Former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) says in a new book that comedian Tina Fey owes her after portraying the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee for laughs on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”
"If I ran into Tina Fey again today, I would say, 'You need to at least pay for my kids' braces or something from all the money that you made off of pretending that you're me,' " Palin is quoted as saying in “Live from New York,” an updated history of the comedy sketch series.
The Hollywood Reporter published excerpts from the book, authored by James Andrew Miller and Washington Post television critic Tom Shales, on Wednesday.
Fey’s caricature of Palin during the 2008 campaign helped popularize the candidate, and many say, left voters with a negative impression.
Palin, though, says that "SNL" didn't decide the election.
"I think SNL is egotistical if they believe that it was truly an effect on maybe the public debate about who should lead the country in the next four years," Palin says in the book.
The excerpt offers a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse at some of the most defining and controversial political comedy sketches from the show's history, with interviews from Fey, Palin and executive director Lorne Michaels.
Michaels said that Palin had "wonderful manners" when she appeared on the show, which he attributed to her being in a beauty pageant before she entered politics.
"[Palin] has wonderful manners — and I honestly don't mean this in a condescending way — but it's that pageant-winner thing," he says in the book.
When Palin decided to appear on the show about a month before the presidential election, Michaels says that Fey was "terrified of anything where they would be together looking like an endorsement."
"I know that they portrayed me as an idiot, and I hated that," Palin says in the book. "I wanted to come on the show and counter some of that."
Fey pitched recording the sketch in the hallway to avoid Palin getting booed by audience members.
"I was the one pitching, 'Why don't you start her backstage, you know, with Alec [Baldwin], so the crowd won't boo,'" Fey says in the book.
"She had just been booed at a hockey game in Philadelphia, and I thought we had to be cautious. And of course the audience was just happy to see her because she was a star, a media star,” she added. “Even the New York audience was not feeling their politics at that moment."
Michaels says in the book that Hillary Clinton, at the time a Democratic candidate for the 2008 nomination, wanted to appear on the season premiere but then canceled at the last minute. She was replaced by then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
"[Clinton] wanted to do the first show of the season," Michaels says in the book. "Obama was heating up, but they called first, so I said, 'OK.' You have to play by those rules. And then, the week of, they bailed."
That didn't sit too well with Michaels.
"I went, 'Really? You called us, and we gave it to you,' " he says in the book. "And then, after that, we put Obama on the date when Hillary was supposed to be on.
“The sense of entitlement which was following her everywhere at that point peaked for me at the bailing," he added.
Michaels also reveals that Obama nixed a skit for his show about racial profiling. In the script, an Arab man says during an airline-safety video in Arabic, "During the flight, please do not blow up the airplane."
"Obama said, 'It's funny, but no, I don't think so,' " Michaels says in the book.