snl 2008

September 13, 2008: Tina Fey Debuts Sarah Palin Impression on SNL

On September 13, 2008, after weeks of anticipation, Tina Fey debuted her impression of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live. 

Fey appeared alongside Amy Poehler’s Hillary Clinton in the episode’s cold open, in a sketch about media bias toward women candidates. Poehler wrote the sketch with Seth Meyers.

In her book Bossypants, Fey described the appearance:

“This sketch easily could have been a dumb catfight between two female candidates. What Seth and Amy wrote, however, was two women speaking out together against sexism in the campaign. In real life these women experienced different sides of the same sexism coin. People who didn’t like Hillary called her a ballbuster. People who didn’t like Sarah called her Caribou Barbie. People attempted to marginalize these women based on their gender. Amy’s line ‘Although it is never sexist to question female politicians’ credentials’ was basically the thesis statement for everything we did over the next six weeks. Not that anyone noticed. You all watched a sketch about feminism and you didn’t even realize it because of all the jokes.”