After watching 'Saturday Night Live' make fun of her from afar, Sarah Palin witnessed it first hand as Tina Fey engaged in fiction by depicting her at the news conference the Republican vice-presidential nominee has yet to hold.
Later, Palin came on stage during the Weekend Update mock news segment of the popular US TV programme and watched cast member Amy Poehler do a rap song the Alaska governor had decided might not be good for her to perform personally.
“My country ’tis of thee, from my porch I can see Russia and such,” Poehler rapped as Palin bobbed her head rhythmically and actors dressed as Eskimos, her husband Todd, and a moose pranced across the stage.
In the show’s opening last night, Fey’s impersonation of Palin told a group of reporters: “First off, I just want to say how excited I am to be in front of both the liberal elite media as well as the liberal regular media. I am looking forward to a portion of your questions.”
Asked to assess how her running mate, John McCain, did in his debate with Democrat Barack Obama last week, Fey as “Palin” replied: “I just thought he was great. Because the American people are angry – and John McCain is angry, too.”
By contrast, Obama was smooth. “When he’s talking, it’s like an angel whispering in your ear. He makes John McCain sound like a garbage truck,” Fey said.
Moments later, the camera cut away to the real Palin watching a television monitor alongside the show’s executive producer, Lorne Michaels.
“You know, Lorne, I just don’t think it’s a realistic depiction of the way my press conferences would have gone,” Palin said.
She said she wished he would have let her do a sketch about '30 Rock', the NBC programme in which Fey now stars. That prompted Michaels to deadpan: “Honestly not enough people know that show.”
Palin then stood mute as Fey’s '30 Rock' co-star Alec Baldwin came into view, mistook Palin for Fey and pleaded with Michaels not to let the actor go onstage with the governor.
“This is the most important election in our nation’s history and you want her, our Tina, to go out there and stand with that horrible woman?” Baldwin said.
When Michaels broke down and introduced him to Palin, Baldwin feigned embarrassment and replied, “I see. Forgive me. I feel I must say this: You are way hotter in person.”
Palin, who had also helped Baldwin when he stumbled over her nickname “Caribou Barbie,” got even by saying: “Thank you, and I must say, your brother Stephen is my favourite Baldwin brother.”
The camera soon cut back to Fey, who answered a question about the polls.
“I don’t worry about the polls. Polls are just a fancy way of systematically predicting what’s going to happen. The only poll I care about is the North Pole, and that ... is ... melting. It’s not great.”
The real Palin then walked on to the news conference set, sending Fey fleeing.
“Thank you, thank you,” the governor said to applause from the studio audience.
“No, I’m not going to take any of your questions, but I do wanted to take this opportunity to say, ’Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night’.”
The appearance was anticipated since September, when Fey began portraying Palin just after McCain selected the little-known governor as his running mate.
The two look alike, and Palin remarked that people often told her – before Fey started portraying her – that she resembled the actor.