When John McCain tapped Sarah Palin to be his running mate in the Summer of ’08, little did he know that it would revitalize the ailing ratings of Saturday Night Live. Bearing a striking resemblance to Palin, former SNL cast member Tina Fey was immediately booked to spoof the then-Alaska governor and current poster woman for the Tea Party movement. Her spot-on Palin impersonations brought the real Palin to SNL for one episode, which garnered the highest ratings for any SNL episode in the preceding 14 years. But most importantly, Tina Fey, through razor sharp humor, exposed Palin’s limited grasp of foreign policy — and geography to a national audience.
Although Palin won the votes of SNL viewers, she and John McCain did not fare as well in the 2008 Presidential Election. Then in July of 2009, Sarah Palin perplexingly stepped down as the governor of Alaska. Like pet rocks, hypercolor, and Dan Quayle, it looked like she would fade into obscurity.
Meanwhile, in September of 2009, Tina Fey triumphed by winning an Emmy for her impersonations of Palin, while her comedy series 30 Rock also won its third consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series.
Then something strange happened. Instead of fading away, the Wasilla native remained in the public eye. Her memoir Going Rogue, continues to be a fixture on the New York Times Best Sellers’ list after 12 weeks. Despite repeatedly saying kooky things in public, such as perpetuating a conspiracy theory that the Obama administration had moved the phrase “In God We Trust” to the edge of U.S. coins, and creating fictional agencies out of thin air, a sizeable segment of the U.S. population continues to rally behind the rogue without a cause.
Even the media frenzy around Bristol’s baby daddy Levi Johnson failed to make a sizeable dent in the Palin juggernaut. Most recently, she was the keynote speaker at the Tea Party convention, a movement that started at the fringes of the right wing but is quickly becoming mainstream. And now there are rumblings that Palin might actually be a legitimate contender for chief executive in 2012.
Clearly, there has been a disturbance in the Force. In Star Wars, as the Empire continued its assault against the inhabitants of A Galaxy Far Far Away, Princess Leia recorded a hologram seeking the aid of the venerable Obi-Wan Kenobi. To quote Leia, and to direct the message at the revered Tina Fey: “This is our most desperate hour … You are our only hope.”
It looks like the aforementioned disturbance in the cosmos may well be quelled.
It has been reported that Tina Fey will be guest hosting an episode of Saturday Night Live in April, and last week, she told the AP that it is likely that she will reprise her role as Palin.
“It’s inevitable that we’ll try it, at least. We’ll see if it makes it to air,” said Fey. SNL has traditionally been coy about upcoming sketches, but in light of the comedy gold mine that is Palin’s string of public appearances in last few months, we’ll just take this as a “You betcha!”
Tina, may the Force be with you.