This is what Tina Fey nailed last night on Saturday Night Live: Sarah Palin’s incuriosity. Her flirtatious way of finessing her ignorance of the issues. Her provinciality – and I don’t mean just her odd vowels, although Fey was pitch perfect on them, too.
(WTF is up with those vowels, anyway? I know a few people from Alaska, and none of them ever spoke like that. They almost have a North Dakotan ring to them. I say this with some authority, since my own vowels still have a slight Dakotan/Minnesotan cast.)
I don’t know if comedy can steer the course of an election. I don’t know if it should. I do know that I get better TV news from Jon Stewart than from any of the “news” channels. And that Darrell Hammond’s impersonation of Al Gore and his “lockbox” on SNL in 2000 is still with me, much clearer in my memory than the actual presidential debates.
If comedy should function as a kingmaker (or a queen-breaker?), then Tina Fey is the gal I want in charge. The only part of her impersonation that didn’t quite convince me? The laughing intelligence in her eyes that Fey can’t quite hide, no matter whose glasses she’s wearing.