Shatner Does Palin

Late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien has figured out why former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s farewell speech was so awkward and rambling: Not enough Shatner.

Palin’s resignation speech in early July was the subject of considerable ridicule, especially after Vanity Fair took the opportunity to “whip it into publishable shape.” The result was something of a massacre, evidence, according to the site, that Palin’s “high-priced speechwriters moved back to the Beltway long ago.”

But while her resignation address may have been rough around the edges, her final speech as Governor, delivered on Sunday, was something else entirely. O’Brien eventually determined that it was in fact a poem and to prove his point he brought in legendary actor William Shatner to read an excerpt.

The result is genius. Shatner’s silky-smooth cadence, delivered to a flowing beatnik groove, turns Palin’s awkward fumbling for profundity into the most memorable piece of performance art you’re going to see all day. Possibly all week.

You may be confused at first, as I was, but have no doubt: No matter how it looks, this is the real deal. Shatner is quoting Palin’s original speech verbatim. Politics as usual? I don’t think so. And this, my friends, is definitely better.

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