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SNL Head Says Republicans Can Take A Ribbing Better Than Democrats

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AP Photo / ASSOCIATED PRESS

"Republicans are easier for us than Democrats. Democrats tend to take it personally; Republicans think it’s funny," Michaels told New York Magazine of the sketch comedy show's approach to politics in an interview published Sunday.

One of the most notable parodies of a conservative politician on the show was "SNL" alum Tina Fey's impression of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Fey portrayed Palin week after week during the 2008 campaign season -- and eventually the real Palin turned up at 30 Rockefeller Center to participate in a sketch herself.

When singer Miley Cyrus did a racy impersonation of a "twerking" Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) last year in a music video that parodied the government shutdown, the congresswoman similarly took it in stride. She also estimated that she'd been lampooned on the program at least six or seven times.

But Michaels told the magazine that the actors on "Saturday Night Live," who fall on the spectrum from liberal to conservative, aren't "agenda people."

"Our job—and it sounds too grand to say and none of us ever say it—is speaking truth to power," he said. "I’m registered as an Independent, not because everything that we do would be undermined if we were partisan—Jon Stewart has that role. Us? Theoretically, whoever it is in power, we’re against them."