‘SNL’ votes for political satire

September 28, 2008

tinafey.jpgPolitics and comedy collided once again on “Saturday Night Live” with Tina Fey reviving her dead-on Sarah Palin impression while Fred Armisen’s Barack Obama debated Darrell Hammond’s rendition of John McCain.

The NBC comedy show opened with Fey, wearing a pink jacket and turned out in Palin-esque eyeglasses and her trademark up-do, being interviewed by a a faux Katie Couric. Fey, who first portrayed the Republican vice presidential nominee on “SNL’s” season premiere, offered up titteringly silly answers to questions on foreign policy and her trip to New York City. She was especially disturbed during her visit to the United Nations by the high presence of foreigners there — jobs that she vowed would go to Americans in a McCain administration.

The recreation of Friday’s McCain-Obama debate featured a running gag in which McCain repeatedly proposed that he and Obama suspend their campaigns to either “hold a series of pie-eating contests,” “town hall meetings where you and I appear nude of semi-nude” or for the candidates to be air-dropped so they can search for Osama bin Laden.

The satire focused on McCain, including his contention that “I’ve always been disloyal to this president,” while his record within his own party showing that “the fact is, you simply cannot count on John McCain.”

Obama took a few hits as well, saying that if traditional diplomacy failed in negotiations with, say, North Korea, “playing the race card” would be his go-to plan.

Finally, on the idea for personal searching for bin Laden, McCain said he “would rather lose my life than win an election,” and when asked by the moderator if he really meant that, concluded, “Truthfully, yes, at this point I really don’t care anymore. I mean it.”

With just over a month left before the election, however, you can bet the “SNL” writers and performers care — a lot — about the comic fodder provided by the campaign.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni (Tina Fey (left), who impersonates Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on “Saturday Night Live,” show with “SNL” star Amy Poehler at the Governor’s Ball at the 60th annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles September 21, 2008.)


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I think that SNL will well handle George Bush making his second significant Lie to the People of the United States in a Presidential Address by stating Investors in Mortgage Backed Securities ‘thought they were guaranteed by the Federal Government’, knowing full well the investors in MBS are the most sophisticated investors in the world.

We can only hope that John McCain and Sarah Palin win the election and the public enjoys the Comedy Dividend.

Posted by bonae | Report as abusive

The best way to handle Barack Obama comedicly is to have a debate between McCain/Obama on SNL and have the McCain Character give sensible answers, while Obama answers everything with nonsensical, pacifist, utopian mantra with the whole stage changing to a color fest of peace, love and understanding, Nancy Pelosi in a Tie Die making out with Biden in the background and the basic premise:

That Obama allows the Baby Boomers that got us into this mess to reconnect with their inner hippie.

Maybe end with Barack Obama buring a guitar Hendrix Style.

Posted by bonae | Report as abusive

Of course Barney Frank would be depicted running the finance committee in weekend sessions dressed in Drag.

Posted by bonae | Report as abusive

Palin should attack SNL for quoting her actual interviews so extensively. How dare they get laughs by quoting her? It’s almost like they’re caric- I mean carica- well, I guess they’re mocking her.

Posted by zorg | Report as abusive

It was funny but sad.

Senator Mc Cain may have given his poll numbers a boost, but the price was his professional (not personal) integrity.

Governor Palin should have been flattered to have been asked, but had the common sense to realize she is in way over her head. National affairs and the press is the major league and she comes from, with all due respect to Alaska, the little league.

Posted by geek | Report as abusive

At first I thought there were just going to read the direct transcript of Palin’s interview…that is comic enough!

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

While SNL’s political parodies are and have been funny (remember Chevy Chase’s Gerald Ford), the show is now written and produced by left wing media types who support Obama. The show is really an Obama commercial and a statement that an Obama administration will be be dominated by Starbucks drinking intellectuals.

Posted by OTA Mississauga | Report as abusive

People are starting to notice Palin’s inability to form coherent sentences. Have you seen the Sarah Palin Quote Generator?


Posted by Willis | Report as abusive

Lets hope John McCain and Sarah Palin don’t get elected it would be pathetic to destroy this country at the expense of comedy.

Posted by Vic | Report as abusive

Why wouldn’t you want the government run by smart people drinking good coffee?

Posted by Winnie Moore | Report as abusive

Do yourselve a favor and check this out. Finally the truth about our financial crisis is coming out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7 Rs

Posted by lila | Report as abusive

As a reasonably intelligent Ivy League graduate, I cannot comprehend the foolish adulation that that Obama has garnered by doing nothing, standing for nothing and sacrificing nothing. He has claimed leadership roles without ever having led and presumes to tell us that he can ably lead us – to where? He is not someone I would look to for any role in my life in any capacity. He’s not even funny! He taught Constitutional law for 10 years. Did he ever try, much less win, a significant case anywhere. He is a token product of the Chicago school and the corrupt Chicago political machine. He has written two autobiographies, but nothing about the law. We don’t need another glad-handing weak-kneed “professional” politician. We need a leader that has led, that shares our values and has done something worthwhile – and maybe can teach us something by example.

Posted by Nathaniel H. Garfield | Report as abusive

It’s pathetic that SNL didn’t even have to make anything up for the Palin interview.

Totally unqualified.

Posted by John | Report as abusive


SNL is not a real media news outlet and did not interview Sarah Palin.

“Totally unqualified” would need to be expanded on since Barack Hussein Obama II qualifies 100% for that statement.

From Dreams of My Father:

-‘I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.’
-‘I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mothers race.’
-‘There was something about him that made me wary, a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white.’

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin’s star has been falling ever since her “pitbull with lipstick” speech, when she so lustfully tore into “community organizer” Obama and mobilized full-throated screams of approval from her political base in the Republican Party.

For example, it has recently been documented (NYT 9/25/08) that during Palin’s reign as mayor of Wasilla, female rape-victims reporting the crime were forced to pay out of their own pocket for the forensic-kit and exam needed in the work-up, an uncommon state of affairs even in Alaska.

What makes this fact so compelling, is Palin’s publicly stated belief that even women who experience a rape-pregnant should be required to carry that pregnancy to full term and birth.

Since becoming V.P. candidate of the Republican Party, Palin has refused to clarify her position on these issues.

On less emotional questions, Palin’s glamour has also been wearing thin as voters learned of
–her unbridled pork-politics (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars as Alaskan Gov., and even millions garnered from Washington by hiring a D.C. lobbying firm while mayor of the town of Wasilla, population 9,000),
–her flip-flopping (for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it, then pocketing the money anyway), and
–her ongoing stonewalling of a legislative investigation (Troopergate) into abuse of office charges against her, which on Friday was again in the news, as more of her aides refused to testify.

It didn’t help either when Palin started making statements in her few selected interviews, as quoted in your article, that could only convince voters she was obviously not chosen for her political competence.

With McCain’s actuarial table showing a 1-in-3 chance of Palin actually taking over as President during his first term, her performances with statements like
–“I can actually see Russia from an Alaskan island”;
– “the Bush Doctrine – in what respect?”; and
–“McCain’s record on finance regulation – I’ll get back to you on that later”
began turning her into a serious liability for the Ticket.

Nevertheless, I don’t see McCain replacing her – that would imply his initial call was an exercise in faulty judgement. In fact, at the debate last night, he again praised her!

I will admit that I’m uneasy at the thought of what she might do, were a Pres. McCain to become incapacitated, and she in fact became the most powerful politician on earth.

Her potential for wreaking destruction and devastation across America, but also on the entire world, is truely mind-boggling.

Posted by fbla1805 | Report as abusive

My only concern that she may get elected because it is so easy to be entertained by her actions. However, we are in very serious times and any attention given to her may end up putting her 1 step from the presidency. Now that is SCARY!

Posted by Greg Olson | Report as abusive

If this is a duplicate comment, then why has it not been posted? Isn’t run the spam word? Perhaps your computerized facilitator is on the blink, Mr. Trott.

While not so funny as the first time out of the gate, Mr. & Mrs. Reader…the Fey/Poehler duo did a reasonably good job of it last night. The tilted head and nonstop blinking by the Couric “character” was done rather well by Ms. Poehler I think.

more to follow

Posted by OK Jack | Report as abusive

Tom, What John is saying is that it’s pathetic that SNL didn’t need to make anything up. They took things Sarah Palin said directly from the interview she did with Katie Couric. He never said SNL interviewed her. And if you are so into the real new outlets, maybe you should have watched the interview they are pulling from. The original interview itself was freaking hilarious.

Posted by Nichole | Report as abusive

Dear Editor

Our beautiful soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is the best future leader for this nation, not Senator Barak Obama. Our beautiful soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is also would be better at leading our nation in the future after a McCain Presidency than Senator Barak Obama would be in leading our nation in the future starting in January 2009. There are great reasons our beautiful soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin would be a better future leader than Senator Barak Obama. The greatest reason for our beautiful soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin’s is ideology. Our beautiful soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is conservative in that she is pro life, marriage, guns, low taxes, low government spending, small government, unintrosive government, traditional and judeo Christian values, Bible reading and prayer in our public schools, and military spending. Senator Barak Obama is a liberal who is anti every thing that I have described that our beautiful soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is pro about or for. A second reason that our beautiful soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is superior is because of experience. As a governor she has two years of executive administrative governing experience that Senator Barak Obama does not have. A final reason that our beautiful soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is superior is because of political accomplishments. When our soon to be beautiful Vice President Sarah Palin came to office she accomplished 3 major things which are as follows: she showed great leadership in the 3 following areas: government reform, the state budget and the economy, and wise use of natural resources. She reformed government by standing up to the big oil companies by breaking up the monopoly on power and resources. She insisted on competition and basic fairness which ended the control that the oil companies had on the state, and thereby returning control of the state back to the people. She also stood up to the special interest and lobbyist, and produced major ethics reform. She lead well in the state budget by generating a surplus which came about by vetoing a half billion dollars of wasteful spending, ending the abuses of earmark spending by congress, and by getting rid of the private jet, the chef, and the chuffer. Economically under her leadership she brought about the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history. She also suspended the state fuel tax, and when oil and gas prices went up dramatically, and filled up the state treasury, she sent a large share of that revenue back where it belonged – directly to the people of Alaska . On natural resources she has shown great leadership by beginning a nearly forty billion dollar natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence. When the last section of the pipeline is laid and its valves are opened, will lead America one step farther away from dependence on dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart. Senator Barak Obama has done nothing, so please vote John McCain for President and give to our beautiful soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin the opportunity that she deserves leading the nation into the future after a John McCain presidency. When our soon to be Vice President does lead the nation as President after a John McCain presidency. She will be the greatest President that we have ever had. Finally she is smarter than Senator Barak Obama

Thank You

John Warren

Posted by John Warren | Report as abusive