Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Sarah, Thy Name Is Parody

Posted in comedy by allisonkilkenny on September 19, 2008

Along with pestilence and a third world war, many consider Sarah Palin to be another sign of the impending apocalypse. Meanwhile, pundits and strategists can’t stop masturbating over the idea of Karl Rove building Palin from scratch out of spare body parts and the souls of evil orphans like some kind of Fem Frankenstein.

Others, namely comics, see her as a punchline and think she has arrived ripe for parody.

Sara Benincasa is one of the most celebrated Sarah Palin impersonators. Her first Palin parody video has been viewed over 200,000 times on Youtube. Benincasa is a New York-based comedian and writer, and while Tina Fey and Gina Gershon may be household names, Benincasa’s videos have been the biggest hit on the internet.

Recently, she sat down for an interview with me and we discussed all things Sarah Palin.

Why did you choose to imitate Mrs. Palin?

Sara Benincasa: My comedy partner Diana Saez and I were hanging around one night after a satisfying evening of Ethiopian food. We started wandering around the Internet to read about the new presumptive Republican VP nominee, Sarah Palin, who had just been announced as McCain’s pick the previous day. What we read was so disturbing, so ridiculous, and ultimately so hilarious that we decided to work out our collective reaction to this nightmarish woman by slapping some makeup on me and turning on the camera. We just let the camera roll for an hour and a half and improvised the whole thing.

Do you think the prospect of Mrs. Palin as VP is more frightening or hilarious?
Sara Benincasa: Frightening. The hilarity is merely a coping mechanism.


Do you think parody and comedy are necessary because they’re coping mechanisms?

Sara Benincasa: Sure, and they’re also another form of citizen response and resistance.
I think they’re as valid a form of resistance as protest, letter-writing campaigns, and other symbolic moves.

Since the videos went viral, Benincasa has been interviewed for online articles by ABCNews.com, Newsweek.com, and Wired.com. At one point, the video made the front page of CNN.com and Wolf Blitzer played a clip on “Situation Room:”


Is there a deep, dark, twisted part of you that thinks you and Sarah would really get along?

Sara Benincasa: Oh, God, no. She’s like the evil popular girl in your high school, the one who secretly cut herself under the desk while reigning supreme over the Student Council meetings. She’ll never realize that there’s something wrong with her and she’ll never get help because her narrow point of view suits her just fine. Plus,she’s pretty, so why worry?

And tell us how you feel about this whole “experience” issue, Sara(h)…

All of the Palin videos are available at http://www.youtube.com/user/SaraBenincasa.

Benincasa can be contacted at: sarabenincasa.wordpress.com and sarabenincasa.com

Diana Saez: dianasaez.com


One Response

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  1. JohnnyRussia said, on September 19, 2008 at 2:30 am

    I admire your, um, balls…

    http://jackrabbitcafe.blogspot.com/2008/09/excerpted-from-sfgate_18.html


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