Tina Fey, Gov. Sarah Palin
“Saturday Night Live” veteran comedienne Tina Fey has ignited the show’s ratings with her uncanny impersonation of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, prompting some in the Republican campaign to ponder giving the governor a shot at spoofing her spoofer, says a new report.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a leader in GOP candidate John McCain’s campaign told columnist Bill Zwecker that key people – including Palin herself – would like to see the governor capitalize on the buzz created by Fey’s impersonations.
Since Fey has appeared as Palin on “SNL,” the show’s ratings have skyrocketed. According to Reuters, last weekend’s episode lampooning the vice-presidential debate brought in a 7.4 rating, within a 10th of its season premiere, a show that drew the largest “SNL” audience in more than five years.
Last weekend’s show, the fourth episode of the season, also represented a 23 percent jump over the previous week’s viewership, reports MSNBC, and a 42 percent jump over last season’s fourth episode.
Palin has publicly acknowledged the popularity of Fey’s impersonations, stating at a Florida rally yesterday that she was providing “job security for ‘SNL’ characters” and joking that in the vice-presidential debate she “was just trying to keep Tina Fey in business.”
Palin’s next interaction with Fey, however, may be a turning of the tables.
Zwecker reports hearing speculation Palin may be planning a spoof of one of Fey’s American Express commercials, such as the one where the actress portrays herself during a hectic day in which she’s asked to suck the venom out of a snake bite, choose a flute for a comedy sketch and have “octopus time” with her daughter.
While the next original “SNL” episode will not be broadcast until Oct. 18, NBC is creating three primetime special episodes of its popular “Weekend Update” sketch – a spoof on news broadcasts that used to be “anchored” by Fey.
The half-hour “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday” episodes will air Oct. 9, 16 and 23 at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time with a special Monday episode the day before the election at 9 p.m.
The extra specials will give “SNL” a total of seven more opportunities for Fey to spoof Palin – or vice versa – between now and the election.