5 Memorable John McCain Cameos in TV Shows and Movies

5:29 PM 8/25/2018

by Katherine Schaffstall

The politician hosted 'Saturday Night Live,' and played himself in 'Wedding Crashers.'

While John McCain was known for his politics, he took some opportunities to show off his acting skills.

The Arizona senator, who ran against Barack Obama as the Republican nominee for president in 2008, died on Aug. 25 after a battle with brain cancer. His family announced that he had chosen to discontinue medical treatment on Friday (Aug. 24).

McCain has appeared on Saturday Night Live, Wedding Crashers, 24 and Parks and Recreation during his time in public office.

Below The Hollywood Reporter takes a look back at his memorable cameos on television and in film.

  • 'Saturday Night Live' (2002)

    Back in 2002, before becoming the Republican nominee for president in 2008, McCain hosted Saturday Night Live. He acted in a number of sketches throughout the episode, including "To Love, Honor and Stalk," "Hardball: Homeland Security," "Election Night Coverage" and "Top of the Morning." In the latter sketch, McCain joined Patrick FitzWilliam (Jimmy Fallon) and William FitzPatrick (Seth Meyers) as they host a talk show in an Irish bar. McCain played writer Frank McCourt. Speaking in a gruff tone with a slight Irish accent, McCain took shots with the hosts and read them a passage from his new book called "Too Cold to Die: An Irish Christmas Fairytale." The above clip shows McCain's promo with musical guest The White Stripes.

  • 'Wedding Crashers' (2005)

    McCain made a brief appearance in the 2005 comedy Wedding Crashers. The politician appears as a guest at a wedding that the main characters John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn) crash. He can be seen shaking hands with and congratulating the parents of the bride, played by Jane Seymour and Christopher Walken. McCain stands next to Democratic strategist James Carville during the scene.

  • '24' (2006)

    McCain next appeared in a brief walk-on role on the Fox series 24. The politician was an outspoken fan of the show and tweeted about his excitement for the reboot in 2013. "Jack Bauer is back to save America as we know it - can't wait!" he wrote. During the season 5 episode "Day 5: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.," McCain is seen walking into a room and handing a folder to Audrey Raines (Kim Raver). The scene is featured in a split screen setup, and the appearance was uncredited.

  • 'Saturday Night Live' (2008)

    McCain returned to Saturday Night Live in 2008 to appear in a sketch featuring Tina Fey's famous impression of his running mate Sarah Palin. The sketch is set up as a QVC segment that features a special message from McCain and Palin. They explained that as the 2008 election drew closer, their opponent Obama purchased airtime on three major networks. "We, however, can only afford QVC," he said. "These campaigns sure are expensive," added Fey's Palin. The two used the fake QVC segment to remind voters of their policies as they attempted to sell a number of products. "This has been a historic campaign, so why not remember it with our line of collectible products," said McCain. One piece of memorabilia was commemorative plates that celebrate McCain's proposed 10 town hall debates between the two candidates. "They are blank," McCain explained. "[Obama] wouldn't agree to those debates." Another product was a talking Joe Biden action figure. "It's great if you want to clear out a party," McCain joked.

  • 'Parks and Recreation' (2012, 2015)

    McCain made two cameos on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation. In the season five episode "Ms. Knope Goes to Washington," Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) introduced Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) to Senators Barbara Boxer and Olympia Snowe. McCain interrupted Leslie as she tried to enjoy a moment of silence in a coat closet. "Excuse me. I just need to get my coat here," said McCain as he tries to squeeze behind Leslie. "Could you give me a minute here please?" she asked with her back to him. When he asked if she's okay, she requested that he leave. "All right. I'm sorry. I hope everything's okay," he said before turning around. Leslie, still unaware of who she was speaking to, muttered under her breath, "Nosy people. Have no respect for personal space." McCain returned to the show in 2015 alongside a number of notable political guests including Boxer and Sen. Orrin Hatch in the season seven episode "Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington."