"It takes a captain to mock a maverick," said Gina Serpe in E! Online. On The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien Monday, William Shatner offered "a verbatim delivery of governor-no-more Sarah Palin's steadily more rambling, picnic-accompanied resignation speech." But the "master of spoken-word peculiarity" delivered Palin's farewell words as a poem—complete with bongo accompaniment—and it was "merciless" (watch).
It was also "genius," said Andy Chalk in The Escapist. "Shatner's silky-smooth cadence, delivered to a flowing beatnik groove, turn Palin's awkward fumbling for profundity into the most memorable piece of performance art you're going to see all day—possibly all week."
"The collision of the natural wonder of Alaska and William Shatner and bongos does make for an effective moment of poetry," said Linda Holmes in NPR.org. But to be fair, "you could certainly give the same treatment to many—if not most—speeches delivered in grand settings." And Sarah Palin's farewell address "embraced a lot of Alaska-specific imagery that, if you're not from Alaska, sounded rather mystical."