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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Tina Fey and the 2008 Elections

Tina Fey left Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 2006 after a show-stopping nine years of writing and acting on the show.
Tina Fey left “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 2006 after a show-stopping nine years of writing and acting on the show.

Tina Fey left “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 2006 after a show-stopping nine years of writing and acting on the show. Her departure was due to her commitment to the 36 time Emmy award winning sitcom “30 Rock”, which she also wrote and starred in.

Returning to SNL wasn’t even a thought in her mind until 2008, when Republican nominee John McCain, who was running against President Barack Obama at the time, selected Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential elect. 

As one of the most popular segments on SNL is those that parody political events, the appointance of Palin raised questions as to who would play her on the show. Many online noted the similarities in the appearances of Fey and Palin which sparked whispers of her return.

Robert DeNiro was the first to outwardly petition for Fey to play the role, going as far as to ask head writer Lorne Michaels to bring her back.

Fifteen years later, DeNiro addressed his rallying for the role to go to Fey, saying, “We [Lorne Michaels] lived in the same building at the time, and one day I said to him, ‘Lorne, Tina Fey. Boy, she’d be great as Sarah Palin.’ Whether that had anything to do with what eventually happened, I don’t know. But she was so great. She’s so funny.”

This commotion made its way back to Fey, who initially claimed she didn’t see the resemblance. It wasn’t until her own husband pointed out the two women’s likeness to each other that Fey began to consider the role.

The outspokenly liberal Fey acknowledged her disapproval of McCain and Palin’s politics. Fey considered Palin unfit to be the Vice President, as said on a late night show, “She’s about as smart as I am, and that’s not somebody I think should be one of the people in charge of running this country.”

Only 28 days after McCain’s VP selection, Tina Fey made her SNL comeback portraying Sarah Palin on the premiere of the show’s 34th season. 

Alongside Fey was SNL royalty Amy Poehler as Hilary Clinton. The two characters bantered back and forth about sexism in politics. This spoof birthed the iconic line “I can see Russia from my house”, which Fey executed so well that many were led to believe those were actually Palin’s words.

For the next few weeks, Fey would continuously return to SNL portraying Palin, with each time getting increasingly more attention.

Her final appearance as Palin would be a skit that included a cameo from the real Senator McCain, and the pair joked about the sheer impact Fey had on the election.

For many of the skits, Tina Fey did not even have to write any jokes- she simply just repeated what Palin said. Fey’s impression was nailed down to a T, so much so that Fox News mistook Fey for the real senator.

After Obama won, many would go on to say that Fey’s impression opened their eyes to how unfit Palin was to be a vice president and swayed their votes left. The spoof even went on to win Fey an Emmy, one of the most prestigious awards in Hollywood.

Fey is constantly acknowledged for her incredible comedic skills and it is important to point out the huge impact that Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska, had on Fey’s career.

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