Sunday, October 5, 2008

Is The Spoof Better Than The Original?

My question of the week: is the spoof better than the original? Let me explain. 

For comic relief, 70 million Americans tuned in for the long anticipated Vice-Presidential debate last Thursday. Just prior to the debate, we were momentarily distracted by the news that the moderator, Gwen Ifill, had a book coming out and she would clearly benefit from an Obama win in November. This little tidbit perhaps neutered Ifill from acting like a moderator who might actually try to get the candidates to answer her questions. With this limitation, rather than the train wreck everyone was anticipating, it turned out that all three protagonists in the show did OK.
 
Ifill moderated moderately, Biden behaved and Palin projected power. Ifill's questions were clear and covered a reasonable range of topics. Biden controlled his impulses to actually debate Palin, instead focusing his remarks on how much he loved McCain and how wrong McCain was on every topic discussed. He finished off each retort with a broad smile, clearly indicating what a nice guy he is.
 
But the star of the show clearly hit her marks. Palin uttered every rehearsed line in fine cadence whether or not her response had anything whatsoever to do with the question asked. Ifill's limitations clearly helped Palin in that she faced no follow-up questions. Palin talked directly into the camera, ignoring the other two on stage, smiling broadly, and even winking from time to time. All this while never uttering the "g" sound at the end of her words.
 
None of this changed anything in the slightest, but it sure was entertaining.
 
After the original debate was aired, everyone waited for the inevitable Saturday Night Live spoof. First of all, to give them the credit they deserve, the SNLers are amazingly quick. It must be pretty hard to create that good a parody in only 48 hours. The Joe Biden and Gwen Ifill (Queen Latifa) impersonations were great. The Biden smile after denouncing McCain and the looks of disbelief of Ifill after Palin spoke were right on. But, as usual, Tina Fey nails it big time. She is such a tour-de-force that an un-cued observer might have trouble guessing whether it was Tina Fey on stage Thursday night and not some hockey Mom from Alaska.
 
The question of the week is really a toss up. If I had to decide, though, I'd say the original. As Palin would say, "you betcha", it's my acting that's more real.

9 comments:

George said...

Certainly the spoof is doing a way better job. When I first learned about Sarah Palin, my reaction was "She's no Michael Palin". Well she's no Tina Fey either. Tina is going to make a lot of bucks. She will probably vote for McCain, to try to keep her career going so well.

Anonymous said...

I am voting for Tina!

NeverWrong said...

Tina Fey would make a much better VP than Sarah Palin. In fact, they should swap roles and see if anyone notices.

Marilyn said...

If Palin wins Tina Fey would have a great deal of fodder for the next four years. I think I will miss SNL's take if she loses. Of course Tina Fey might hope otherwise as she has priorities elsewhere.

Blyth said...

Have you seen your Wordle?

I typed in the URL for your blog and it came up with this word cloud.

howard said...

Blyth, the Wordle is actually quite attractive. I think it is probably more coherent than my prose.

chuck said...

This pretty much sums up my opinion of Palin

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2008/oct/03/sarah.palin.debate.feminism/print

howard said...

Chuck, I wonder what the writer really wanted to say? She needs to be more direct!

Anonymous said...

Tina Fey for VEEP. She's brighter, funnier and a quicker study than the original. In addition she probably has several more personas up her sleeve, what a good skill to have. Much better than being able to see long distance to other nations, or the ability to apply lipstick while driving to a hockey game. Again Tina for VEEP. (Or Joe B.) NMI