So by now, you’ve probably heard the news that former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is slated for a Nov. 16 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, presumably to promote her new book Going Rogue: An American Life (which is spawning the controversial spoofs Going Rouge: An American Nightmare and Going Rouge: The Sarah Palin Rogue Coloring & Activity Book). While I fully plan to activate my DVR for the showdown between the Obama-supporting daytime titan and the polarizing Republican politico, I’m not really sure how exactly it’ll all go down. Can we expect tough questions and terse responses about health-care reform, the economy, and foreign policy? Will Oprah delve more into the “Palin as celebrity” phenomenon by talking about dust-ups with Letterman and spoofing by SNL? Or will this be more of a warm and fuzzy, “who is Sarah Palin the woman?” kind of a party? In less than a month’s time, we’ll know for sure, but in the interim, here’s my take on the five best-/worst-case scenarios for this Very Special Episode:
1) Oprah bursts onto the stage with a shocking announcement: “From now on, the role of Oprah’s bestie will be played by Saaaar-aaaahhhh Paaaaayyyy-liiiinnnn!” Wacky road-trip segment ensues. Meanwhile, a tearful Gayle King gets demoted to “assistant to assistant of Oprah’s assistant.” Cue the sound of failure!
2) Oprah and Sarah’s Favorite Things! Audience worked into lather as they receive (in no particular order): Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope; Ann Coulter’s Treason; the Breville Ikon Panini Press; Moose jerky; a lifetime subscription to O, The Oprah Magazine; a lifetime subscription to all the newspapers that “have been in front of me all these years“; Whitney Houston’s I Look to You; David Letterman’s head on a platter.
3) Oprah goes into full-on attack-dog “let’s review your body of work and sniff out any inconsistencies/tall tales” mode, a la James Frey. Palin counters by arriving with her own film crew, subsequently releasing raw feed of interview to YouTube in an effort to expose liberal-media editing tricks designed to discredit her. Blogosphere and 24-hour news networks hungrily feed off weeks’ worth of post-showdown scraps in an effort to boost traffic/ratings. Everyone wins! (Except you.)
4) Winfrey-Palin 2012 ticket announced! Look under your seats, voters, and you’ll find the keys to your brand new Fords or GMs! Oh, and we hope you won’t mind writing out “Oprah Winfrey Presents: The United States of America” on your return addresses. It’s a small price to pay for having a rich lady singlehandedly bail out the global economy. Now hurry up and get back to “living your best life” before the positive-thoughts police come and take you away!
5) In a last-minute scheduling change, Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph step in and play the roles of Palin and Winfrey. Nobody particularly notices.
Image Credit: Palin: Reuters/Rick Wilking/Landov; Winfrey: UPI/Christine Chew/Landov