Two Palins, Both Hilarious (Though One Unintentionally)

J.P. Allen

[Originally written 9/2/08]

One thing I can’t put out of my mind when I think about Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin: her last name. Was the McCain team aware that she shares a last name with Michael Palin, one of the members of the Monty Python comedy troupe?

I wonder: if Michael Palin’s name were more widely recognized in the U.S. than it is, would Sarah Palin have had less of a chance of winning the nomination? Probably not, but her name has certainly affected the way I think of her. I imagine her dressed as a man in convincing drag, doing silly walks and speaking in a cracking British falsetto (“gendergate,” anyone?).

Though my complaint may not be a common one, I’m sure it will at least strike a cord (or dead parrot) with a few British comedy aficionados. I will try my best to disregard this bias, but correcting my view of Governor Palin will be more difficult. Somehow, I just have trouble taking anyone with the last name Palin seriously.

I didn’t expect Palin (the Michael variety) to get the nomination, and now nobody expects a Palin (the Alaskan) nomination!

[Update: 10/27/08]

After watching the ‘Song for Sarah’ YouTube video embedded above (a proud accomplishment of two Middlebury alumni), I was redirected to an interview with John Cleese—another member of Monty Python—who had the following to say on the issue: “I’m sorry, Michael Palin, to say that you’re not the funniest Palin anymore. But you’re not.”

There you have it.

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1 Response to “Two Palins, Both Hilarious (Though One Unintentionally)”


  1. 1 Anonymous October 29, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Very interesting take. Never thought about the significance of her name, beyond mispronouncing it when I first read it. It’s nice to still find some lightheartedness among the usual “bashing Palin for the sake of it”


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