Forget the race for Maryland governor and Sarah Palin's map with Democratic districts shown through a gunsight, the 2010 election year officially became a red-hot cultural event Saturday night with the return of Tina Fey as Palin.

Here's the "Saturday Night Live" video, and it is delicious. Just when you start taking Fey for granted, she goes back to this wickedly satiric political place that she first took us in 2008, and you feel like you should be bowing in front of the TV set rather than watching.

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Mocking TV operations like Fox News and the Maryland-based TLC Channel that have rushed in to sign the former half-term governor of Alaska, Fey offers this brilliant comic take on an imaginary Sarah Palin TV Network.

Now given that TV and politics are my top two passions (baseball was up there until I saw the 2010 Orioles this week), I might be a little prejudiced in favor of this sketch. But I have to say, I laughed out loud at almost every parody show on the make-believe network.

I don't know if Fey wrote this. I will try to find out. But whoever did, the writing is as savvy and informed as Fey's performance.

And I hope executives at Fox News and TLC and any other TV operation that paid big bucks to recruit this reckless political hustler were watching. I think they could wind up damaging their brand with her on board -- and have paid lots of money for the privilege.

Look, as many great programming moves as Fox News has made, the highly-rated channel has not yet figured out a way to make Palin work onscreen. She came across as flat and lifeless when paired with Bill O'Reilly (and that's hard to do given his TV energy), and her first special was a ratings disappointment.

Worse, Palin's "reload" rhetoric and deplorable gunsight imagery after the healthcare vote reminded many of how reckless or ignorant she can be. And she repeated the inflammatory "reload" talk Friday at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.

I think Fey might have been a little hard on the Tea Party men, but I admit I laughed -- a lot. I screamed at the death panel sketch. I love the quiz show: "Are You Smarter than a Half-Term Governor?"

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