It’s not uncommon to like Tina Fey.
It is to the point where me saying something like “I think Tina Fey is the funniest woman in America” is so utterly redundant as to only reflect my lack innovation or insight. But at the same time, does that mean she does not deserve the praise? Looking at her work, you can start seeing the kind of insight and inflection that makes up the greats.
Her SNL stint, Witness:
“Prostitutes in Lyons, France, sent a fax to the government to complain that they are losing business to Eastern European women who are protected by the Albanian mafia. Okay, first of all, how rough-looking are these French prostitutes that all their customers are running to the Albanians? Secondly, why did they send a fax, and from whence? Do they have a fax machine in the whorehouse, or did they all trundle down to Kinko’s – “You fax these, I’ll let you shave me.” Thirdly, how come French whores know how to work a fax machine, but every time I try to use it, I hit Powersave, or I forget to dial 9? This just proves what my boyfriend always says – that I am dumber than a French whore.”
But Tina Fey has now become synonymous with 30 Rock. And that show is simply hilarious. We’re talking ‘Arrested Development’ hilarious. Heck, a good number of episodes have been been golden age Simpsons or Seinfeld funny. That’s the highest praise you can give to a comedy. I mean damn, this show didn’t just make Tracy Morgan funny, it made him hilarious. Then it made Alec Baldwin into the funniest guy on TV. Check out some great stuff via Quote.
Jack: Steven’s good, man, he’s on partner track at Dewey and he’s a Black.
Liz: A black!? That’s offensive.
Jack: No, no. That’s his name. Steven Black… good family. Remarkable people, the Blacks, musical, very athletic, not very good swimmers. Again I’m talking about the family. Black is African-American, though.
Liz: Well I don’t care about that.
Liz: Why are you wearing a tux?
Jack: It’s after six Lemon, what am I a farmer?
Or, how wonderfully it uses my favorite comedy device, repetition for enhanced benefit:
[Liz telling Jack about her upcoming date] “I was going to make stew” Jack: “oh for god’s sake Lemon, don’t make stew.” [And later on, opening of said date] Liz’s Date: “this is delicious stew.”
[Liz wearing NOT her wedding dress] Liz: “I don’t need society’s permission to buy a white dress. Who says this is a wedding dress anyway? In Korea they wear white to funerals.” [Later on, Tracy sees her in the dress] Tracy: “Oh, no!?”
[Liz finds a random pop tart on the ground of her apartment, thinks for a moment, then eats it anyway] [Later Liz stumbles in to find her friend having sex in her bed with his ex-wife. She yells at them, then looks down horrified to see pop tarts in the coital bed and spilled to the floor.] Liz: “why are there Pop Tarts!?!! WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE POP TARTS!?!?!!?!”