Prank call from comedians tests Palin's sense of humor

RALEIGH, N.C. — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said that she has worked to keep her sense of humor on the vice presidential campaign trail, including laughing at the French-Canadian comedians who called her on the telephone Saturday pretending to be French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In a brief interview with McClatchy Newspapers Saturday night, Palin described her reaction to the prank phone call. In it, she was polite but came off as slightly baffled by the whole exchange with the heavily accented man, known to Canadian radio listeners as one half of the duo known as the Masked Avengers.

Early in the call, comedian Marc-Antoine Audette, posing as Sarkozy, said, "You know, I see you as a president one day, too."

Palin's reply? "Maybe in eight years."

Palin's advisers put the call through to her during the day Saturday. When asked how the comedians were able to connect with her, Palin rolled her eyes and referred to a statement released earlier by the campaign. But she smiled and added, "you know, we'll keep a sense of humor through all of this, just as we did with SNL, too," referring to actress Tina Fey's impersonation of her on Saturday Night Live. "You know, you've got to have some levity in all this."

Campaign spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt released this statement: "Governor Palin received a phone call on Saturday from a French Canadian talk show host claiming to be French President Nicholas Sarkozy. Governor Palin was mildly amused to learn that she had joined the ranks of heads of state, including President Sarkozy, and other celebrities in being targeted by these pranksters. C'est la vie."

Through much of the call, she had the manner of a woman fending off unwanted male attention. The comedian said, "you know my wife is a popular singer and a former top model and she's so hot in bed. She even wrote a song for you."

"Oh my goodness, I didn't know that," Palin said.

The Masked Avengers, who have a regular radio show on a Montreal station, are known for their pranks, which include tricking celebrities such as Britney Spears into taking their prank calls. According to the Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail, in 2007 they conned Sarkozy himself by impersonating Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Palin said that one of the most difficult things about her short transition to vice presidential candidate after serving just two years as governor of a sparsely populated, far-flung state has been growing a thicker skin - but not necessarily for herself. It is difficult to see what's written about her children, Palin said.

"That was a little bit unexpected, how brutal some of that was," she said. "

In the interview, Palin added that when she was asked by Katie Couric and stumbled over the question about what sort of newspapers and magazines she reads regularly, she should have mentioned the McClatchy-owned Anchorage Daily News.


To see video of the prank call go to:{0081101?s_name=uselection2008