Tina Fey and SNL do it again with VP debate spoof

As is becoming the custom every weekend, Tina Fey turns into Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and the ratings take off.

It happened again last night.  But could they top last week's "I'd like to use a lifeline" gag?

Well, the writers proved that another sequel could produce hilarious results anyway.  The late night comedy show poked fun at Palin's performance during Thursday night's debate and took aim at Joe Biden as well.  They even parodied the moderator of the debate, Gwen Ifill.


Eight years ago, SNL coined the term "strategery" when spoofing then-candidate George W. Bush.

Last night, in lampooning the nauseatingly overused term "maverick," they turned it into a verb when Palin (Fey) was asked about climate change.

"Gwen, we don't know if this climate change hoozie-what's-it is man made or if it's just a natural part of the 'End of Days,'" she said.  "But I'm not gonna talk about that. I would like to talk about taxes, because with Barack Obama, you're gonna be paying higher taxes. But not with me and my fellow maverick. We are not afraid to get maverick-y in there and ruffle feathers and not got to allow that. And also, too, the great Ronald Reagan."


How close to that was her actual statement on Thursday night?  Well, they packed a lot into that paragraph.  Palin's announcement that she would answer only the questions she wanted to, her lapses into pre-set talking points jargon, and of course the frequent use of the world 'maverick.'


Joe Biden frequently uses the word "Scranton" - as in his birthplace in Pennsylvania.  He drops the Scranton name often.  Three times, in fact, during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.

He does it to remind voters that he's not a Washington insider (despite his 35 years of continuous service as a U.S. Senator).  He also does it to make sure everyone knows that he's an "average Joe."

In poking fun at the constant reminder, SNL produced a clip unlikely to be featured on Scranton's Chamber of Commerce website.

"I come from Scranton, Pennsylvania and that's as hardscrabble a place as you're gonna find," he said.  "I'll show you around some time and you'll see. It's a hellhole. An absolute jerkwater of a town. You couldn't stand to spend a weekend there. It is just an awful, awful sad place filled with sad desperate people with no ambition. Nobody, and I mean nobody, but me has ever come out of that place. It's a genetic cesspool. So don't be telling me that I'm part of the Washington elite because I come from the absolute worst place on Earth: Scranton, Pennsylvania.


Queen Latifah played the part of Gwen Ifill - the moderator who took flak from some conservative groups for not recusing herself from the debate because she is writing a book on black politicians including Barack Obama.

"As moderator, I will not ask any follow-up questions beyond 'do you agree?' or 'your response?' so as not to appear biased for Barack Obama in light of my new book 'The Breakthrough: Politics of Race in the Age of Obama,' coming out on inauguration day and available for pre-order on Amazon.com," she said.

Best moment?

The best comedic moments are always up for debate.  Although Fey's drop-dead impersonation of Palin is hysterical, you have to hand it to Jason Sudeikis' impersonation of Biden for an exaggerated but right-on parody of Biden's schizophrenic feelings toward McCain.

In the actual debate, and at many campaign stops, right before Biden insults McCain he drops in a "I love John McCain, but..." line.  Sudeikis poured it on.

"Look, I love John McCain," he began. "He is one of my dearest friends. But at the same time, he's also dangerously unbalanced. I mean, let's be frank, John McCain - and again, this is a man I would take a bullet for - is bad at his job and mentally unstable. As my mother would say, 'God love him, but he's a raging maniac.  And a dear, dear friend."

No mas

Sadly, Tina Fey will not be playing the part of Sarah Palin next week as the show is taking a week off.  But three prime-time "Weekend Update" specials have been scheduled during the month of October beginning this Thursday at 9:30pm (ET).

Here's the link to last night's show.

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