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'SNL' creator Lorne Michaels provides the scoop on Sarah Palin's cameo

October 21, 2008 |  5:00 pm

Two weeks before any vote results are known, some clear winners already have emerged in this year's presidential campaign. These include television and radio stations in states where Barack Obama is using his unprecedented contribution totals to wage a massive ad campaign.

And then there's Lorne Michaels, the Canadian-born mastermind of "Saturday Night Live" who has seen the out-of-nowhere Sarah Palin-Tina Fey nexus cause ratings for the program to soar.

Michaels goes into chapter-and-verse on how Palin's appearance on the show last Saturday came to be in a just-released Q & A with Entertainment Weekly.

In case there was any doubt, he confirms that the set-up to Amy Poehler's Palin-inspired rap, in which the candidate said she's decided to bail on performing it (but then rocked out as Poehler took the mike), "was all part of the act."

Adds Michaels: "We didn't ask her to rap. The idea was, what is the worst possible thing we could ask her to do? ..."

He also displays an evasive quality worthy of the best politician.

Asked about any Palin-Fey interaction, Michaels said, "They talked. You'd have to ask them how it went. There was no kicking and screaming. We know how to behave."

And asked about possible candidate appearances on the two "SNLs" before election day, he replied, "Yes, but ... until they're in the building, I'm not going to talk about it."

-- Don Frederick