Love or hate vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin (and lord knows that a lot of conservative pundits fall into both categories), the woman’s a star. Take her appearance on “Saturday Night Live” two nights ago. It was boffo. Here is how James Hibberd’s Live Feed television blog Live Feed reported Palin’s viewer numbers:

“Last night’s telecast, hosted by Josh Brolin and featuring musical guest Adele, averaged a 10.7 rating and 24 share in 56 metered markets, according to Nielsen Media Research. That’s the highest overnight ‘SNL’ average since a 1994 episode that was hosted by Nancy Kerrigan and featured musical guest Aretha Franklin.

“Saturday’s program also included appearances by Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg, Oliver Stone and — once again reprising her role as Palin — Tina Fey. But it was the much-anticipated visit by the real Alaska governor that gave the show its biggest overnight rating in more than a decade. The numbers also make ‘SNL’ the third-highest-rated show of last week, after ABC’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and CBS’ ‘CSI.’”

Also see TV by the Numbers. Both blogs have the vid-clips of Palin’s two skits, which are well worth watching, as she brings life to the otherwise moribund (and often lame and un-funny), ‘SNL,’ which has been in long, slow decline for years. She drew whistles, cheers, and rounds of applause from ‘SNL’’s liberal-leaning studio audience—and I swear that if she’d been alotted a few more minutes onstage, she’d have them voting for her.

And as Ann Althouse:

“Alec Baldwin got to stand next to Palin and insult her — by accident, thinking she was Tina — and then got to say something that’s true: Sarah Palin is more attractive than Tina Fey.”
 Baldwin’s exact words were “You’re way hotter.” I couldn’t help but notice, too, that the “SNL” directors made certain that Palin and Fey never shared full-frontal time during the first segment, in which the real Palin replaces the fake Palin onstage. Tina Fey’s not unattractive, but she’s no beauty, either. Although Fey’s got Palin’s clothes, hairstyle, accent, and mannerisms down pat (and does a darned good, although sometimes vicious parody), every time I look at Fey doing Palin, I think: “What happened–did someone hit Sarah in the face with a bowling ball?”

The skits are well worth watching on vid, especially the second one, which features Amy Poehler in top form doing a Sarah rap song along with a hilarious fake Todd Palin and fake moose. The point is that with the possible exception of Fey, Palin had the liberals of ‘SNL’ eating out of her hand. Sure, John McCain could lose the election, but Sarah Palin will be back. Everyone wants to see more of her.