Advice for Palin on SNL

If I can be serious about humor for a moment I have some advice for the McCain campaign and for Palin. I doubt they read this blog, but there happened to be an area where I can give some actual advice so I thought I’d try.

The Saturday Night Live sketch has been pretty damaging for Palin. While her interviews with Gibson and Couric weren’t particularly helpful by themselves, the popularity of the SNL sketches helped cement what people thought about them. The power of humor is that if someone laughs at a joke, then they are accepting the premise of it — if even just at a subconscious level. Once a joke become accepted by the popular culture, it’s very hard to overcome (just ask Dan Quayle). Since SNL is willing to have Palin on their show, that gives her an unprecedented chance to fight the already solidifying perception of her. If she just goes on the show and does some little cameo, that will be a little help as then the audience is laughing with her, but Palin could benefit a lot if the humor were a bit more targeted.

What the the SNL sketches have done is deconstructed Palin — emphasizing her weaknesses while belittling her strengths. It’s effective humor, but it’s also a cheap trick. So deconstruct the deconstruction. Palin should do a sketch of Tina Fey and the writers trying to figure how to best mock Palin, including Tina Fey (well, Palin as Tina Fey) trying to get Palin’s mannerisms down and make them funnier. Have them analyze a video of Palin (it would be great if it were Tina Fey playing Palin completely straight — maybe reading from an actual stump speech). They could take boilerplate campaign statements and figure out how to misconstrue it as Palin being stupid or a crazy right-winger. They could spend time figuring out how to clumsily insert something about dinosaurs in the sketch because they heard on the internet that Palin believe they’re 4000 years old. They could take a basic statement about belief in God and expand it out to her being a religious extremist. Also, it would be great to have Palin as Tina Fey exclaiming, “This woman is crazy and dangerous and we have to stop her!” in response to the most vanilla conservative talking points.

Basically, the idea is to ridicule those who automatically hated Palin and kept searching for solid reasons to hate her while also deflating the previous sketches done about Palin. It wouldn’t be easy, as Palin would have to have some actual comedic acting skills. Plus, the sketch needs to be funny (and thus not too focused on making a point). But if it’s successful in making fun of making fun of Palin, it will deflate the jokes already out there about her. I don’t know many instances of politicians successfully doing that, but it’s certainly worth a try.

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21 Comments

  1. Have a sketch with Palin trying to cash in on Tina Fey’s popularity by watching and mimicking 30 Rock. Show Palin trying to do her “Tina Fey” impersonation and making random observations about Fey. Maybe have Areck Bardwin stop in to the “SNL backstage” and chat up Palin as if she’s Fe and mock Palin. Then, let Palin deliver some zingers at Baldwin’s expense.

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  2. > What the heck is with the little alien creature and how can I get rid of it?

    You can’t get rid of it. But you can change it.

    The image is a Gravatar.

    WordPress (the platform for the new IMAO) also is affiliated with Gravatar.com. WordPress blogs can (and IMAO does) offer integration with gravatars. IMAO uses the “MonsterID” setting to show a default gravatar.

    To customize your own gravatar (globally recognized avatar), you’d have to register with gravatar.com. Gravatars are tied to email address.

    One you establish your own picture (anything you like), it will be used as your gravatar on comments on WordPress sites (provided you use the same email address).

    Not promoting Gravatar.com. Just answering the question.

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  3. I dunno everyone, that sounds way too complicated a strategery to try and win over a bunch of Obama voters on their own turf (NBC)….they’d never get the joke.

    Besides, it’s much more fun to make fun of THEM during our nationwide rallies that have been so successful.

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  4. The party completely ****ed up with Sarah Palin. Instead of grooming her to be the next political superstar, they threw her into the ocean and screamed “Swim!” Instead, she drowned. Shame because she had potential.

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  5. Pingback: Political Humor by Radioactive Liberty

  6. May I suggest tossing on some hypnotic reprogramming for the Obama supporters.

    We already know they’re minds are easily accessible.

    What kind of reprogramming? How about like in A Clockwork Orange, anytime they try to perform the physical act of punching out a chad next to “Barak Hussein Obama”, or fill in a check box, or touch a spot on a screen, they Puke Uncontrollably and run away.

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  7. Dear RockThrowingPeasant – I dare you to say that (”penis alien”) to any man you see wearing it.

    Prior to the jump wings (which I loaded), I had some goofy alien with what appeared to be a small penis.

    It was disconcerting.

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  8. It wouldn’t be easy, as Palin would have to have some actual comedic acting skills

    You want a Vice President or a comedian? Seriously, this asinine idea that we should pick our leaders based on how many laffs they get on national TV is one of the most degenerate features of the new media-age celebrity-culture politics. As the old saying goes, you can’t serve two masters. You’re either going to be excellent Presidential timber, with good executive skills and a serious mien, or you’re going to be a crazy funny outstanding comedian, with devastating wit, admirable poise in front of the camera — and most likely a seriously fucked-up family life, children who despise you, no good moral sense or self-discipline at all, and a problem with cocaine.

    Real leaders don’t play to some audience, winning the approval and applause of which means you carry your point. The next President is not going to prevent Iran or Russia from some obnoxiousness (nuking Jerusalem or Warsaw) by issuing a really clever put-down on TV that makes Ahmadickhead or Vladimir Putin all red-faced and speechless. That’s not the way reality works. The ability to be witty and poised on TV just makes you a class clown, a talented bullshit artist. Doesn’t say whether you know your arse from a hole in the ground when it comes to serious work.

    I don’t think the Republicans should play the Hollywood/TV/Democrat game. Appearing on comedy shows is not serious work. It’s treating national political office like some kind of goofball middle-school popularity contest, which you can achieve by telling the best penis jokes.

    If I were to advise the McCain/Palin campaign, I’d say the complete opposite as you. I’d say: by all means go on, and be gracious, laugh at all the good jokes, even those about you. But do not make jokes yourself. Say: This is all very funny, and I like a good laugh as much as the rest of you — when I’m done my work and I’m relaxing at home after dinner. Humor is the spice of life, so to speak. But, of course, it’s not life itself. The work of a national leader — of a President, or Vice President — has nothing to do with making funny jokes, or being witty and clever in your speeches. It’s serious work, requiring careful thought and good decisions. There’s nothing to laugh about, pretty much. And the people who do that work must be serious, thoughtful people, who have very little time to waste polishing their acting, public speaking, or comedy skills. So, while I’m certainly amused to be here, I’m not going to pretend to be something I’m not — a witty professional clown — any more than I expect a witty professional clown with any brains to try to be something he’s not — a respectable national political leader.

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  9. Pingback: mountaineer musings » Blog Archive » Some politicians can be hilarious! Others can be averagely funny.

  10. Maybe have Areck Bardwin stop in to the “SNL backstage” and chat up Palin as if she’s Fe and mock Palin. Then, let Palin deliver some zingers at Baldwin’s expense.

    Hey, writing for SNL is EASY!

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