14 September 2008

Fey on Palin

"Good evening, my fellow Americans." From those opening lines, Tina Fey brought her ringing genius to bear throughout the hilarious, opening skit for this year's season of Saturday Night Live. We stood before the screen, riveted, watching the artist outdo her subject: Sarah Palin.

Meta dripped from the skit, art imitating the life that has been compared to the art. No doubt millions of us will google "flurge" to discover exactly what Amy Poehler's Hillary was talking about. Poehler couldn't render Clinton's voice and intonation like Fey captured Palin's, but she sure said some of the things we'd like to hear from Hillary Clinton. The commentary beneath the commentary, pointing up the ridiculousness of the sexism claims, was rich. And the scathing review of the media--"I invite the media to grow a pair, and if you can't, I will lend you mine"--at the end of the sketch was priceless for its brutal appropriateness.

If reporters, pundits, strategists and politicians still can't quite get a grasp on the cultural phenomenon that is Sarah Palin, let's at least take comfort that our comics haven't struggled with the same challenge. Here's hoping for more in the coming weeks.

Now I've got to go research Palin and dinosaurs.