News & Politics

From Rap to Off-Broadway, a Look at Clinton-Lewinsky in Pop Culture

“American Crime Story: Impeachment” is the latest take on these characters.

Beanie Fieldstein as Monica Lewinsky on Impeachment: American Crime Story. Photograph by Kurt Iswarienko/FX.

Impeachment: American Crime Story is the latest installment of Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology series, this time dramatizing the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky affair. Here’s a look at how some key players have been depicted elsewhere.

Bill Clinton


Clive Owen

The British actor isn’t exactly the spitting image of Clinton, but he does project the right sort of slippery charm.



Darrell Hammond

With his vocal-fry drawl and lusty demeanor, Hammond nailed something essentially Clintonian.


Also Portrayed By

John Travolta in Primary Colors

Joe Klein used the name “Jack Stanton” in this roman à clef turned movie, but there was no doubt who the model was.


Rap Reference

“Bitch Im Bill Clinton,” Lil B

The Bay Area emcee declares, “I’m Bill Clinton,” sleeping with “all these women” (though he puts it more colorfully).


Hillary Clinton


Edie Falco

After playing the wife of a charismatic philanderer for six seasons on The Sopranos, she seems well prepped for this role.



Kate McKinnon

There have been plenty of SNL impressions (including by Amy Poehler) but McKinnon singing “Hallelujah” right after Clinton’s loss to Trump sticks with us.


Also Portrayed By

Shuga Cain on RuPaul’s Drag Race

In a musical number inspired by Grease and Trump-era politics, the drag performer donned a leather jacket to play a hog-riding Hillary.


Rap Reference

“Lollipop,” Lil Wayne

Weezy uses “Hillary Rodham” to make a dirty pun.



Monica Lewinsky


Beanie Feldstein

An actress known for roles in the films Lady Bird and Booksmart plays the White House’s most famous intern.



Molly Shannon

Shannon’s cackly impression was kind of mean—something she later said she had misgivings about.


Also Portrayed By

Lewinsky in Mr. Personality

Lewinsky hosted this short-lived 2003 dating show, offering a winking reality-TV version of herself.


Rap Reference

“Partition,” Beyoncé

“Monica Lewinsky’d” is used as a sex-related synonym. Lewinsky later said that Beyoncé should have said “Bill


Linda Tripp


Sarah Paulson

Paulson won an Emmy for her work in the first season of American Crime Story, playing O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark.



John Goodman

His drag impersonation was funny but also blatantly cruel.


Also Portrayed By

Judy Gold in Clinton the Musical

The Washington Post called her Tripp take in this off-Broadway satirical show “devilishly enjoyable.”


Rap Reference

“Linda Tripp,” Company Flow

This diss track is so named because it incorporates a secret recording of a call, à la Tripp’s tape of Lewinsky.

Photographs from ACS by Kurt Iswarienko/FX.
This article appears in the October 2021 issue of Washingtonian.

Jason Fontelieu
Editorial Fellow