Ever since the moment George Washington became America's first president, there have been depictions of fictional alternatives to the real-life president. Some of these have been flattering and idealized, while others are flat out ridiculous. Some are based on an individual president, while others inhabit the narrative of the movie or show in which they are depicted.
One of the lovely things about TV and movie presidents is that, unlike real-life presidents, their incompetence and corruption can be amusing without being terrifying. Real-life presidential scandals impact governments; real-life presidential errors jeopardize life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Fictional presidents are thus a safe way to explore how society would handle a given scenario of presidential malfeasance.
On the contrary, of course, fictional presidents can also be far better than anything real life is likely to deliver. They don't have to take money from sinister donors or compromise sincerely-held beliefs in order to get things done. They can stand on unfettered principle and tell it like it is even when it's not convenient, a privilege that real presidents rarely enjoy. They're also, as a group, a heck of a lot more diverse, eloquent and better-looking than real presidents.
How many fictional presidents can you name? It's time to say hail — or "who?" — to the chiefs!