Image: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton
Dana Edelson  /  AP
Actress Tina Fey, left, plays Governor Sarah Palin, and actress Amy Poehler plays Senator Hillary Clinton on "Saturday Night Live." Parodies of Palin have popped up all over the Internet.
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updated 9/18/2008 5:47:26 PM ET 2008-09-18T21:47:26

It's not just "Saturday Night Live" that's preoccupied with Gov. Sarah Palin.

Since Sen. John McCain named the Alaskan governor as his running mate, Palin has been the subject of countless videos on YouTube and other video sharing sites. Some praise the governor, while others are critical, but an overall fascination is obvious.

The explosion of Palin parodies on the Web is perhaps unlike anything ever seen in politics. Seldom has any politician so quickly and so extensively become a muse for online lampooning.

For starters, the "Saturday Night Live" sketch featuring Tina Fey as Palin and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton has been an enormous viral hit. It has been streamed millions of times on NBC's official site, and on YouTube, more than five million have watched clips from TV news broadcasts on the sketch.

(NBC Universal, which owns the network, has famously kept its shows — including "SNL" — off YouTube, and instead co-created the video site Hulu.com. Only second hand clips discussing the sketch have remained on YouTube.)

(Msnbc.com is a joint Microsoft - NBC Universal venture.)

Lisa Nova (whose real name is Lisa Donovan) is a popular YouTuber whose knack for impressions has helped her land TV roles on shows such as Fox's "MadTV." A video by Nova (the title of which isn't fit for print) that imagines McCain asking Palin to be his running mate has drawn more than 1.6 million views. She's carried on the role by mocking Palin's first TV interview with ABC's Charles Gibson, as well.

Nova, in this case, is YouTube's answer to Fey.

Another popular YouTuber, Philip DeFranco ("sxephil") — who, like Nova, is a partner on the site, which means he can get a cut of advertising dollars from his videos — racked up more than 1.2 million views for his thoughts on Palin, rapidly expressed while looking directly into the camera.

Funny Or Die last week posted a parody of Palin starring Gina Gershon, complete with the actress posing in a bikini with a shotgun — mimicking the widely circulated pictures that were altered to appear as if they were the Governor.

Found footage has also played a role. There are numerous videos on YouTube of Palin as a sports broadcaster for a local news program in her pre-politics days. (To find them, search "Sarah Palin sports.") In the clips, Palin delivers `80s highlights of basketball, baseball and dog mushing.

And these videos only scratch the surface. There are action figures of the governor for sale at HeroBuilders.com. A veritable cottage industry of altered photos of Palin has sprung up. And there's even a site — http://personal-space.com/script/script.php — that parodies the unusual names of Palin's children (Track, Trig, Bristol, Willow and Piper).

On this site, you can input your own name into a generator to find of what your name would be if Palin was your mother. This reporter's, for example, would be Flack Gobbler.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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