Saturday, October 18, 2008

Palin to appear on SNL tonight

On Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Emily Heil provided some interesting commentary on SNL suddenly becoming relevant once again and what Palin's appearance on SNL might mean for her campaign.

In particular, I think Heil is right that while Palin is comedic gold, she hasn't shown herself to be very self-deprecating. I don't know if Palin appreciates the caricature she has become.

As Musto mentions in the above clip, Paris Hilton's appearance on Weekend Update is a perfect example of how an SNL appearance can help a person whose reputation is in the toilet. A 2-minute spot on SNL can suddenly make the audience realize that, wait a minute, she knows that people are making fun of her and she's humble/clever enough to go along with it. Hilton, in particular, has done a great job of seeming both stupid and terribly clever (through self-deprecating humour) to the point where people can never be quite sure of just how (un)intelligent she actually is. However, while this approach works for a pop culture figure like Hilton, I don't think it can work for a political figure like Palin.

Since the Katie Couric interview, a lot of commentators have been drawing comparisons between Palin and George W. Bush due to their apparent stupidity. A successful appearance tonight will, unfortunately, help Sarah Palin. If she is able to convince people that she can be self-deprecating and that she appreciates the SNL-style satire that has been lampooning her since McCain introduced her to us, she will have distinguished herself from George Bush, who has never, to my mind, shown any willingness to make fun of himself to the extent that other politicians have done.

Either way, it should make for a good laugh, and will likely reel in more great ratings for SNL.

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