Tina Fey Says Alice is 'Completely Confused' By Sarah Palin Impersonation

10/29/2008 at 10:00 AM ET
Luis Guerra/Ramey

If you’re one of the millions of Saturday Night Live viewers who’ve been transfixed by Tina Fey‘s uncanny portrayal of Governor Sarah Palin during recent weeks, you’re not alone. Tina’s 3-year-old daughter Alice Zenobia is "completely confused" by mom’s striking resemblance to the Republican vice presidential candidate, Tina says. At no time was that confusion more evident than during Governor Palin’s Oct. 18 appearance on SNL; Alice was on the set that day, and while Tina was holding her the two were watching the governor on a monitor. "Alice said ‘I see you up there!" the 38-year-old 30 Rock actress recalled during a Wednesday appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. "I was like, ‘No, I’m here with you." Ever since, Tina says she has been "testing" her daughter with the newspaper.

"I’ll say, ‘Who’s that?’ And she’ll say ‘Sarah Palin.’ And then I’ll [show a picture of myself and] say, ‘Who’s that?’ She’ll go ‘Sarah Palin.’ I’m like, ‘No, that’s mommy!’ She looked at me [and scowled], she was really mad when I corrected her."

While there’s no mistaking Senator Barack Obama for mom, Alice is still game for a civics lesson. Tina showed her daughter a picture of the Democratic presidential candidate, and said "Look at this guy, his name is Barack Obama." Laughter ensued. "She thought that was the funniest thing she’d ever heard," Tina said. "She goes, ‘That’s crazy!" When she then told Alice that Senator Obama’s middle name is Hussein, Tina joked that her daughter became "very concerned." All joking aside, while there was some initial awkwardness during their first face-to-face meeting, Tina said that Governor Palin was "very nice" — so nice, in fact, that she offered up her 17-year-old daughter Bristol Palin to help out with Alice. Recalls Tina, 

"Alice was with me in the early part of the evening, and I didn’t have a babysitter but a friend of mine did volunteer to babysit. Then later at like 11:30 right before the show, Governor Palin was like, ‘Oh, did Alice go home? Oh, because Bristol would have babysat!’ She offered Bristol Palin to babysit Alice, which was so nice. And it was Bristol’s birthday, too. I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s exactly what 17-year-old Bristol Palin wants to do at SNL, is babysit the toddler of the lady that goofs on her mom. Yeah, thanks a lot mom.’ They were a nice family."

Click ‘more’ to read about Tina’s "most chilling" moment of motherhood and to watch the video.

When host Conan O’Brien — himself dad to Neve, 5, and Beckett, 2 ½, with wife Liza Powell — asked how much television Alice is allowed to watch, Tina said she does make an effort to "really, really minimize it."

"And you can tell, because if you let them watch a little, they act like d-bags immediately when you turn it off.  You turn it on, and you’re like, ‘Okay you can watch for 15 minutes.’ And then you turn it off and they’re like NOOOOO!"

Tina admits that she is guilty of "foolishly prioritizing quality over age-appropriateness" when it comes to Alice’s television viewing habits, however. "I’ll be like ‘Don’t watch Dora, you can watch The Simpsons!’…which is so totally inappropriate," she said. On another occasion, during a rainy day last summer, Tina had wanted Alice to watch Annie, joking that she "was trying to push her into show business." But when the picture of Kathy Bates on the cover of the DVD scared Alice off, Tina and husband Jeff Richmond switched on the television and together with their daughter, the family watched Psycho — "from front to back," Tina said.

"I turned it off before the shower scene, and I turned it off before the end where it gets really scary…and the rest of Psycho is really people walking around checking into motels. Nothing else happens. The only time I sort of wasn’t paying attention was the part where he puts a big bundle in the back of a car and he sinks the car into the swamp. And all of a sudden I hear, ‘Mommy, where’s the lady?’"

"So in a really like stupid mom voice, I said ‘I don’t know, maybe the lady went home!’ And she kept asking. I was like ‘Maybe she’s at the store!’  She sat there for a long time, and then, she looked at me and said ‘I think she’s in the car. In the water.’  It was the most chilling bit of parenting I’ve ever had."

Source: Late Night with Conan O’Brien

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting , Video

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Léa on

Lol !

I love Tina Fey ! This is absolutely the kind of education I’d like to give to my kids !

She is so smart ! She understood that the better way to be a smart an concerned person is to have a different education ! ( i’m not saying that I you had a strict education you’re not smart of course)

Charlotte on

Tina Fey seems like such a cool mom! I love her, and Alice is such a cutie!

mhart18 on

hey check out this funny video!! http://www.youtube.com/user/Mollyfan18

Stéph on

Wow Alice is a brave girl, I hope she didn’t have bad dreams after seeing that and she did understand! I bet she’ll grow up to like horror movies!

I love Tina! I haven’t seen her impersonation of Sarah Palin because it’s not on TV here in Quebec but I’ll try to find it on the internet.

Jennifer on

Funny stories, funny lady, funny mommy! I relate to the political stories…My husband is a journalist who travels with Barack Obama. Our 2 1/2 year old tells everybody: ‘daddy on the plane with la-lock obama’–she thinks the name is hilarious too! What’s even more funny is how it makes my conservative mother-in-law cringe, she told me I have brainwashed her!

chelsea on

I’m amazed by the incredible amount of public interest in Sarah Palin. Good or bad, she’s become somewhat of a pop icon. People are dressing like her to be and/or mock her all at the same time.

For instance, I found this video on dressing like Palin:


Tina on

I can see why CBB steer clear of posting things about Sarah Palin and her family, because politics just gets messy.

UggaMugga.com on

I loved the part of the interview when Tina said Sarah Palin’s family was so nice…that Governor Palin actually offered her daughter to babysit Alice. Very cute!

Yonni on

My daughter says AROCK OBAMA..It is so cute..

Shawna on

Sorry, I don’t think that story is funny, I think it’s disgusting. What kind of mother lets their child watch Psycho? That is seriously messed up. If it was just some random woman posting that she let her child watch Psycho everyone would be upset but because she’s a star then it’s okay? I don’t think so!

emily on

Shawna did you read the whole quote about Psycho? She said she turned off the scary scenes, and without those, it “is really people walking around checking into motels.”

I love reading posts about Tina Fey. She cracks me up!

Brian Bresnahan on

Infomercial,signs, calls , whatever, think of coke and pepsi, same deal, money talks. Just think about where your at and what it means to you. No Problem, there wisions are clear!

Liv on

Oh I love Tina Fey! She is so funny. And I agree with the quality of a show over age appropriateness(word??). I watched the Termanitor(1)movie when I was 4 or 5 for the first time and I turned out fine:).

Sami on

Um I suppose if it’s the really old Psycho movie, but even the remake was amazingly minimal on violence and horror. Most of the movie is talking so the movie really isn’t so bad. But I do agree she might have/had nightmares especially since she understood what was happening. While I agree that horror movies for little girls/boys aren’t good at least she wasn’t watching “The Exorcist”. Now that would have given her nightmares.

Besides Tina said it was bad move on her part. She joked about it, but didn’t say it was good.

Michelle on

Ladies, she is a comedienne…you can’t believe half of the things she says. But they sure are funny.

kris on

So The Simpsons is better quality TV than Dora?

Just my personal rule but if I have to fast forward through something I’m letting my kids watch then I don’t let them watch it. To each there own.

lilith on

I love me some Tina Fey, but I don’t know what to do with the “my three-year-old is watching Psycho”. I mean she certainly isn’t that naive to think that children can’t grasp tensions and certain feelings that are carried through movies with the actor’s emotions. E.g. one film that really got under my skin was “The Others” and nothing that could be deemed inappropriate to look at ever happens in this movie. It was all in the storytelling.
And if a child get’s scared by looking at a picture of Kathy Bates then how about the creepy Norman Bates. I don’t understand it.


tina will vote for obama or mc cain?

Valerie on

I thought she said in the Conan interview that
“they act like tea bags!” not d-bags.. after watching some tv. I guess the word teabag made sense to me because I thought she was saying that they just soak up the TV and want to watch more TV. That’s what I thought I heard but probably just because it made more sense to me than the other term which I didn’t like at all.

phoebe on

I’m a tad uneasy with this so I do get where people with objections are coming from. My much older cousin once allowed me to watch a horror film (I don’t remember which one) when I was a small child and I was terrified for ages. Years later, my friend stupidly allowed her younger sister to watch Scream and it gave her such bad nightmares and fears that she ended up having to see a counsellor. I think the story itself is actually very funny, but perhaps is not a practice that should be repeated! Children soak up things you just don’t realise.

Personally, being a Brit, I don’t get to see SNL (which is kinda sad considering all the good things people say about it!), but I loved Tina in Mean Girls, and her daughter is beautiful.

Nikkita on

For all of you bashing Tina Fey, I would suggest educating yourself so you can at least know the difference between “there” and “their.” People that live in glass houses should not throw stones.