Sunday, October 19, 2008

James Ponziewozik: Tina Fey and Sarah Palin on SNL

VIDEO: Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live (October 19, 2008)

It's official. NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' is THE most influential Comedy/Politics show this election year, rivaling McCain and Hillary as one of the great comeback stories this election cycle. I would hope Stephen Colbert makes hay of SNL usurping his "most influential" status, similar to his challenge of Korean popstar Rain who previously upstaged him.

The latest Coup for SNL - a Sarah Palin cameo. The popular conservative GOP Vice Presidential candidate has been most notable for her scarce and underwhelming performances on the mainstream news stations. Interestingly this is what has fed into SNL's 'Parody Sarah Palin' as embodied by SNL alum Tina Fey.

Time Magazine's James Poniewozik has written several pieces on the two Sarah Palins - 'The Public Palin' (controlled by Fey) and the 'Real Palin'.

Prior to the unveiling of Palin's first appearance on SNL, James speaks to how Sarah Palin and the McCain camp should handle SNL's shaping of her image.
Palin vs. "Palin": When SNL Parody Becomes Campaign Reality
It's hard to tell where Tina Fey ends and Sarah Palin begins. Even before Fey lampooned Palin on Saturday Night Live--the updo, the wink, the syntax--people noted the resemblance. And for a politician new to the national stage, being likened to the intelligent, witty, popular Fey was not exactly a bad thing.

Until now, anyway. The governor's comedian doppelgänger has essentially taken control of Public Sarah Palin: the composite of images, biography and attitudes that stands in for the actual person in voters' minds...
James Poniewozik offers a prescription and a positive spin on her hijacked image
But if this is not the Public Sarah Palin her campaign would have wanted, it may be useful to Real Sarah Palin yet.

First, the damage. The brilliance of Fey's Palin is how closely it matches Real Sarah Palin. Not physically or in her accent... It's the extent to which Fey uses Palin's words. Spoofing... with Palin's actual meandering phrases...

So what's a Real Sarah Palin to do? First, she has sensibly laughed it off... She may even go on SNL, perhaps by the time you read this.

But SNL may also have given her cover on the campaign trail. Fey's Palin is no love letter--falsely confident, hapless, antiscience and calculatedly adorable--but she's harmless compared with the Real Palin we've seen lately: a culture warrior cannily playing on resentments, a mouthpiece for the McCain campaign's ugliest character attacks on Barack Obama.
Read Poniewozik's previous Palin/Fey article - Tina Fey: Palin's Worst Enemy or Best Friend?
Read reservation of Palin's SNL appearance from the Huffington Post- Palin on SNL? Not Without Preconditions!
Sarah Palin wasn't the only SNL target that went on the show to defuse any harm to their image

Amy Poehler raps on behalf of Sarah Palin

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