Monday, October 6, 2008
The Truth as Comedy
It's a bad sign for Sarah Palin that Tina Fey's impression of her has become so popular. Gerald Ford admitted after he left office that Chevy Chase's sketches showing him to be a bumbler changed the way people thought of him, and George H.W. Bush says he never said, "Naat gonna do't," but the phrase and Dana Carvey's almost absurdly consonant-deficient Bush pronunciation became the starting point for anyone who wanted to mock him. In their cases, Chase and Carvey presented extreme versions of their subjects; this weekend, fuly half of Tina Fey's lines as Palin came directly from the debate. Palin at her best was the butt of a joke, and it's not a reach to expect that something radical will have to happen to keep her from being seen as anything but a version of Fey.