Title

Parodying Palin: How Tina Fey’s Visual and Verbal Impersonations Revived a Comedy Show and Impacted the 2008 Election

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2010

Abstract

With political comedy playing a significant role in the 2008 presidential election, NBC’s faltering 34-year-old Saturday Night Live, in particular, benefited in a ratings surge from comedienne Tina Fey playing Governor Sarah Palin and from the real governor’s cameo appearance. This study presents an analysis of the visual and verbal dimensions of a series of political parodies that aired on Saturday Night Live in fall 2008, their impact on the governor’s image, and the soaring viewership on online video outlets. We argue that in order to be literate of these parodies, viewers must understand the confluence of verbal, visual, and contextual elements.

Publication Name

Journal of Visual Literacy

Volume Number

29

First Page

47

Last Page

67

Issue Number

1

DOI

10.1080/23796529.2010.11674673

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