No question that Saturday Night Live has been on a roll this fall, with increased ratings, buzz and nationwide attention, mostly thanks to the presidential campaign but also a little bit to how SNL bounced back from the writers strike. Last weekend’s show, which featured Republican VP candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and a few other celebrity cameos, garnered its highest ratings since 1994. Even after midnight on a Saturday, SNL was the week’s third-watched TV program, trailing only that week’s episodes of Dancing with the Stars and CSI for viewership.

Entertainment Weekly has posted a new Q&A with SNL’s creator and executive producer, Lorne Michaels. Here’s an excerpt:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why weren’t Palin and Fey ever on screen together?
LORNE MICHAELS:
Any dialogue would’ve been a letdown. That’s not to say that if they
talked as themselves it would’ve been a letdown. When someone’s doing
somebody’s voice exactly, it’s an impression. So their talking wouldn’t
have had the same power as them passing each other by. I thought it was
the most powerful way [to do the opening skit].

Did they interact at all behind the scenes?
They talked. You’d have to ask them how it went. There was no kicking and screaming. We know how to behave.

Any other planned candidate appearances before the election?
Yes, but again, until they’re in the building I’m not going to talk about it.

Did Palin really decide not to do the rap, or was that part of the gag?
It
was all part of the act. We didn’t ask her to rap. The idea was, what
is the worst possible thing we could ask her to do? If her campaign
were over-managed and she wasn’t making the calls herself…you know
what I’m saying? But she has a good sense of humor.

And if you want to know the lyrics to the Sarah Palin rap, as performed by Amy Poehler, that’s after the jump…

The Sarah Palin Rap lyrics, as performed by Amy Poehler during the Weekend Update segment of Saturday Night Live on Oct. 18, 2008:

GOV. SARAH PALIN – "Thank you Seth, Amy. And thank you for the chance
to come out here. But I’ve been thinking it over and I’m not going to
do the piece we rehearsed."

MEYERS – "But you were so good at it."

GOV. PALIN – "I know.  It was really fun.  But my gut is telling me this is a bad idea for the campaign."

MEYERS – "Are you sure?"

GOV. PALIN – "Yes, after a lot of thought.  I think it might just cross the line."

MEYERS – "Ok, well…in that case, Amy, do you want to do Governor Palin’s part instead, Amy?"

POEHLER – "I guess I could give it a try…"

MEYERS – "Do you remember it?"

POEHLER – "I kinda remember it … (IN HARDCORE RAP DEMEANOR) 1. 2. 3…"

(A Beat kicks in)

"MY NAME IS SARAH PALIN, YOU ALL KNOW ME,

VICE-PREZZY NOMINEE OF THE GOP,

GONNA NEED YOUR VOTE IN THE NEXT ELECTION,

CAN I GET A WHAT-WHAT FROM THE SENIOR SECTION,

MCCAIN GOT EXPERIENCE,

MCCAIN GOT STYLE,

BUT DON’T LET HIM FREAK YOU OUT,

WHEN HE TRIES TO SMILE,

CUZ THAT SMILE BE CREEPY,

BUT WHEN I’M V.P.,

ALL THE LEADERS IN THE WORLD GONNA FINALLY MEET ME,

(FRED ARMISEN & ANDY SAMBERG enter as ESKIMOS)

POEHLER — (contd)HOW’S IT GO ESKIMOS?TELL TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW
ESKIMOS!HOW YA FEEL ESKIMOS?TELL TELL ME WHAT YOU FEEL ESKIMOS!
SAMBERG/ARMISEN — ESKIMOS!ESKIMOS!ICE COLD!SUPER COLD!

POEHLER –

"I’M JEREMIAH WRIGHT CUZ TONIGHT IM THE PREACHER,

I GOT A BOOKISH LOOK AND YOU’RE ALL HOT FOR TEACHER,

(The camera cuts away to Meyers and Gov. Palin enjoying themselves)

(JASON SUDEIKIS enters as TODD PALIN and stands next to POEHLER)

TODD LOOKING FINE ON HIS SNOW MACHINE,

SO HOT FOR EACH OTHER, NEED A GO-BETWEEN,

IN WASILLA, WE JUST CHILL BABY CHILLA

BUT WHEN I SEE OIL, IT’S…"

ALL — "DRILL BABY DRILLA!"

POEHLER –

"MY COUNTRY TIS OF THEE,"

FROM MY PORCH I CAN SEE,

RUSSIA AND SUCH."

ALL THE MAVERICKS IN THE HOUSE, PUT YOUR HANDS UP,

ALL THE MAVERICKS IN THE HOUSE, PUT YOUR HANDS UP,

ALL THE PLUMBERS IN THE HOUSE, PULL YOUR PANTS UP,

ALL THE PLUMBERS IN THE HOUSE, PULL YOUR PANTS UP,

WHEN I SAY OBAMA,

YOU SAY AYERS,

OBAMA!

SAMBERG/ARMISEN –

"AYERS!"

POEHLER –

"OBAMA!"

SAMBERG/ARMISEN –

"AYERS!"

POEHLER –

"I BUILT ME A BRIDGE AND IT AINT GOING NOWHERE!

OOOOOHHHHHHHH.

MCCAIN/PALIN

GONNA PUT THE NAIL IN

THE COFFIN… OF THE MEDIA ELITE"

SAMBERG/ARMISEN –

"SHE LIKES RED MEAT!"

(A MOOSE ENTERS)

POEHLER –

"SHOOT A MUTHA HUMPIN MOOSE EIGHT DAYS OF THE WEEK,

NOW YOURE DEAD

NOW YOURE DEAD

CUZ I’M AN AMINAL, AND I’M BIGGER THAN YOU

HOLDIN’ A SHOTGUN, WORKIN’ THE PUMP

Everybody party, we GOING ON A HUNT

LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA

YO I’M PALIN I’M OUT!

(AMY, SUDEIKIS AND SAMBERG/ARMISEN EXIT AS SNOW FALLS)

MEYERS – "I think you made the right decision not to do that."

GOV. PALIN – "You betcha."