Friday, October 24, 2008

The Gift of Spoof

Peggy Noonan, a few weeks ago, on Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin:

We must take happiness where we can. Tina Fey's Sarah Palin has become, in that old phrase, a national sensation, and Ms. Fey is becoming, with her show "30 Rock," and now the Palin impression, one of the great comic figures of her generation. Her work [impersonating Palin]. . . was so astoundingly good—the hand gestures, the vocal tone and spirit—that it captured some of the actual heart of the Palin story. . . .

To spoof someone well takes talent, but to utterly nail a political figure while not brutalizing him takes a real gift, and amounts almost to a public service. After all, to capture someone is a kind of tribute: it concedes he is real, vivid, worthy of note. We are not as a nation manufacturing trust all that well, or competence, or leadership. But some things we do well, and one is comedy. Ms. Fey plays characters who are sour, stressed and who, on "30 Rock," live in a world that is cynical, provisional and shallow. But to observe life so closely takes a kind of love.

Here's the latest: