Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Palin fails to impress on SNL

Well, I don't think we have to worry about Sarah Palin winning over any undecided voters based on her appearance on SNL this past Saturday.

As mentioned in my previous post, a successful appearance would have been one in which Palin came off as self-deprecating and funny. She didn't. In fact, she barely said a word. It's not enough for her to simply come off as a good sport by standing/sitting there while the scene goes on around her.

For the Weekend Update bit to be a success for Palin, the audience had to spend the entire rap imagining her performing the bit, but within a few seconds, all I was thinking was, "Amy Poehler is amazing; I can't believe she's leaving the show; etc." and I pretty much forgot Palin was even there. I was also annoyed that they gave her the two catch phrases.

What I've been wondering is who approached who to get Palin on the show. There's every possibility Palin's handlers thought it would do her well to show up at SNL and acknowledge the attention they've been getting for the past few weeks. If the folks at SNL didn't really want her there, or at least didn't want to help her campaign in any way, it's possible the writers intentionally gave her very few lines. Another possibility is that regardless of who initiated, Palin's team put so many limits on what she could do, the writers didn't have anything to work with. As a result, they write something ridiculous (and hilarious) that Palin would never have been able to do herself, and get Poehler to do it.

Some will argue that politicians aren't actors; they rarely perform well when they appear on SNL, so we shouldn't hold Palin to a high standard. Fine, but contrast Palin's performance with that of Gov. Mike Huckabee last season:

That, my friends, is a self-deprecating politician with great delivery capable of playing a caricature of himself. I expected that much of Palin, and she didn't deliver.

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