The long awaited appearance of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live began with Tina Fey. Tina started the show spoofing Sarah Palin at a press conference where jokes were made about Palin not answering questions and about the McCain/Obama debate on last Wednesday.
Camera-cut to Loren Michaels with the real Sarah Palin who pulled of a pretty decent joke with Michaels about 30 Rock not being well known enough for Palin to spoof Fey. Enter Mark Wahlberg angrily looking for Andy Samberg. It was no surprise that whole deal was a set up, but I’m really hoping it was set up with this much forethought: A whole week of taking everyone for a ride just to tie in to the next joke… when Loren directed him to Sambergs dressing room and he stormed off, Michaels explained to Palin that Marky Mark wasn’t happy with the show’s impression of him.
Palin kind of snorted and said “Tell me about it.”
Then, in an inspired cameo, Alec Baldwin came on, mistaking Palin for Fey, asking Michaels how he could possibly let their wonderful Tina Fey on stage with that horrible Sarah Palin. Feigning embarrassment when Michaels introduced him to Sarah, Baldwin recovered by telling her that she was way hotter in person, to which Sarah responded that Stephen was her favorite Baldwin.
Then, in what one could have feared would have caused the collapse of the world as we know it, Tina Fey and Sarah Palin passed each other, as Fey skittered offstage when told Palin was on her way on to announce that she wouldn’t take anyone’s questions and “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”
Palin didn’t say much, and certainly didn’t interact the way Hillary Clinton did, or show as much comedy talent as McCain, but she was understatedly amusing. She reminded me of my junior high school teacher humoring the 8th grade graduation crowd after taking a ribbing by the valedictorian in his speech. Clearly not thinking it was as funny as everyone else does, but not wanting to look like she doesn’t have a sense of humor about herself.
The introduction sketch wasn’t the last we saw of Palin on the show. During Weekend Update, Sarah reappeared. She declared she wasn’t going to do the bit they rehearsed, so Amy Poehler launched into the rap, obviously meant for her all along, that mentioned Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, “Drill, Baby, Drill”, the Bridge to Nowhere, and shooting moose. Cast members danced behind her, dressed as Eskimos, a moose (which was shot), and Palin husband, Todd. Sarah sat at the anchor desk bopping along to the music and doing that thing she does with her mouth. You know, when she pushes her top lip up with her bottom lip? Yeah, that.
Palin finally got her chance to imitate Tina Fey by using the sign-off Fey had delivered for years, ala Chevy Chase, as one of the anchors of Weekend Update, “I’m Sarah Palin. Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.”
On a few Palin-unrelated notes, Adele was phenomenal live, Amy Poehler is hugely and adorably pregnant, and I’m pretty impressed with Samberg and Wahlberg pulling off this week long joke on the media.