Former Saturday Night Live cast member Tina Fey lamented today’s harsh political climate, in a recent interview saying that it is a shame that late-night talk show hosts are met with backlash when they have Republicans on. Yet back in 2008 she did not want to share the screen with former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
In the interview published on Thursday by Hollywood Reporter, Fey reportedly appeared on a podcast with actor David Tennant and told the one-time Dr. Who star that she thinks Saturday Night Live does not really have the power to sway people from their political views. She also lamented today’s political climate that made Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon apologize for having then GOP candidate Donald Trump on his show.
“The culture is so ugly, and the political climate is so ugly,” Fey said. “We would always have everybody on because you could. You’d have Bush Sr. come do a thing with Dana Carvey before I worked there. It’s so truly ugly now.”
Fey told Tennent she felt bad for Fallon who faced a backlash in 2016 for having Trump on his show.
“Poor Jimmy. That was sort of business as usual. You wouldn’t think, ‘Oh, you can’t have a presidential candidate on your talk show,” she exclaimed. “But the world had changed, and he has since very much realized that. It was the beginning of those kinds of things. Like, ‘I have to really think about the optics of this.'”
Fallon ended up apologizing for having Trump on The Tonight Show as critics accusing him of “humanizing” Trump during the 2016 election.
But this is the same Tina Fey whose lie that Sarah Palin said “I can see Russia from my house,” went viral damaging the candidate, and the same Tina Fey who did not want to interact with Palin when the Alaska governor eventually appeared on SNL.
Indeed, Fey admitted that when Palin finally deigned to appear on Saturday Night Live in an act of good-natured self-ribbing, Fey did not want to appear on screen with her.
“I didn’t want to be in a two-shot with her,” she said. “Because I just thought, ‘Well, that’s what they’ll show when I die.’ When I die, that’s what they’ll show on the Emmys,” Fey told Tennent.
So, while Fey lamented about today’s “harsh political climate,” she was one of those who was fostering the same negative climate over ten years ago.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.