Since that hectic Saturday in September, Tina's portrayal of Governor Palin has helped SNL get its highest ratings since 1994.
In the beginning, Tina says she was reluctant to don the wig and fake an Alaskan accent. "I was never an impressionist, and I think a lot of people who saw her and said, 'Oh, that looks like Tina Fey,' maybe didn't even realize I didn't work at SNL anymore," she says. "I didn't know if I could do a good job."
Tina says she was also worried the sketches would cross the line and be mean-spirited. "It's such a tricky thing because you want the skits to be funny, but you don't want to feel like you're being mean to anybody," she says. "It's just a hard thing to do because it's a woman, and you don't want it to feel like a woman just going after another woman."
Looking back, Tina thinks they managed to make people laugh without being offensive. "There was enough good stuff to make jokes about without having to be mean-spirited," she says. "She just has such a colorful way of speaking, just the way she really talks is so entertaining that we didn't have to do that much."
Tina even got to meet the governor in person when she guest-starred on SNL. "We chatted a little bit, and she was a very good sport," she says. "I told her she should come back and host sometime in the future, because I think she's got a real future in TV."
Tina says she's happy she did the impression, but now, she says she's retiring her wig, once and for all. "For me, it was like this wonderful chance to kind of go home again and be with all my friends at Saturday Night Live," she says. "It's just the strangest thing that's ever happened—to have been a part of the excitement of this election. SNL was a really big part of that excitement, and I'm definitely going to look back on this as a very special time."