Tina Fey Retires Palin Character

Sarah Palin (Tina Fey) sells "Palin in 2012" T-shirts on QVC, on "Saturday Night Live," November 1, 2008. NBC/Broadway Video

By Melissa Castellanos

The "Queen of Comedy" Tina Fey may be working overtime, but it won't be on the set of "Saturday Night Live" anymore. It will just be for her character Liz Lemon on "30 Rock."

The creator, producer and star of "30 Rock" is throwing in her wig and will retire her SNL impersonation of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Fey, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Palin made the announcement on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" today.

When Sen. John McCain introduced his Republican running mate, Winfrey, like millions of others, said "Oh my God, she's Tina Fey!"

And as soon as the former SNL cast member did her Palin impression, it was a hit, thus making the election very fun and entertaining.

Fey, who was working on the set of "30 Rock" on Election Day and took a long dinner break to vote, admitted that she first tried to shrug off the buzz surrounding her about her resemblance to Palin.

"I tried to argue my way out of it for a long time and my husband said 'No you have to admit it, you guys really look alike.' You put pictures side by side like that, it's pretty crazy," Fey told Winfrey.

Fey taped her first Palin impression on SNL the same day she had Winfrey guest star on "30 Rock."

Extremely driven to do her Palin character justice, Fey took 10-minute breaks during the taping of "30 Rock" to nail the role. Fey was worried that she was going to talk like Palin during her skit with Winfrey, but luckliy she pulled it all off.

"I was really trying to do a good job ... That was the craziest day of my life, "Fey said. "I think the only thing that I didn't do was give birth."

Fey had the chance to chat with Palin when she made her SNL appearance.

"I did meet her a little bit and we chatted a little bit. She was a very good sport about it. Usually once people have agreed to show up at SNL. You know that they kind of know -- they are already agreeing to be a good sport just by showing up," Fey said.

"I told her (Palin) that she should come back and host the show sometime in the future, because she's got a real future in TV - that one," she laughed and said she didn't mean to say "that one!"

Fey fans aren't the only ones who mistake Fey for Palin and vice versa. Fey's daughter is still confused.

"You can show her the New York Post and she says 'That's mommy.' And she'll see Palin and say 'That's Mommy,' " Fey said.

"I was never an impressionist. I think a lot of people who saw her and said 'Oh that looks like Tina Fey' maybe didn't' t realize that I didn't work for SNL anymore," Fey said. "I didn't know if I could do a good job. I also felt like, it's such a tricky thing, because you want the skits to be funny, but you don't want to feel like you are being mean to anybody. It's tough, it's a hard thing too because you don't want to make it like a woman going against another woman."

Fey commended SNL's Seth Meyers for doign a really good job with writing the skits.

"I think they were funny without crossing the line," Fey said. "There was enough good stuff to make jokes about without being mean spirited."

SNL didn't always have to come up with their own material however.

"Sometimes we would just transcribe stuff, but she (Palin) has such a colorful way of speaking - 'Oh you know so...Joe six pack' and just the way that she talks is so entertaining that we didn't need to do that much," she said.

Overall, Fey is grateful for the opportunity to play such a big part of the election - on the entertainment front.

"I am really happy I did it, for me it was this wonderful chance to go kind of home again and be with all of my friends on SNL. It's just the strangest thing that ever happened to have been a part of the excitement of the election. SNL was a really big part of that excitement."

"I am going to retire, but I think if need be I think Kristen Wiig from "Saturday Night Live" would do a great job... I think I am going to pack up my wig," Fey laughed.
By Melissa Castellanos
  • CBSNews

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