Couric / Palin Open
Couric / Palin Open
Down By The River
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Sarah Palin already has a place in history. But her legacy also overlaps with that of Tina Fey, who did a dead-on impression of the Alaska governor on "Saturday Night Live" during the 2008 election season. When the Palin pick was announced, executive producer Lorne Michaels recalled to Entertainment Weekly, "the audience cast Tina. You'd read or people would come up to you and say, what a gift." Never mind that Fey had left the show to write and star in the sitcom "30 Rock" and a current cast member was available. "I think if we had used Kristin [Wiig], who I think would've done a brilliant Sarah Palin, the audience would've been disappointed. No question about it," Michaels added. When Fey donned the trademark Palin specs and hairstyle, the likeness was so uncanny that Fox News once accidentally ran a photo of Fey instead of Palin during a news story about the politician. Palin eventually came on the show, but Fey did not want to share the screen with her, worried that her appearance with the candidate would come off as an endorsement, Fey recounted in her book, "Bossypants." So Palin appeared with Lorne Michaels backstage and not with Fey. Even though the two kept their distance, the joint appearance resulted in the highest ratings since the 1994 show hosted by Olympian Nancy Kerrigan. According to Fey’s account in “Bossypants,” Palin reached out to Fey, even offering her daughter Bristol’s babysitting services during the show for Fey’s child. Fey declined the offer — her daughter was too young to stay for the show at the time. Still, Fey wrote, "I appreciated the mom-ness of Mrs. Palin's offer." In this 2008 clip, Tina Fey as candidate Palin satirizes her interview with Katie Couric, played by Amy Poehler. Couric, through silent wide-eyed looks, can't quite believe Palin's answers, like this one about her visit to the United Nations: "I was disheartened by how many of them were foreigners. I promise when Sen. John McCain and I are elected, we are going to get those jobs back in American hands." Tina Fey/Sarah Palin, you are missed. — Claudine Zap (@zapkidd)
The character is, as Farley explains, 35 years old, divorced, and "living in a van down by the river." The line has lived on, even though Farley died in 1997 at the age of 33. David Spade, who is lectured by Farley in the skit, cannot keep it together. The former cast member recalled that Farley surprised him by hitching and twisting his belt during the sketch. "He saved that for the live performance, and so none of us had ever seen it. He knew that would break me."
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