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Chase says putting Palin on ‘SNL’ a mistake

Chevy Chase wasn’t impressed by what he saw this weekend, when Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin made a much-hyped appearance on "Saturday Night Live."
/ Source: Access Hollywood

As a former cast member and “Weekend Update” anchor, Chevy Chase knows something about “Saturday Night Live” — and he wasn’t impressed by what he saw this Saturday night, when Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin made a much-hyped appearance.

“Quite frankly, it’s a big mistake to let her go on,” Chase told Access Hollywood at the Give Food a Chance benefit in New York. “What was brilliant about (‘SNL’ chief) Lorne (Michaels) was that he had nothing written for Sarah and that apparently she cannot improvise herself out of a paper bag!”

Palin appeared in two sketches — the opening scene, and a second performance in the “Weekend Update” segment where she bobbed her head to an Amy Poehler rap song.

“On ‘Weekend Update,’ that was her big chance,” he said. “Nothing.”

But Chase was critical not only of Palin’s comedic chops, but of the political campaign of her running mate, Sen. John McCain.

“The management behind McCain’s campaign has been dumb. This has only helped accentuate the problem of his judgment in choosing, in such a cynical way, a candidate like Sarah Palin for vice president. I think the last thing that they would want right about now is to have the rest of America knowing all that … to have her be seen on ‘SNL,’ certainly never there. If anything, you just want her to be seen just from a distance.”

“I’m sure she’s very bright,” he added. “But so is the Butterworth woman.”

But Chase had kinder words for Tina Fey, the “30 Rock” star and “SNL” alum who has returned to the show several times this season to play Palin, including Saturday’s opening sketch.

“I think Tina Fey’s in a lot of trouble,” he laughed. “Because after Jerry Ford lost, I made about $80 million. Are you kidding? You’re talking to the wrong guy here. Tina’s great!”