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. gt

    she is funny... and it keeps her in the stop lite...who cares...

    April 5, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. Longsack the Clown

    SNL has long poked fun at a number of people, but now it's all of the sudden turned into Ms. Palin being exploited. This woman just does nothing but whine unless she is bashing someone else, then it seems to be ok. She sure seemed to join right in when she was on the show and it was giving her publicity. But since they weren't elected it's turned into poor poor me. Get over it Palin, you've made a ton of money off of naive people, just take it and go away.

    April 5, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. Bud

    Palin continues to exploit the low intelligence of the average tea voter.....Tools and Fools.

    April 5, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. unretired05

    Fey couldn't make half term Sarah appear any more ridiculous than surveyor Sarah did herself.

    April 5, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. Colleen

    Tina Fey, is intelligent...the moron she is not...I'll buy Tina's book..I predict huge she at least can write her own material, and it is interesting...

    April 5, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. scott

    o come on....tina fey's sarah palin was very funny. especially on the skit of the vp debate, when she broke out the flute for the talent portion of the debate....that was funny. i remember when sen mccain introduced gov palin, i said to my wife then, it is ashame tina fey left snl, it is a natural and then tina fey came back to do gov palin... u go tina u were funny

    April 5, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. Bookenz

    Tina Fey didn't exploit Palin – she exposed her.

    April 5, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. Andulamb

    Palin is a whiny child. Not a day goes by that she isn't whining about someone. Politics is nothing but a game. It's not about serving your constituents. It's about portraying your opponents as evil so that they can't get anything done, and vice versa. It's about doing what the party says and not what you believe to be right. It's about telling each special interest group what they want to hear, and dishing out generic feel-good nonsense to national audiences. All politicians are the same, but none are as whiny as Palin.

    April 5, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  9. mkjp

    Sarah Palin capitalizes on herself and her family on a daily basis. If more people want to watch 30 Rock after seeing Tina Fey's impersonation on SNL, that's their business and it doesn't really matter. Palin had her own TV show maybe it's sour grapes that 30 Rock hasn't been cancelled yet and her show was? I don't know. It was 3 years ago, time to move on.

    April 5, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. Bill

    As long as she made money off of Palin, then, yes she exploited Palin. Now we are just seeing Fey as a no talent comic whose show will be going off the air because that is all she is. Just an impersonator.

    April 5, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. eodmac

    No surprise. You're not allowed to be a Republican AND have a sense of humor. Look at Dennis Miller.

    April 5, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. cecilia

    Unfair to Palin? Exploited Palin ? Damaged the McCain campaign? give me a break – Palin has been exploiting America for months. If Tina was unfair to poor Ms Palin, she is in very good company of people who have hurt her feelings. and Damaged the McCain campaign – If a political campaign can be injured by a comedian then I think the campaign was in too much trouble to be able to face serious problems that face every Administration –

    April 5, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. Phil in KC

    Oh, boo hoo. Did David Frye exploit LBJ? Did Rich Little exploit Nixon? No one ever seriously suggested that they should stop or were responsible for the downfall of either president. Politicians have long been comedic fodder; it comes with the territory. Palin needs to put her big girl pants on, if she wants to play in that game.

    April 5, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. Shawn

    Sarah Palin and her few wacky supporters are always, ALWAYS victims, aren't they? It's not Tina Fey's (or the meeeeeedia's waaaaahhhhh) fault Sarah Palin is a moron.

    April 5, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. Alec Baldwin

    The biggest problem is that the people who confuse Fey with Palin are allowed to vote.

    April 5, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  16. w7rkd

    I think Fey portrayed the truth and the truth hurts so the critics who are complaining are just as dub as Palin.

    April 5, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  17. kelsey's grammar

    I think that perhaps Palin's on quote on the matter shows that Fey pegged her correctly. Speak like an intelligent person and you won't be such an easy target.

    "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."

    April 5, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  18. stephanie

    the only reason i want palin on the presidential ticket is to bring back tina and her hilarious sketches. we all know she wouldn't win, but we could enjoy snl so much more in the process.

    April 5, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. Former Republican, but never again!

    Fey repeated what Palin said WORD FOR WORD! If that made Palin look stupid, who's fault is that?

    April 5, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. indydave

    Fey is funny and, more to the point, witty, Palin is humorless and witless. 30 Rock is one of the funniest things to have hit TV in the past decade. I've never even seen Fey's SNL Palin skits, and never needed any third-party commentary to tell me Palin is daft; what led me to that conclusion was searching the internet for transcripts of various speeches she'd given to various assemblies. They were a mish-mash of incoherent thoughts, spun to be exactly what each audience would have wanted to hear, and many therefore directly contradicting each other. In one context, Palin would make herself out to be for total separation of church and state, and would claim to never let religious bias color her official acts, and in another, she'd portray herself as the savior who would put god back into the government where that particular audience wanted. In other words, a total POLITICIAN. And those speeches were from before McCain's campaign ever spoke her name.

    April 5, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. dmnewberg

    Politicians (presidents especially) have always been fair game for impersonators. I am old enough to remember Vaughn Meader imitating John Kennedy–particularly his New England accent.

    April 5, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. Angela

    Yes, it was very cruel of Tina Fey to portray Palin as bewildered and casting about for something of a plausible answer in the interview with Katie Couric....oh wait, Palin actually said most of those things.

    April 5, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    I bet U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona really hates that pseudo "don't retreat, reload! political comedy act that Granny Sarah Grizzly does in the name of "Free Speach" too huh?

    April 5, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  24. Duane - St.Pete FL

    it baffles me to this day why the left is so transfixed on Palin. She will in no way ever capture the GOP and be a Perez candidate but the left continues to believe this will be the case. They throw insults her way every chance they get but all the while cheer on the cake sale organizer that is embarrassing the USA with his clueless banter on foreign policy and the like. strange...........

    April 5, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  25. GPS

    Sarah Palin exploited herself and her family! I'm a Conservative voter who sees no value to either Palin or Bachman!! I wish theses two idiots would just go away!!

    April 5, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
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