Political comedies to watch alongside the polls

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifanakis play political rivals in “The Campaign.” As the pair battles for a seat in Congress, they each attempt to sully the other’s campaign. // Photo courtesy of Warner Bros

Transitioning from October to November, there are several things that might be on people’s minds: finals (for students), Thanksgiving, winter holidays and elections. This past week, Tech became a temporary polling location for early voting, with students being encouraged to vote by many different outlets. 

Even after one has done their civic duty, elections can cause feelings of stress, whether because of which candidates are running, the policies up for debate or just the general discourse that politics bring about. So instead of stressing about the high stakes of real-world elections, try sitting down with the stakes of fictional ones. Here are some highly-rated political comedies to watch this election season:

The Oath

Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings family from near and far to spend at least several hours with one another. Before everyone sees each other, the rule is always established: no politics at Thanksgiving. 

Within a few hours, that rule has usually been thrown out the window. Such is the case in Ike Barinholtz’s movie “The Oath” in which a man struggles to refrain from disrupting Thanksgiving upon the discovery that different family members have differing opinions of a new political controversy. 

The movie covers topics like patriotism, free speech and extreme partisanship while mixing it with dark comedy and a Thanksgiving meal. 


A movie starring young Reese Witherspoon, “Election” brings the cut-throat practices of politics back a few years and into the halls of high school. This satirical take on the life of high school students and the gravity of student government follows an over-achieving high school student running for student body president. Threatening her candidacy is a history teacher holding a grudge against her. 

“Election” delves into the morals, privilege and political schemes of high school, parts that many people find themselves unable to remember from their own experiences. 

The Campaign 

In this political comedy, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis appear as rival candidates for a seat in congress. Ferrell plays a congressman aiming for his fifth re-election only to be challenged by Galifianakis’s character, a heavily underqualified but enthusiastic tour guide. 

Throughout the movie, the two go head to head, vying for popularity and making some less-than-commendable decisions to do so. Local politics and comedy come together for “The Campaign,” showing that sometimes, politicians will end up doing the right thing.

Napoleon Dynamite

A movie that has now become a cult classic, “Napoleon Dynamite” is about an extremely socially awkward teenager as he tries to help his new friend, an immigrant from Mexico, win the class presidency against the snobby popular girl of the school. 

Frequently considered one of the funniest movies, “Napoleon Dynamite” champions the underdogs of society, earning laughs from the audiences watching. 

Swing Vote

Originally released in 2008, this movie stars Kevin Costner as a politically uninvolved alcoholic with a young daughter who chooses to be much more politically in the loop. 

After a machine malfunction on Election Day, it soon comes to light that the whole of the presidential election has come down to a single man who, up to this point, could not have cared less. A fascinating concept despite how impossible it is, “Swing Vote” poses the hypothetical scenario of “what if one person could change the course of the entire country?” 

In addition, the film also provides commentary about elections and politics in general, specifically the lengths to which candidates might be willing to go to secure themselves the win.

Consider choosing one of these five political comedies to keep yourself entertained and engaged as election season barrels onwards, and remember to get out there and cast your vote if you can!