Are You a One-Trick Pony?
I can't say goodbye to the 2008 campaign without a tip of the hat to Tina Fey, the wickedly funny clone of vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin.
Fey left me weak with laughter after every appearance. Her rise and fall as Palin lasted a mere nine weeks. When the two of them appeared together on "Saturday Night Live," it was tough to tell them apart. (See hyperlink below.)
Fey has a distinguished career going for her. After studying drama at the University of Virginia and a long gig as a cast member at Chicago's legendary The Second City, she joined NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and became the only female head writer in the show's history. She has her own show now, "30 Rock," but made an "SNL" encore for this election season.
Tina Fey is a brilliant talent with many strings to her bow. Spend some time on her page in the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). You'll be dazzled by her many accomplishments. (See hyperlink below.)
Her performances as Palin were, for me, yet another bite into the Proustian Madeleine cake that called up the past—this time the saga of the sad-sack comedian who pioneered political impersonations.
His name was Vaughn Meader—a one-trick pony who was responsible the best-selling long-playing record in history.
'The First Family'
In 1962, a minor entertainer named Vaughn Meader from Maine was in his mid-20s. While doing a stand-up act in New York City, he started laying audiences out with an uncanny imitation of President John F. Kennedy. "I was just doing my act," he told the AP many years later. "I'm a singer and piano player. I just stumbled onto a voice."
"No matter what I was doing in the act," Meader once said, "I knew I could do that last five minutes and save it."