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The X-Presidents

"The X-Presidents" is a NBC/Saturday Night Live "Saturday TV Funhouse" cartoon created by Robert Smigel and animated by J. J. Sedelmaier Productions that features former American Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush as a superhero team.[1] This recurring sketch debuted on January 11, 1997.[2] The four former leaders were endowed with superpowers when struck by lightning at a celebrity golf tournament. The title is a play on words, both referencing that the members are ex-Presidents, and alluding to the Marvel Comics franchise, X-Men. Their wives are also members of a similar group, "The X-First Ladies," with more flamboyant powers.[3]

In the episode "Nixon," Richard Nixon and his dog Checkers are resurrected to aid the group. Ford and Reagan have become "Ex-X-Presidents" since their deaths. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush attempted to join the group after leaving office but were hindered by their lack of superpowers. The cartoons end with the X-Presidents singing a song that recounts the episode's message. The Ambiguously Gay Duo, another series of shorts created by Robert Smigel and J. J. Sedelmaier, made a special guest appearance in Episode 58 of "The X-Presidents," "The Hunt for Osama". The sketch broadly parodies Hanna-Barbera/Filmation cartoons from the 1970s.

Comic adaptation

The cartoon short was adapted to a graphic novel by Random House Books.[4]


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