One of the most anticipated TV and also pop culture appearances of the year took area on NBC Saturday as soon as Republican vice presidential candiday Sarah Palin visited Saturday Night Live. And producer Lorne Michaels wasted not a 2nd in providing viewers what they tuned in for through an opening sketch featuring Tina Fey as Palin -- and Palin as herself.

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The premise: Feyplays Palin holding the kind of push conference the genuine Palin has actually never before organized. As usual, the composing was politically savvy, and also Fey was brilliant.

And then, Palin showed up on "Weekfinish Update," moving in her seat to the beatof a hardcore rap number ceded by Amy Poehler. The premise here was that Palin was meant to carry out the number by means of describing herself in rap terms, however at the last second,decides versus it for political factors. And so, Poehler measures in. The lyrics are a scream, and Poehler is wonderful.

Bottom line on Palin: she did little bit more than present up, appearing in simply those 2 sketches and also then onphase at the finish of the regime.

But she did present up and she did let the actors poke some fun at her -- though the cutting edge writers and also performers greatly stayedamethod from the controversial, Joe-McCarthy-like innuenexecute she hasdelivered on the project trail in trying to link Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to "terrorists." Tbelow was only one clear reference to that darker aspect of the Palin persona -- a reality that will sucount lead some experts to wonder whether tright here weren"t borders collection as a problem of her showing up on the display.

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But whatever you think of Palin, the star-studded opening sketch via Fey was a winner -- and also Palin came offOK in it.

Fey (as Palin) to the reporters: "First off, I just want to say just how excited I am to be in front of both the liberal elite media and also the liberal regular media."

In answer to the initially question regarding exactly how she thinks her running mate, John McCain, did in last week"s last debate with Obama, she says, "I just thought he was excellent, because the Amerideserve to civilization are angry, and John McCain is angry, too. And you have the right to tell he"s angry by the way he sighs and also grits his teeth."

As Fey"s Palincontinues the push conference, a cam cuts to backstage wbelow the actual Palin is standing with Michaels watching on a monitor. AsPalin delivers an adverse critique of Fey"s performance, up walks Alec Baldwin, Fey"s co-star in the NBC sitcom, 30 Rock.

Mistaking Palin for Fey, he tells Michaels it"s wrong to have actually Fey share the stage with "that horrible womale."Baldin asks Michaels if he"s familiar withPalin"s disparaging nickname. AsBaldwin fumbles for it, Palin herself claims, "That"d be Caribou Barbie."

And then, Michaels introduces Palin to Baldwin, who morphs into his smarmy TV character telling Palin, "Foroffer me, however I feel I should say this: You areway hotter in perkid. I can"t believe they let her (Fey) play you."

The rap song perdeveloped by Poehler throughout "Weekfinish Update" was even more outrageous --and also even more broadlycomic through an Eskimo rap chorus and also a dancing moose showing up on cue.

It opened through Palin telling "Weekend Update" co-hold Seth Meyers that also though she rehearsed the number, she is not going to perform it, because on second assumed, she fears it would "not be excellent for the campaign."

At which point, co-anchor Poehler takes over. As the band also lays down a hardcore rap beat,Poehler begins, "My name is Sarah Palin, you all know me. Vice prezzy nominee of the GOP..."

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Later in the number whenthe chorus arrives, Poehler starts a speak to and also answer: "All the mavericks in the home, put your hands up. All the plumbers in the residence, pull your pants up."

Then comes the one recommendation to William Ayers, a 1960s radical that is currently a university professor through whom Obama has operated. Palin has usedObama"s history with Ayersclaim thatObama "pals approximately through terrorists."

"Shoot a (empty, blank) moose eight days a week," Poehler raps. "Now you"re dead. Now you"re dead. Cuz I"m an animal, and also I"m bigger than you. Holdin" a shotgun, workin" the pump. Everybody party. We"re goin" on a hunt. I"m Palin. I"m Palin."

Sarah Palin sat at the anchor desk and moved to the beat as Poehler rapped the lyrics. I suppose in the end, looking like an excellent sport before millions of viewers is worth whatever before embarrassment Palin could have actually felt -- if she felt any kind of.

With Josh Brolin as hold and also director Oliver Stonemaking a cameo appearance, you were reminded that as brilliant as SNL deserve to be, it additionally has actually a great capacity for hype and also cheese. Brolin and Stone are star and director of W,a really poor docu-drama about President George W. Shrub. But that didn"t sheight Michaels from showcasing them choose they had produced an excellent movie.

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Still, via the presence of Palin, and the performances of Fey and Poehler, SNLwas aget theTV warm spot of Amerideserve to culture last week. It was also a reminder ofjust how strange and electric national politics have actually come to be throughout this election of a life time.

(Top: NBC Photograph of Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler and Sarah Palin by Dana Edelson; Above: NBC Picture of Lorne Michaels and Sarah Palin by Dana Edelson)

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