The Washington Times - October 3, 2008, 05:54PM

First there was Fake Sarah, now it’s Fake Gwen. NBC’s Saturday Night Live has quietly admitted it has cast singer/actress Queen Latifah to play PBS correspondent Gwen Ifill, who moderated the vice presidential debates, and not without controversy.

“If we do a VP debate sketch, Queen Latifah is lined up to play Gwen Ifill,” an NBC representative told People magazine Friday, a possibility also reported by Entertainment Weekly.

We could assume with some confidence that Tina Fey will step forward once again to impersonate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, but there’s no speculation — anywhere — about who will play Sen. Joe Biden.  Darrell Hammond, maybe?

In the name of parody, SNL may recall a particular gaffe which Mr. Biden might prefer we forget.

 “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Mr. Biden said of his running mate Sen. Barack Obama, on Feb. 8, 2007.

“I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

The remarks were misinterpreted, and Mr. Biden quickly retracted them, and realigned his adjectives.

“I deeply regret any offense my remark  caused anyone,” he said. “Barack Obama is probably the most exciting candidate that the Democratic or Republican Party has produced at least since I’ve been around,” Biden said on the call. “And he’s fresh. He’s new. He’s smart. He’s insightful. And I really regret that some have taken totally out of context my use of the world ‘clean.’”

— Jennifer Harper, National Desk reporter