TRENDING: Fey defends Palin impersonation
April 5th, 2011
08:34 AM ET
3 years ago

TRENDING: Fey defends Palin impersonation

(CNN) – Comedienne Tina Fey might be most well known for her 2008 portrayal of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live – an impersonation that, to the detriment of the McCain campaign, led many to confuse Fey with the real thing.

But now Fey is defending her role as Palin amid critics who say she unfairly exploited the Alaska governor.

"Some may argue that exploiting Governor Palin and her family helped bring attention to my low-rated TV show," writes Fey of 30 Rock, the NBC show that has struggled in the ratings despite critical acclaim.

Fey's comments appear in her new memoir, "Bossypants," an advance copy of which was obtained by USA Today.

"I am proud to say you are wrong," she continues. "My TV show still enjoys very low ratings. In fact, I think the Palin stuff may have hurt the TV show. Let's face it, between Alec Baldwin and me there is a certain fifty percent of the population who think we are pinko Commie monsters."

Despite appearing at Fey's side on Saturday Night Live shortly before the 2008 presidential election, Palin has since made clear she is no fan of the actress that many believe defined the former Alaska governor more than anyone else.

In a 2009 interview with conservative John Ziegler, Palin said of Fey, "I know that a lot of people are capitalizing on, oh I don't know, perhaps some exploiting that was done via me, my family, my administration – that's a little bit perplexing, but it also says a great deal about our society."


Filed under: Sarah Palin • Tina Fey
soundoff (222 Responses)
  1. RVA

    Politicians have always been targets of cartoons and comedians. If Palin and others cannot stand the comic criticism they should get out of the limelight. Palin has demonstrated that she can dish it but not take it and when the criticism is fair she plays the victim. We Republicans do not need such a "leader" and cannot afford to have such a spineless individual running under the Republican banner. I now think less of Palin than I did before.... as if that was even possible.

    April 5, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Peachykeen

    Come on CNN. It's been awhile since there has been anything to write about Palin, so you grab some obscure line from Tina Fey's book to turn it into a story about Palin? Somebody on the CNN Political staff really has the hots for Palin. Forgetta bout it.

    April 5, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. Chris

    Tina Fey is not only hilarious but she is intelligent as well. Jesus, if it ever came down to it I would vote for Fey over Palin any day. At least Fey can speak in coherent sentences.

    April 5, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Billy Davis

    Making fun of the idiot from Wasilla is easy. Tina Fey just made it a classic caricature and I love it. I still laugh about those sketches. Amazing how Palin seems to think it's the liberal media that thinks she's an idiot. Actually, about 70% of America knows it but FoxNews thinks she's a genius and they are picking on her. Poor dumb, dumb nobody likes her.

    April 5, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. JonDie

    No one has been spared. And all the people who haven't been spared, NO ONE deserved to be parodied more than Sarah Palin, who is literally the stupidest human on Earth.

    April 5, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. Abiding Lib

    Tina Fey is a genius, and no, she did not "exploit" Sarah Palin. SP providing so much comedic material does not a case of exploitation make.

    I really hope SP runs for president so that TF revives her impersonation! It was was kept me sane during 2008.

    April 5, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. Dennis From Hemet

    Who is Sarah Pain? And why is she getting so much publicity?

    April 5, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. Keith

    Sister Sarah has CONSISTENTLY proven she cannot handle criticism. She reached the point where she now cowers over at FoxNews because its the only channel that will pamper her. There's no way she's running for President. Those claims are nothing more than a spoiled child trying to get attention.

    April 5, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. donald

    When Sarah Plain realizes that she is nothing but a 10 second never was, then she'll understand why Tina Fey does her better than she can ever do herself. The only exploitation I see is Sarah Palin expoliting the American people into believing that she was relevant to begin with.

    April 5, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. Chris

    So where is all the press concerning Dana Carvey's portrayal of George Bush? SNL has made fun of EVERYONE in politics over the years and just because the Palin stuff "rings true" doesn't mean she did anything wrong. It just shows that the GOP made a HUGE error in selecting that moron to run for VP. The best part is Palin was 100% down with it (appearing with Fey) because she thought it would bring her good media coverage. When she realized the coverage was not helping she immediately didn't like it any more. IMO this should spawn even more Palin comedy in the near future......exposing her for what she is through comedy is genius.

    April 5, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Joshua Ludd

    She was a politician. SNL does this with politicians all the time, and has since the show started. Palin's word salad about somehow being exploited is total crap trying to make herself seem a victim of the "lame-stream media" to those dumb enough to fall for it. She even appeared with Tina Fey, for gord's sweet sake! This whole argument is ludicrous.

    April 5, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. PalmReader

    Never mind that Palin herself has spent the past 3 years criticizing anyone (or thing) that isn't a Facebook Friend of hers. For someone who loves to think of herself as today's modern day warrior-woman, Palin ought to quit acting out her Jerry Springer trailer trash theatrics, and grow up.

    April 5, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. A disgusted former Republican

    What a joke Failin' Palin is!

    April 5, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Al-NY,NY

    Too bad Failin Palin. All big-name politicians (although with this description I don't know why you were included) are lampooned on SNL. If you can't even take this, you are truly lost

    April 5, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. JD

    "I know that a lot of people are capitalizing on, oh I don't know, perhaps some exploiting that was done via me, my family, my administration – that's a little bit perplexing, but it also says a great deal about our society."

    What on earth does this mean? Tina Fey is capitalizing on her own exploitation of her family? I think it does say something about our society–something positive. We know a B.S. artist when we see one.

    April 5, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. CedarRapids

    ' Palin said of Fey, "I know that a lot of people are capitalizing on, oh I don't know, perhaps some exploiting that was done via me, my family, my administration – that's a little bit perplexing, but it also says a great deal about our society."

    Oh please, parody has been a time honoured tradition for hundreds if not thousands of years. And lets face it SNL has been known for picking on politicians since its inception. Its always someone else's fault with her isn't it?

    April 5, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. Joseph in Iowa

    Quoting Palin: "...oh I don't know, perhaps some exploiting that was done via me, my family, my administration – that's a little bit perplexing, but it also says a great deal about our society." It also says a lot about the substance of those running of elected office.

    April 5, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. Mike In NJ

    Definitely, let's stop this rampant destructive Imitating! It is destroying America, takin' our jobs, and making it safe for the terrorists! I mena it's not like she accused Palin of being a subversive 'N azi' infiltrator who stole the Presidency and wants to bury America, right? I mean, that would be downright stupid, not to mention unAmerican.

    Now if we could get Trump to stop imitating a competent and sucessful businessman, the world might be a better place. I mean, who in blazes really believes he's more than a brainless hairpiece with a mouth attached?

    April 5, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. AC

    I cannot wait for Palin to run for President, we have so much more comedy to come from Tina the Fey! Tina Fey is sooooooooo funny, I love it, it makes me laugh, it make me feel good. Readers Digest section "Laughter the Best Medicine"
    SNL Question who's playing Bachmann?

    April 5, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. ReallY!!?

    Whatelse can she do. Who watches her other shows? She is typed-cast will be remembered for nothing else. No one will care about her other accomplisments b/c she obviously does not. Which is sad b/c I really think she has more to offer than just a Palin impersonator.

    April 5, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. TheThinker

    The problem with what Tina Fey did was that she didn't just make political jokes, but instead gave her political views. While the rabid-Left embraced and embraces Fey's protrayal of Palin, any objective person will categorize it as "yet another smug northeastern liberal dismissing anyone who talks or thinks differently.

    Now let's be honest. Alaska is a different place than New York. People relate differently, and one of the classic forms of elitism is for Big City folks to dismiss "country folk" as some flavor of "hillbilly", and this is exactly what Fey has done. Never mind Palin's message, never mind that she was a successful GOVERNOR, just make jokes of her voice, folksiness, and all foibles she has made. (Though I never heard any jokes about Candidate Obama's "47 states".)

    Diversity: means don't make fun of others' differences. Joke about whether her policies failed or were doomed to failure. Hillbilly jokes are the intellectual equivalent of racism.

    April 5, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. phoenix86

    Fey did not exploit Pailin. Fey simply exploited the ignorance of the American public. Nothing wrong with that, Obama did the same.

    April 5, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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