“Stuck in between the tip of Bethesda and Mazza Gallerie?” I was asked. No, no, no, wrong Chevy Chase. Although I could understand that person’s confusion, since that part of Wisconsin Avenue is probably more well-known than the washed-up actor who now is trying to backpedal for his alma mater, Saturday Night Live, in the wake of an apparent Palin popularity surge.
Sarah Palin appeared on SNL last weekend after much speculation and received a respectable welcome from the audience. Alec Baldwin, perhaps best known these days for breaking his promise to leave the country, stood alongside her but his most noticeable trait that night was his seeming inability to read his lines without a teleprompter. And at some moments, even with. He also looked, if you don’t mind the bluntness, rather skanky.
As for Sarah, well she was her usual classy self. She stood alongside the great buffoon as he insulted her up and down, playing his role of pretending not to realise she was the real Palin (knows his great friend Tina really well, hey?). Meanwhile Palin just let it all bounce off of her–don’t let the role playing fool you, she knows these are not merely “scripted insults,” and is sure-footed in her ability to blow them off–knowing, probably, Baldwin was the one who would appear the fool, in and outside of his persona of the night.
In the second skit with Palin, “Weekend Update,” Amy Poehler, about 15 months pregnant God bless her and keep her, said she thought she could perform Palin’s rap routine. According to the script, the governor had been doing some thinking and decided that her role in such a routine would not bode well for the dignity of the presidential campaign. (In “real life” not a few silly people believed Palin was actually supposed to do it and really refused.) Instead she grooved to the music with arm gesticulations and facial expressions that…well, I better leave that alone. Let’s just say she is really attractive and knows how to dance.
“Quite frankly, it’s a big mistake to let her go on,” Chevy told Access Hollywood at the Give Food a Chance benefit in New York. “What was brilliant about [‘SNL’ chief] Lorne [Michaels] was that he had nothing written for Sarah and that apparently she cannot improvise herself out of a paper bag!”
“On ‘Weekend Update,’ that was her big chance,” he said. “Nothing.”
What a dork. (There’s a word I learned over at Ace’s blog that seems so fitting for Chase at this moment, but I’m not ready to make that leap.) Palin is not a comedian and that’s why there’s a script, you knuckle dragger. What’s more, she didn’t have to say anything for people to love her, which is more than can be said for him. Imagine that: someone can receive such positive attention for being herself. It should be noted the nation has been abuzz about the appearance and ratings for SNL went up higher than what they had been in 14 years. Lorne Michaels admits to some gratitude for Palin:
“I think the gods smiled on us with the Palin thing. Like if he [John McCain] had chosen Romney, I think it would be completely different,” “SNL’s” executive producer Lorne Michaels told The New York Times.
Personally I think Chase is sincere when he says it was a “mistake,” but disingenuous as to why: he can’t stand Palin, obviously, and his preference is that she do something stupid to make herself look bad. Not only did she not fulfill his dream during the Saturday appearance, but also she came off as very likable and didn’t put much effort into it. She was just herself, had fun, and was loved for it. Even many who don’t care for her have expressed appreciation for her appearance and carriage, and complimented her ability to be a good sport. Chase tries to pass off his “concern” as being for the show’s creative integrity (or some such crap), but it is painfully obvious he is concerned not only about the ratings boost, but a potential rise in popularity amongst those who didn’t like her before. Or maybe that they got a glimpse of the real Sarah, as opposed to the caricature he and his ilk try so desperately to pass off, and may start to think for themselves.