Tuesday, October 21, 2008

FEY-dar - Tina on Letterman and SNL

I love Tina Fey. She's cute and witty and clever and seems to be as obsessed with pop culture as myself. But she's married so she and I are probably never going to happen. But I'm content with admiring her via television.
Tina's been all over the place lately. 30 Rock [consistently the best comedy on television since my beloved Arrested Development] recently won several Emmys. The second season was released on DVD a couple of weeks ago to give fans time to catch up before the third season premieres on October 30.

Oh yeah...she's been lampooning Vice President wannabe Sarah Palin quite successfully on Saturday Night Live.

Tina was on David Letterman's show this past Thursday and I couldn't help but feel that she had probably been booked to promote 30 Rock. But Dave seemed to want to talk about the Palin impersonations and Tina seemed fine with that. 30 Rock was almost entirely an afterthought to Dave. Oh well...it's his show so I suppose that gives him the right to talk about whatever the heck he wants to talk about.
Something that came up during their conversation was whether or not the real Sarah Palin would be making an appearance on SNL. Tina said that Palin had contacted the show about dropping in. This certainly wouldn't be the first time that a politician has dropped in on SNL. Earlier this year, Hilary Clinton walked onstage while Amy Poehler was impersonating her. The desired effect seems to be to make the politicians appear more "human" by showing that they have a sense of humor and can laugh with everybody else at the exaggerated spoof of their idiosyncrasies [or, as in Palin's case, their general idiocy].

Jump ahead to Friday. The media is all abuzz with reports that Palin - the real Palin - would be appearing on SNL alongside "Fey-lin". The local NBC affiliate even plugged Palin's upcoming "drop-in" several times during their late news on Saturday night preceding SNL. So now everyone's expecting Palin to show up. Any surprise or spontaneity on the part of Palin or the show is completely sucked away. I think Palin's people were responsible for issuing the alerts. If SNL was in some sort of ratings quagmire I would suspect it of leaking the news. But SNL is experiencing the best ratings it's had in many, many years due largely to the "Fey-lin" appearances.

SNL starts off with "Fey-lin" making a speech during which the show cuts to a backstage shot of Palin standing alongside SNL creator and producer Lorne Michaels. Then Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg show up [Baldwin being Fey's co-star on 30 Rock; Wahlberg there to settle a score with Andy Samberg over Andy's Wahlberg impersonation the previous week] and generate the only real surprise of the opening. Palin eventually replaces "Fey-lin" at the lectern and delivers one of the least enthusiastic "Live from New York...it's Saturday Night!"s I've ever witnessed. But she's not finished.
Palin pops up during the "Weekend Update" portion of the program apparently to deliver a witty bit the show's writers have prepared for her. She says that she's not going to do it because she feels it crosses the line. So a very pregnant [and I mean water's gonna break any moment pregnant] Amy Poehler does the bit which turns out to be a rap song about Palin and he kickass life in Alaska. Palin gets so caught up in it that she "raises the roof". Seated. Now I'm no expert on roof raisin'. But I'm pretty sure it can't be done from the comfort of one's seat. To really maximize your roof raisin' you gotta be standing up. But that's just me. I could be wrong [and sometimes am].

So a great big "Way to go!" Sarah Palin. You clearly have a tremendous sense of humor in addition to having your finger on the pulse of popular culture. You truly are a maverick.

[Please note the introduction of this blog's official Sarcasm Color]

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