When Alaska governor Sarah Palin was chosen as John McCain's Republican
running mate in the 2008 presidential election, a star was born. Palin
became an instant sensation and her rise to prominence was so
remarkable, HBO already has a movie about it. Game Change
(premiering Saturday at 9pm on HBO) is based on the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann that took a behind-the-scenes look at the McCain-Palin ticket. Adapted by Danny Strong (who wrote HBO's 2000 presidential race movie, Recount
, and who also appeared on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
and Gilmore Girls
), the film stars Ed Harris as McCain and Julianne Moore as the controversial Sarah Palin.
Whether Game Change
is fair to Palin is a question that will certainly divide America just like the election. If you love Palin, this movie will be viewed as another Hollywood hatchet job by the liberal media (Palin herself has already dismissed the film despite vowing never to watch it). And if you hate Palin, you'll probably squeal with delight over scenes that make her look foolish and get angry when the film attempts to paint her as more than a two-dimensional cartoon.
But regardless of your political affiliation, it's impossible to deny Sarah Palin's impact of pop culture. Julianne Moore's performance is certainly going to be the most nuanced, but will it be the best? Let's look at some of the many other portrayals of Palin (not including various porn parodies).Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live
The most famous and definitive Palin impression is undoubtedly Tina Fey. The actress returned to SNL
to imitate the woman she was born to play and her thick accent and ability to turn actual transcripts of Palin's words into comedy gold was inspired.
The most absurd portrayal of Palin came in South Park
's special election episode, which aired the day after Barack Obama won the election. In it, Palin's verbal gaffes and seeming cluelessness was a cover for the fact that she's a brilliant British thief working with McCain and the Obamas on an Ocean's 11
Gina Gershon on Funny or Die
Somewhere between Moore and Fey, Gershon's Funny or Die video was full of jokes and a very crazy ending, but her performance isn't as wildly over-the-top as Fey's.
Sarah Palin's Alaska
The most surprising thing is that, as entertaining as all of those comedic and dramatic portrayals of Palin are, none can match the star power of the woman herself. Sarah Palin got her own TLC reality show and, in this clip, you can see the former vice presidential candidate wielding a gun like a pro. You can't make this stuff up.
HBO's Game Change
premieres Saturday, March 10 at 9pm.(Image courtesy of HBO, Videos courtesy of HBO, NBC, Comedy Central, Funny or Die, TLC)