from 2015 when he tried to win over primary voters with impressions of The Simpsons characters.

Props if you manage to get through even one of Cruz’s nauseating impersonations. His Bart and Lisa sound identical, for example. Has Cruz even watched the show?

Despite a string of public fiascos, Cruz has consistently tried to market himself as a “relatable” politician with increasingly out-of-touch pop culture references. But he’s not the only politician who tried his hand at acting. Check out some of these thoroughly cringe-inducing acting bits and cameos from Washington figures.

Had Enough of Cruz’s Impressions? Now Dare to Take a Look At His Princess Bride Reenactment
We’re just going to let this one speak for itself. It’s not just one line. HE DOES THE ENTIRE SCENE.

Who Could Forget Rudy Giuliani’s Infamously Creepy Borat appearance?
It’s rare that a politician becomes so clearly exposed as a creep on tape and actually try to get the filmmakers arrested.

You’ve Probably Seen Trump’s Home Alone 2 Cameo, But Remember When He Was in Zoolander?
The rare time in which The Donald has shown admiration for someone other than himself was for the dim-witted, narcissistic Derek Zoolander in a cameo in the Ben Stiller comedy. Birds of a feather ... ?

Hillary Clinton Got Roasted By Her SNL Alter Ego
Clinton may have tried to poke fun at herself by agreeing to appear alongside Kate McKinnon, who did a spot-on Clinton impression on Saturday Night Live, but McKinnon used the chance to call out Clinton’s slowness in publicly supporting marriage equality.

Bill O’Reilly Is Still an Asshole in the Transformers Universe
Die-hard conservative Bill O’Reilly can’t resist peddling conspiracy theories even when he’s appearing within the world of Autobots. Who would be surprised to see that O’Reilly's xenophobia expanded to include Cybertron?

Even the Cheers Cast Knows Everyone's Name But John Kerry's
In a 1993 episode, Cheers characters Norm and Cliff mistake then-Sen. John Kerry for a local weatherman. The gag was eerily prophetic of his bland impression on voters when he ran for president 10 years later.

Even Murphy Brown Has Reason to Be Embarrassed by Newt Gingrich
The sitcom Murphy Brown took a lot of flack for featuring Gingrich on the show and failing to hold him to the flames for his various nasty views. Perhaps Gingrich’s short stint as an alien in Men in Black was a more accurate portrayal.

Chris Christie Tried (And Failed to Be Self-Aware) by Dancing With Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Fallon has been frequently criticized for his friendliness toward controversial politicians, but even he couldn’t manage to make Chris Christie’s dance moves look any more appealing.

A Robotic Mitt Romney's Ill-Fated Promotional Ad for Stephen Colbert
Romney may have been trying to do a favor for Colbert, who recently praised him, but his cameo during an ad for Colbert’s The Late Show debut barely inspires a chuckle. “Where are the pancakes?” he "quips";  the sharpest comics in the world would still have failed to inject the former GOP nominee with any personality.

James Carville Impersonators Are Much More Convincing Than His Actual Performances
Granted, political figures showing up in comedies is fairly common, but James Carville’s odd appearance in the 2007 arthouse Western The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford is just weird. Anyone truly desperate to see Carville on the screen should be directed toward Billy Bob Thornton’s performance in Primary Colors, in which he parodied the famous consultant.

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