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. Bruce Wayne

    Ever get the impression that if poor, poor Sarah Palin got into a cat fight with anyone, she'd probably bleed to death from the slightest scratch due to such thin skin.

    April 5, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. DJ

    As I recall, the funniest sketch Tina Fey did as Palin was the one where she used Palin's words verbatim.

    April 5, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. Ronald Hussein Reagan

    The Mainstream Conservative Media is picking on her.

    April 5, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  4. Citizen

    Ms. Fey, some out of the spectrum right wing people may criticize you but you have the free speech right. For some wingnuts constitutional rights work only; if they do not favor them then it is unfair. Go ahead and continue your work.

    April 5, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. paulr50

    Tina Fey will go the way of other celebraties who try to look and sound intellligent. Low ratings for their shows and finally endorsing cheap product in infomercials.

    April 5, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. vin

    Wrong, dummy – it says more about your lack of hmmmm, let's start a long list: general knowledge, common sense, reading ability, empathy, ...

    April 5, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. Not All Docs Play Golf

    She did not exploit Palin. She helped the country understand who Palin really is by putting spotlights on what Palin herself had already shown the world to be her rediculous mentality and self-agrandizement.

    April 5, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. NothingNew

    What? Tina Fey is running for President?

    April 5, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  9. John Ellis

    Artistic parody is not exploitation. No one suggested that Phil Hartman's Clinton was exploitation and his impersonation was certainly ruder. Palin is so extreme that it is amazing that Fey could parody her. In her life since the 2008 run Palin has been so embarrassing and absurd that if Fey were still playing her she'd be hard pressed to get out ahead of her subject.

    April 5, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  10. Chris

    From the moment that McCain named Palin as his VP pick and she hit the national stage – everyone remarked on her resemblance to Tina Fey. It was only natural that the SNL Alumnus would be picked to do an impression of Palin. That it was such a dead on and masterful performance speaks more of Fey's talents than of trying to exploit it for her own gains.

    April 5, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  11. dtny

    Only Palin would complain about being mimic'd on SNL! There isn't a president or candidate alive they haven't made fun of! Remember the Bush and Clinton years? She needs to grow a thicker skin, or better yet, go away!

    April 5, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  12. palin is a coward

    Palin stab's back, doesn't face her enemies an is weak weak weak.

    Tina Fey is a monster – a hilarious fun machine monster.

    April 5, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. Sniffit

    Awww, Jaberwocky Barbie and her angry-at-everything supporters are upsetty wetty over some legitimate satire....boobity hoo. I guess it's not just irony and hypocrisy that the conservative gene impedes the ability to sense.

    April 5, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Ozzie

    The difference between Tina Fey and Sarah Palin is Fey has talent and is intelligent, Palin is neither.

    April 5, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  15. America Shrugged

    Big Deal... Politicians have always been portrayed on SNL, and with much laughter and enthusiasm. At least half of the population of the US has a sense of humor. Nothing here folks, let's move on.

    April 5, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  16. John N Florida

    "oh I don't know,...."
    She should have left it there. This part of her sentence was. at least, 100% true.

    April 5, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    How come no one claims that candidate Obama was, and continues to be as POTUS, unfairly exploited on SNL?

    How come no one claims that Gov. Paterson was unfairly exploited? He appeared on SNL, too.

    How come no one I can think of who was been parodied on SNL has ever made a similar complaint?

    Geraldine Ferraro didn't complain. Hillary Clinton didn't complain. Why only Sarah?

    April 5, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. lynn

    Palin is still shoving her sour grapes. It didn't take just Fey to show Palin what she really is, Palin did that as soon as she sold herself for big dollars. What's the definition of someone who sells themselves for money???

    April 5, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. bcrunner

    First of all, Palin went on Saturday Night Live willingly... hoping it would boost her image... Didn't help.. She already had done the damage to herself. Tina Fey did an excellent job of portraying her... And capitalizing on her name, family and administration?? what administration?? the governorship that she quit half way through?? Have you ever heard of a governor quiting half way through their term on their own?? I may be wrong, but not in these modern times as far as I know...

    April 5, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  20. JPX

    Please, Palin, if you want to be a reality star than you must accept that people are going to make fun of you, especially when it's clear that you're such a vapid dolt.

    April 5, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  21. CVaughn

    Palin and critics really need to stop crying victim. Politicians are comic fodder, that has always been the case. How many comics have held up fingers in a V and said, "I am not a crook?" How many impersonations have there been over the years of Dan Quayle, or Bill Clinton, or GW Bush? The real problem here is not Tina Fey's brilliant comic impersonation, but Palin's inability to understand that the citizens are not required to like her or approve of her politics. Reporters are not required to only deliver fluff questions. And when you step into the political spotlight, the glare is bound to reveal your flaws. It happens to ALL politicians, get over it.

    April 5, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  22. Louisiana Man

    But Sarah-You gave us sooo much comical material

    BTW-NOBODY exploited your family for political, monetary and all around notoriety gain like U.

    April 5, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. Hjdttt

    SNL has been doing political parody since Gerald Ford, and no one has been spared. Non-issue.

    April 5, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  24. Bassman

    I have to wonder when our media will see there are consequences to attacking Sarah Palin. Letterman, Conde Nast, Newsweek, and now Katie Couric have all paid a price.

    April 5, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. John PA

    Palin is a hot house flower who can't take any type of criticism. Impersonations of practically all political figures have been commonplace for as long as I can remember. Palin likes to talk tough, but she's really just a high school "mean girl" who never really grew up. Her tough talk is a charade. Do us all a favor, Sarah, and stay home w/the kids.

    April 5, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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