October 20th, 2008
10:57 AM ET

Behind the scenes at 'SNL' with Palin

In a word, it was electric.

I have been to "Saturday Night Live" many times over the years, but I’ve never seen people so excited about a guest appearance - in this case, Sarah Palin. And the ratings proved everyone was excited, with "SNL" scoring its highest viewership in 14 years.

Let me take you through the process. First off, you’re told to arrive no later than 10 p.m. That’s 90 minutes before showtime. Once I got my tickets, a member of the crew came down to get me and take me to the 8th floor. That’s where you go if you’re seated on the floor versus in the balcony, and I was lucky enough to be sitting second row. What a vantage point!

Before the show started, Jason Sudeikis (the actor who plays Joe Biden) came out to warm up the crowd with some jokes. Then, Fred Armisen (aka Barack Obama) and Kristin Wiig entertained the crowd with a song - Kristin on vocals, Fred on guitar.

The show itself is really something to see, especially if you’re on the floor. Sets are going up and down, all in a matter of minutes. Josh Brolin - the guest host - literally ran off stage between sketches holding the hand of a crew member.

But the best part was the political sketches. To have Tina Fey and Sarah Palin together on the same show was a gift from the humor gods. Truly. The "Weekend Update" segment featuring Palin and Amy Poehler rapping about her was arguably one of the funniest moments in "SNL" history. The crowd went wild.

After the show, Tina Fey - who recently told TV Guide she’d "leave earth" if McCain and Palin were elected - actually hugged Palin. And the governor - ever the politician - shook hands with members of the audience on her way out.

It was definitely a night to remember. I’d tell you about the after party with the cast, but that’s classified.

Alina Cho, CNN


Filed under: television
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