TRENDING: Fey defends Palin impersonation
April 5th, 2011
08:34 AM ET
7 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. R.I.P. Damon

    You're absolutely right, Tina...Gov. Palin isn't the victim, you are. It must be terrible being on an award winning show whose ratings would've gotten it cancelled after the first season in almost any other situation.

    April 5, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  2. Jon

    Hee hee hee. "Unfairly exploited"? We're getting this from the same people who have played out the whole so-called "birth certificate controversy" for all that it's worth? They're just mad because Fey did such a great job.

    April 5, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. OneMoreTime

    Actually, Mz Palin, it says a lot about you.

    April 5, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. boondoggle

    I think SNL has the right to satirize everyone running for public office. Furthermore, anyone who cannot handle being poked fun at ought to look at their own rhetoric before attacking known comedic performers.

    April 5, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  5. Brent

    there is no humor in Palin's world.

    April 5, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. Logic

    If she (Palin) can't stand the heat she should stay out of politics. If you ever saw an impressionist do Richard Nixon, Palin got off easy.

    April 5, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. Pete

    Actually, Tina Fey didn't make fun of Palin. She took her own words, litterally, because they were already incredibly wrong (and hilarious!).

    April 5, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. WMesser58

    The only thing Fey did wrong was portray the airhead dead on. Here's a moron that has exploited every media avenue you can find and now she's upset. PLEASE!!!!!

    The only problem palin has is she only wants it one way. She can say anything defamatory and it’s gospel but, when the tide is turned she scream she’s being pick on.

    Here’s a suggestion if you don’t want the attention quite shining the spotlight on yourself.

    April 5, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. FM

    Dear CNN, why can't you inform us that at the moment you don't have something new. We will understand you better than bringing this kind of past event!

    April 5, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. Laughing Duck

    So, a politician may have been "unfairly exploited". Well THAT's a welcome switch.

    April 5, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  11. BostonBill

    All Presidential Candidates get lampooned. It's just that Sara Palin made herself such an easel target. It wasn't Tina Fey that looked "less than prepared ' when Palin was interviewed. I think was the result of a hasty decision because tha t Republicans wanted to put a woman in front of the public hoping it would satisfy the Hilary Clinton contingent. It failed miserably. Poor Sara needs to take responsibility for her behavior and her poor presentation.

    April 5, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  12. Tallulah13

    SNL has been satirizing politicians since day one. Palin should be honored to be included. Besides it's her own failings that allowed people to confuse the satire with the real thing.

    April 5, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  13. Chuckster

    Tina Fey is no different than any other jerk off comedian. These normally are people who were the class CLOWNS in school cause they think they are cute. Unfortunately in this country you can make a life of it by making fun of people at their expense and make millions. I think Tina Fey is nothing special and she should take a serious look at who she is and what she has accomplished in her FUNNY LIFE.

    April 5, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  14. Gorddi

    Tine knows more about world politics than Palin will ever know.

    April 5, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  15. Steve in Denver

    As usual, Palin the victim. How can one person whine so much? Satire is part of our lives. It didn't start when caribu barbie arrived on the scene.

    Keep at it, Tina Fey. It'd be great if you had a presidential candidate to impersonate in 2012! Can you say bigger landslide than Reagan had in 1984?

    April 5, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. Wally Balloo

    Parodies of poltical figures are as old as civilization. If you don't like it – don't run. Palin seems to think it's okay to ridicule others, but she's got pretty thin skin.

    April 5, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  17. CC

    I think she covered Palin pretty realistic, even a comedian didn't have to act well to pretend to be Palin–just look lost when asked serious questions

    April 5, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  18. lgny

    Duh, that's what comedy is all about. SNL has spoofed every president since Gerald Ford and many senators and other public figures. It's stupid to call this exploiting. Political humor is as old as politics.

    April 5, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz

    SNL has a long history of impersonating politicians and other famous people. So, just because Tina Fey looked a lot like her and was spot on with her impersonation makes it so horrible and the other impersonations other cast members have done are no big deal? Sarah Palin is just addicted to the spotlight and will make a big deal out of anyhting that will get her attention.

    April 5, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  20. MikeW

    I'm no huge fan of Tina Fey or 30 Rock but come on now! If anyone has been exploiting the persona of Sarah Palin it's Miss U'Betcha herself! She's extended her 15 minutes of fame into an incomprehensible influence on U.S. politics! There are apparently MANY suckers born every minute!

    April 5, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. Martin

    That a bimbo like Sarah Palin ever got elected to anything also "says a great deal about our society".

    April 5, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Tanya Rose

    Whatever. Palin unfaily exploited her complete lack on knowledge and common sense. SNL makes fun of EVERYONE-if Palin is going to stay in politics or even in the public eye she needs to grow a thicker skin.

    April 5, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. Louis in Wisc.

    I think she did a very accurate and very true and funny portrial of the real thing. No one should have to look any further than any of the speechs or interviews of the real "Sarah" to see how accurate Tina did her. Her campaign was doomed from the start as soon as she opened her mouth and here true intellect came out. I hope she keeps making millions off speechs from her followers that's less to go to real canditates.

    April 5, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  24. Bill

    How could these two be confused? Tina Fey has a brain.

    April 5, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. SNAPPA

    Tina Fey you are outstanding, your version of Sarah Palin waa right on. When you put yourself out there and act like a complete ass you can expect to be lampooned. Sarah Palin is a joke always has been John McCain should be ashamed for giving that moron a public stage. Sarah Palin will never, ever be president, she is incapable of taking what comes her way. She quit the governor ship, she's whining about being in the media eyes so how on Earth could she handle being president?

    April 5, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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