Sarah Palin to step into Tina Fey's satirical den

Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:34am EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sarah Palin steps into the lion's den of political satire on Saturday with an appearance on the comedy show that has mocked the Republican vice-presidential candidate and helped shape the national debate.

Palin's appearance on "Saturday Night Live" follows a series of dead-on impersonations of her by comedian Tina Fey that have sent ratings for the show soaring and become as talked about as the Alaska governor and self-described hockey mom herself.

Actor Josh Brolin, who captures the Texas swagger and twang of President George W. Bush in the new Oliver Stone biopic "W.", is expected to join Palin on Saturday's show, just 17 days before the November 4 election.

"I just want to be there to show Americans that we will rise above the political shots that we take because we're in this serious business for serious challenges that are facing the good American people right now," Palin told Neal Boortz, talking about the forthcoming SNL appearance on his syndicated radio show on Friday.

It was not clear whether Fey, the Emmy-award winning star of the TV show "30 Rock" and the movie "Baby Mama", will reprise her own turn as Palin. Fey's three skits have boosted "Saturday Night Live" ratings by 50 percent in the past month and attracted more than 38 million viewings live or online.

Fey's impersonations have included an "I can see Russia from my house" joke skewering what critics see as Palin's lack of foreign policy knowledge, and a flute-toting bid for a "talent portion" during the vice presidential debate that played on critics' charges that Palin, a one-time beauty pageant contestant, is too shallow for the vice presidency.

The skits have capped a political season in which comedy has played an influential role.

Palin was a surprise pick by Republican presidential candidate John McCain in August as his running mate, and has been a big hit with conservative Christians who admire her no-nonsense, folksy style. But the choice has been derided by supporters of Democratic candidate Barack Obama, thanks in part to the Fey skits.   Continued...

<p>Actress Tina Fey accepts the "Individual Achievement in Comedy" for her work on "30 Rock" during the 24th Annual Television Critics Association Awards in Beverly Hills July 19, 2008. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas</p>