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On 'SNL,' Palin Beats Biden -- and McCain

By Lisa de Moraes
GOP veep candidate Sarah Palin continues to be the ratings magnet of the TV season, most recently delivering "Saturday Night Live" its best preliminary ratings in 14 years.

It's hard to make predictions on how many viewers watched Saturday's "SNL" based on overnight ratings in the so-called "metered markets," but a rough estimate would put it around 14 million viewers who watched Palin do her drive-by appearance on the NBC late-night show.

It's the top-scoring "SNL" in 56 of the country's top TV markets since the March 12, 1994, edition, which, ironically, was not one of the show's politically themed editions. It was the one that was hosted by Nancy Kerrigan with musical guest Aretha Franklin.

According to these early stats from the country's top TV markets, Palin's appearance on "SNL" appears to have attracted the attention of far more homes than the TV appearance of Dem veep candidate Sen. Joe Biden, who was the guest of NBC's "Tonight Show" on Thursday -- and that of her own presidential running mate, Sen. John McCain, who guested on Dave Letterman's CBS late-night show, also on Thursday. In fact, it appears she logged more TV homes than the two men combined.

But the appearance of Palin on "SNL" -- a show that has already done some of its best numbers ever savaging her -- was not the show's only attraction this past Saturday. Palin doppelganger Tina Fey returned to once and for all prove she can do a better Palin than Palin; Josh Brolin, star of the new Oliver Stone flick "W," guest hosted and demonstrated how he morphed into the current reigning Bush; and frequent "SNL" guest host Alec Baldwin returned in a cameo to call Moose-shootin' Palin a "horrible woman" to her face -- the most dangerous stunt ever attempted on "SNL." It's no wonder "SNL" jumped 161 percent above year-ago averages.

By Kendra Nichols  |  October 20, 2008; 12:01 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Sarah Palin  
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Next: When It Comes to Obama, Palin Counts the Days


Palin is genuinely photogenic, and no doubt Alec Baldwin was right on both counts--she is better-looking in person (and even better-looking than Tina Fey), but she is also a horrible woman, who not only believes in witchcraft and creationism, but also that raped women should be forced to have no access to safe abortions (overturning Roe vs. Wade--the only Supreme Court decision she can remember). The former sportscaster, Caribou Barbie, is a hit on the stump since she can read a teleprompter like (somebody's) business, and she has a future in sleaze entertainment/Fox "News" broadcasting, but no political future at all (except with the survivalist Alaska Independence Party). After this run, she'll be back home in Alaska, where they'll throw her out as governor and she and her husband will both be looking for new jobs.

Posted by: lakotadee | October 21, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

This is old "news"..& who really cares about Palin anyway? She ran out of worthwhile things to talk about over a month ago, she's just filling up the time now until she can go home to the outback-

Posted by: rsampson02 | October 21, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

After the Presidential Elections where Obama wins, Palin who always wanted to be an actress will step down as Alaska's governor and move to the LA area to pursue an acting career.

Posted by: jimfid100 | October 21, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

The ratings reflect the public's anticipation of the event, not the quality of the event itself.

IMHO, it was a mediocre show. The Palin skits weren't entertaining and were actually quite lame.

Amy Poehler's white-girl-trying-to-rap character is never very entertaining,

Palin's lame hand-pumps into the air were embarrassing.

And Baldwin's sexist parody could have been written by an amateur.

Perhaps it's fitting that the real Palin pushed SNL back into its old mediocrity.

Posted by: sobugged | October 20, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

The McCain/Palin ticket is so clueless when it comes to campaigning for the presidency. Looks like the top priority given by Palin is to be on SNL rather than answering questions in a show like the McNeal Lerher report or any other decent talk shows. She is no way ready to be our veep or commander in chief. If she wants to act like Tina Fey, she should join SNL instead of running for the second fiddle in the white house.

Posted by: JimFargo | October 20, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Sarah is awesome! She's got more class than Fey and the other SNL cast who make their living ridiculing people. Palin is successful as a governor with the highest approval rating of any other governor in the country, former mayor -- she has more executive experience than Obama. She's already accomplished things that Obama only
talks about!

Posted by: ohioan | October 20, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Dress Palin up in a Mickey Mouse suit & send her to Disney ... I agree she was funny on SNL ... but a Mouse suit fits her lots better than being our Vice President

Posted by: gatorsn09 | October 20, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is quite charming when she is not whipping up a lynch mob.

Posted by: hamishdad | October 20, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Palin came across as flat. The bottom line is no matter what your political views are, Tina Fey just gives a great "Palin" performance, and that's hard to stand up to in real life. Palin would have done better with a different skit, that put the two of them together in a play off each other mode. But the time is past for that. All said, though it's great entertainment, Palin's not in the same league as the world leaders either, so the results were about the same. We can giver the the "good sport award", and tell her to try again in a different year. This one's done. Bye bye Sarah.

Posted by: nihao1 | October 20, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Palin was a good sport to play along with the SNL skits, but she didn't show any of that famed charisma that apparently has people clamoring to see her stump speeches.

Both McCain and Obama did a much better job at self-deprecation at the Al Smith dinner earlier in the week. Granted, the speeches were written for them, but they both at least had the stage presence to pull off the jokes.

Since her debut at the RNC, I've yet to see Palin display a comfort or a confidence that is needed to be on a world wide stage. Maybe this will come with time, but she continually looks like someone who was called up to the big leagues too early.

Posted by: tsawyer_mv | October 20, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Archarito wrote:

"ALEC BALDWIN, as everyone knows, is a has-been..."

Ever watch 30 Rock? You know, funny show, won an armload of Emmys earlier this year?
Didn't think so.

Posted by: stee1962 | October 20, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey Michelle_Obama,
You stated you are glad that Palin didn't let the folks at SNL put her into any compromising positions on the show. Did you happen to listen to the lyrics of Amy Poehler's rap?

That's the problem with you morons who support Palin. You're too dense to even open your ears. If you had listened you would know that Amy Poehler "punked" Palin with that rap by referring to everything from the Bridge to Nowhere to seeing Russia from her house (foreign policy!). Either Palin is a much better sport than I expected or she is as clueless as the rest of you for not paying attention to the lyrics in a song that was meant to denigrate her.

Obama/Biden 08

Posted by: travelinmama | October 20, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

ALEC BALDWIN, as everyone knows, is a has-been. He will permanently be less successful than his younger brother Steve consequent to his disgraceful performance on SNL.

Posted by: Archarito | October 20, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

If Barack wins then SNL, Jon Stewart, Jay Leno, David Lettermen, Chris Matthews and Ketih Olberman will have a lot of time to fill because there won't be much appetite left in this country for their smug, holier-than-thou, elitist, wise ass remarks about Republicans. I hope the Democrats end up with a super-majority so that they can make all the decisions alone. Why did the so-called conservative Bush administration leave such a mess for the next president to inherit? Just a boat load of bad choices or was it intentional?

Posted by: agreen11 | October 20, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Palin has about 8 years EXECUTIVE experience. McCain is not a bullsh.t artist like Obama. With Hillary out of the race, even though she won 1/2 million more votes the Obama, the choice is simple. We don't need a leftist bush after the rightist bush. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Posted by: bornag | October 20, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

1stMomof5 spewed: "[typical lame 'experience' argument"

Palin was governer for 2 months when Obama started his Presidential bid.

Imagine if Palin started a Presidential bid at the same time...

"Well, I've been governer for TWO WHOLE MONTHS; I think I'm ready to be President. Wink, Wink.

Palin = Bush in skirt.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 20, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line to this SNL appearance: Sarah Palin is fantastic and will make the most awesome VP ever in American history.
Liberal Democrats have displayed the hugest smear campaign that I've ever witnessed before, and it's only because they're afraid. She's everything they are not! And if they attack GOVERNOR Palin's experience, than what does obama got? nothing. Yikes. Inexperienced Obama as President of our great nation???? It makes me shutter to think of it!

Vote experience. Vote integrity. Vote character. Vote for smaller government, not bigger gov't! Vote for victory in Iraq, not embarrasment & regret. Vote for values! Vote for our capitalist economy (which will recover if the gov't would just stay out of it!) not socialism!!

One last thing: Palin rocks!

Posted by: 1stMomof5 | October 20, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse


Maybe you don't, but some Obama supporters do hate "Caribou Barbie" -- I was simply refuting scrivener50's claim that Fey avoided her -- no big surprise, though, for people who don't know what the definition of "self-deprecate" is. See you tomorrow.

pjc2 or the"notorious"flavio:

Did you read the full Branchflower Report?

Posted by: JakeD | October 20, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Michelle_Obama (the poser poster not the real one) spewed": "[Palin] was cleared"

She was found by the investigator to have broken the State Ethics Statute by using the powers of the governer's office to go on a witch hunt for her ex-brother-in-law. Which is NOT the same thing as firing 'that bum'.

Now, should the legislature decide to do so, they could impeach, censure or whatever they do up there, bring her to trial and THEN only would she be found guilty.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 20, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

If Palin was actually talented and a good sport she would have done the rap herself, not sat there trying to pretend she knows how to groove to the hiphop beat. And, come on, she said what? 2 lines, plus you betcha. That was really difficult.

But they bashed her more than they ever have right in front of her face while she wore a forced smile. Always nice to see a lying, sneaky, nasty, bully turn into the coward we all know they really are.

Posted by: pjc2 | October 20, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Repulitards, it's true. Palin is toast.

Board expands Palin investigation
Juneau Empire
JUNEAU - The state Personnel Board recently expanded its investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin's dismissal of former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

According to correspondence from the board's investigator, several other ethics complaints have been consolidated into a single case.

They include a complaint about state hiring practices and a complaint alleging an illegal breach of personnel files.

The Public Safety Employees Association said it plans to add a complaint of harassment against Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten, the governor's former brother-in-law.

Posted by: pjc2 | October 20, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Democrats sure are dumb.

She's not facing any charges morons. She was cleared of any wrongdoing and they said she was 'well within her rights' to fire that bum. If I were her, I'd go ahead and fire that trooper too, he deserves to be tied from a tree by his privates.

Posted by: Michelle_Obama | October 20, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

After watching a recorded copy of SNL, I learned something. Sarah Palin is a better actor than anyone else on that show, including guest appearances. Alec Baldwin was embarrasing to watch... he's a professional actor, but couldn't take his eyes off the teleprompter... you'd think he was running for president on the democratic ticket.

The ratings for this particular episode were the best SNL has had in 14 years. The reason is simple... people cannot get enough of the great governor of Alaska.

I am glad that she did not allow them to put her into compromising bits. And I noticed that when Fey passed Sarah Palin during the opening bit she refused to make eye contact. There's no secret that Fey does not like Sarah Palin, and she let that be known on Friday night during the taping of Late Show with David Letterman. But let her complain... her own television show doesn't get ratings like Sarah got on SNL in one appearance. So who's really laughing?

Posted by: Michelle_Obama | October 20, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I think Sarah Palin is a remarkable woman and many could benefit from following her morals and work ethics. If more people were willing to work and provide for their on families we would be facing some of the economic problems we have now.
If you want a home get a second job if you need to and save for down payment.
If you want health insurance get a job and buy your own.STOP EXPECTING A HAND OUT!!!!!

Posted by: KBTOWNLEY | October 20, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I wish that Sarah would go home to Alaska, deal with the ethics violations charges she faces, and take care of her family. As a woman and a mother, I find myself constantly wondering about her special needs kids--a Down Syndrome infant and a pregnant teenage daughter.

Her appearance on SNL was inappropriate and ridiculous. If she hoped to "soften" her image--maybe some pictures of her carving pumpkins with her kids would be more heartwarming than her trouncing about with television celebs.

Posted by: WI-Simone | October 20, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Let me remind everyone that our country is collapsing into ruin. Who cares about how that imbecile Sarah Palin performed on Saturday Night Live. This is not a joke, people. Get focused on this election and what's important and forget about this trivial nonsense. Palin's performance on SNL is a meaningless as Palin herself. This country needs answers, not politicians moonlighting as "comedians."

Posted by: Russell4America | October 20, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I have never watched NSL and never will. Palin isn't VP or POTUS and never will be. You put lipstick on a fool and you still have a fool. Just like with Al Franken.

Posted by: AbolhassanBaniSadr | October 20, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Of course Fey can hug Palin, JakeD? Us Obama supporters don't hate Palin! We find Tina Fey's potrayal of her to be life-like and comical.

I feel out laughing when Tina Fey said in her SNL skit that "Now I would like to entertain you all by some fancy pageant walking!"

The only reason Palin is enjoying such "pop" appeal is because she is attractive and has a nice shape.

She fits into the title of "Caribou Barbie" extremely well.

Posted by: AJ2008 | October 20, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Since her political career is coming to a quick conclusion I think she was just auditioning for a part on SNL where she would impersonate Tina Fey. Sarah, I know you said that whole 'Laska thing was over and you were found to be innocent. Just tell that to the investigators this weekend when they question you and Todd. I'm sure they will be pleased that no one told them. If you answer their questions like you have answered others who have asked you relative questions, you could probably be the former Governor of Alaska by next week at this time.

Posted by: jgh2 | October 20, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

CNN reported that Fey and Palin hugged after the show.

Posted by: JakeD | October 20, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse


Did SNL writers have some sharper material for Palin that Palin's people rejected?

Why did Tina Fey assiduously avoid her during the closing credits?



Posted by: scrivener50 | October 20, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I believe SNL got such high ratings because everyone was waiting to see what Sarah would do. She did nothing! She should not have even bothered going on - on the other hand, as usual, Tina and Amy were wonderful. Yeah, maybe you can say she was a good sport for sitting while they made fun of her.... but really, shouldn't the question here be, after you tuned in to SNL - how many people were pleased with the appearance?
Sarah should really go back to Alaska - she is giving professional women a bad wrap - I hope it is an act and she really doesn't have that "dumb blonde" syndrome going on.....

Posted by: grid1 | October 20, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Well, I think that Sarah has a learning disability or some type of borderline intellectual functioning (formerly known as boderline mental retardation). If that is so, I think that she should be proud of herself and find a job where she doesn't need the help of a manager, assistant or her husband AND where she doesn't senselessly fire people who don't support her opinions. She would make a BEAUTIFUL spokesmodel for some organization for people with learning disabilities, a PRETTY covergirl model or a SPECTACULAR actress! Sarah, make the right move and leave politics ASAP!

Posted by: tangy2008 | October 20, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Forget the Bradley Effect -- what about the Fey Effect -- many Obamaniacs actually think Gov. Palin said "I can see Alaska from my house." Professor Jerald Podair from Lawrence University thinks Chevy Chase cost Gerald Ford that election.

Posted by: JakeD | October 20, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

A lot of people are missing the point of SNL. It is not Sarah Palin per se that is interesting and funny but that brilliant Tina Fey doing a 'spot on' impersonation of Sarah Palin as a dim-witted but tough talking country heck with an annoying voice that is soooo entertaining. I watched Tina's interview with Couric four times and each time I was in stitches. Tina is a smart and funny lady. Her material, Sarah definitely isn't. There is a world of difference between laughing at Sarah and laughing with Sarah. We are definitely laughing at Sarah, through SNL.

Posted by: thisworld | October 20, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't think america is ready
to let Sarah go back to alaska'
vote McCain/Palin
and usher in a new season of
Sarah Everywhere!!!!!!!

Posted by: USA3 | October 20, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I thought she was funny on SNL.

Posted by: JakeD | October 20, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Palin was AWESOME on SNL.

She showed alot of class... period.
Let it go at that.

Nice Job Sarah!

Posted by: blevins20061 | October 20, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

mwhoke spewed: "Senator Biden is good for a misstatement and gaffe every time he speaks but he is not subject to the ridicule or scrutiny that Governor Palin is."

Ah, the spotlight. That's where everybody looks.

Nobody is looking at Biden, because he's not in the spotlight. Palin brought it upon herself. She's a toughy, she can handle it.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 20, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

A verbal fiery car wreck, that is.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | October 20, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

All these ratings bonanzas (VP debate, SNL, etc.) have more in common with a NASCAR race than political discourse. Viewers are tuning in to see if the big, fiery car wreck that Sarah Palin is always capable of creating actually happens.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | October 20, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why the late night comics and the main-stream-media ignore Joe Biden.

Senator Biden is good for a misstatement and gaffe every time he speaks but he is not subject to the ridicule or scrutiny that Governor Palin is.


Because he is a Democrat!

Posted by: mwhoke | October 20, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse


Then why didn't she run for president?

Makes you wonder what the Republican Primary would have looked like?

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 20, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

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