CBS’s Chen on Palin SNL Skit: ‘So Much Material To Work With’

Julie Chen, Harry Smith, and Maggie Rodriguez, CBS On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith played a clip of the latest Saturday Night Live skit mocking Sarah Palin and following the clip, co-host Julie Chen remarked: "Tina Fey has just so much material to work with, this is like, probably a dream come true for her." In May, Chen placed Hawaii in the Atlantic Ocean and it was not part of a comedy skit. Co-host Maggie Rodriguez chimed in: "Well that's why Lorne Michaels was able to lure her back after she left, and I have a feeling she's going to be coming back a lot." During the recent Emmy awards, Tina Fey remarked: "I want to be done playing this lady Nov. 5...So if anybody can help me be done playing this lady Nov. 5, that would be good for me."

Later, Smith played a clip of the first part of his interview with Sarah Palin’s parents, Chuck and Sally Heath. Chuck Heath said he thought Fey’s impersonation was funny: "They replayed that, and replayed that, and replayed that. I thought it was kind of cute, yeah, yeah. Yeah, Tina Fey did a good job." Smith began the interview by asking the Heaths: "What would you tell folks who would say 'I'm not -- I'm not so sure that Sarah Palin's ready to be vice president.' What would you tell them?" Chuck Heath replied: " She's ready to do anything she wants to be. And she's -- she perseveres, she works so hard. She learns so fast. Yeah. I worry about that at all. That's what I'll tell them, yeah. If you want some honesty, yeah, not a typical politician, get her, yeah." The second part of the interview will be aired on Tuesday and includes Palin’s parents reacting to media coverage of their daughter.

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:00AM TEASER:

JULIE CHEN: Palin on the hot seat as she readies for her debate. Some conservatives want Sarah Palin off the Republican ticket but in their first TV interview, Palin's parents defend their daughter.

HARRY SMITH: What would you tell them?

CHUCK HEATH: She's ready to do anything she wants to be.

7:01AM TEASER:

SMITH: We ran up to Wasilla. It's not exactly like, you know, going to Westchester county but -- we had a wonderful visit up there with Chuck and Sally Heath, that's Sarah Palin's parents. What a magnificent, majestic place to live and to raise a family. And they have some very interesting things to say about their daughter. We'll hear that in a little bit.

7:12AM TEASER:

RODRIGUEZ: Coming up in our next half hour, Harry's exclusive interview from Alaska with the parents of Sarah Palin.

7:15AM TEASER:

CHEN: Coming up next, what is Sarah Palin really like? We're going to ask her parents.

7:24AM TEASER:

SMITH: And just in case you didn't get a chance to stay up and watch 'Saturday Night Live,' Saturday night, take a look at this.

AMY POEHLER: You went to the U.N. for the first time, how was that experience?

TINA FEY: Oh, you know it was just amazing. So many interesting people, though, I have to say I was disheartened by how many of them were foreigners. I promise that when Senator McCain and I are elected, we're going to get those jobs back in American hands.

SMITH: Tina Fey again as Sarah Palin. Of course, in a parody of the interview with Katie Couric from last week, and which continues tonight, as a matter of fact on the 'Evening News.'

RODRIGUEZ: No kidding.

CHEN: Tina Fey has just so much material to work with, this is like, probably a dream come true for her.

RODRIGUEZ: Well that's why Lorne Michaels was able to lure her back after she left, and I have a feeling she's going to be coming back a lot.

SMITH: And still ahead, what Sarah Palin is really like. We're going to talk to her parents in our next half hour.

7:30AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: We want to talk a little bit as a preview, of course, Thursday is the big vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. Over the weekend I had the pleasure of meeting with Governor Palin's parents. It's morning in Alaska. Sarah Palin's parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, admire the majesty that surrounds their home.

SALLY HEATH: Every morning when the sun comes up, that's what's out there.

CHUCK HEATH: Well, someone says it's a good view but the mountain gets in the way. Yeah.

SMITH: It's a long way from Wasilla to Washington, D.C.

HEATH: I think our record is 11 moose at one time in our yard.

SMITH: Just right here in the yard?

HEATH: Right here in the yard.

SMITH: Just weeks ago, the Heath's third child, a self-proclaimed hockey mom and wildly popular governor of Alaska, was thrust into the national spotlight beside John McCain.

SARAH PALIN: Senator, I am honored to be chosen as your running mate.

SMITH: What would you tell folks who would say 'I'm not -- I'm not so sure that Sarah Palin's ready to be vice president.' What would you tell them?

CHUCK HEATH: She's ready to do anything she wants to be. And she's -- she perseveres, she works so hard. She learns so fast. Yeah. I worry about that at all. That's what I'll tell them, yeah. If you want some honesty, yeah, not a typical politician, get her, yeah.

SALLY HEATH: She's got that ability to relate to people. She's diplomatic, she can get her point across.

PALIN: My mom and dad both worked at the elementary school in our small town and among the many things I owe them is a simple lesson that I've learned that this is America and every woman can walk through every door of opportunity and my parents are here tonight.

SMITH: How did you feel when she stood up and gave her speech at the Republican convention?

CHUCK HEATH: We were very nervous, because there was a lot riding on that speech. And as we sat in the audience, I said something, and I usually don't get nervous before she talks and Sally says, 'remember, she's never let us down yet.'

SMITH: Of their four children, it was Sarah who always had a mind of her own.

HEATH: I could bend my other kids and have them do things and if she knew she was right, I had a hard time convincing her there was another way of doing it, but she was usually always right and could justify what she wanted to do, yeah. Very strong-willed and very hard-working.

SMITH: What is it like then now? Everybody's talking about Sarah Palin.

SALLY HEATH: Well, I hope the world gets to know the real person, because she is a remarkable girl.

SMITH: Whose achievements are immortalized on the walls of her parents' home. Miss Wasilla 1984?

CHUCK HEATH: 1984, Miss Wasilla. She won a few dollars for that. I wasn't really into the pageant thing, but she convinced me that, well it's worth a little money and it was, yeah. They made a spoof on 'Saturday Night Live.' I can see Russia from my house. I'm two miles from Russia right here [points to a photograph].

SMITH: Did you watch that 'Saturday Night Live'?

HEATH: I saw the tape. I know that, yeah.

SMITH: Yeah?

AMY POEHLER: I believe that diplomacy should be the cornerstone of any foreign policy.

TINA FEY: And I can see Russia from my house.

HEATH: They replayed that, and replayed that, and replayed that. I thought it was kind of cute, yeah, yeah. Yeah, Tina Fey did a good job.

SMITH: With three days until the debate, Palin's parents have no doubt she'll surprise even her harshest critics. What part of her personality, or her upbringing, is going to serve her best in all of this?

HEATH: Hard-working, perseverance, honesty, yeah, honesty. She won't fabricate things or exaggerate things. She'll tell it the way it is, yeah.

SMITH: We'll have more on that tomorrow.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC