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Tina Fey

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Tina Fey on Weekend Update

Tina Fey (born May 18, 1970) is an American writer, comedienne, and actress. She is the current head writer of Saturday Night Live.

Contents

Early years

She was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, in what was a predominantly Greek-American and Italian American neighborhood. Her brother Peter remembers a drawing she did when she was about seven: it showed people holding hands, walking down the street with wedges of Swiss cheese. The caption read, "What a friend we have in cheeses!" [1] (http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?031103fa_fact)

Fey was exposed to comedy early, saying:

"I remember my parents sneaking me in to see Young Frankenstein. We would also watch Saturday Night Live, or Monty Python or old Marx Brothers movies. My dad would let us stay up late to watch The Honeymooners. We were not allowed to watch The Flintstones, though, which my dad hated because it ripped off The Honeymooners. I actually have a very low level of Flintstones knowledge for someone my age." [2] (http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/headline/entertainment/2539354)

She studied drama at the University of Virginia, graduating in 1992. After graduation, she moved to Chicago getting a job at a residential YMCA by day so she could take classes at The Second City by night. She learned that the key to improvisation was to "focus entirely on your partner. You take what they're giving you and use it to build a scene." [3] (http://www.believermag.com/issues/november_2003/tina_fey.htm) By 1994 she was invited to join Second City; she is also a veteran of ImprovOlympic.

Saturday Night Live

With then head writer Adam McKay's help, Fey became a writer for NBC's Saturday Night Live (SNL) in 1997. In 1999, Fey became SNL's first female head writer, a milestone she downplays pointing out how few head writers the show has had. Now co-head writer, she won a 2001 Writers' Guild of America Award for the show's 25th anniversary special; she and the rest of the writing staff won an Emmy in 2002 for their work on the show.

SNL sketches

Some recurring sketches written by Fey include:

She is also credited with:

Weekend Update

In 2000 Fey and Jimmy Fallon became co-anchors of SNL's Weekend Update, a pairing that ended in May 2004 when Fallon made his last appearance as a cast member. She now helms the satirical newscast with Amy Poehler.

Fey's primary role on Weekend Update is as performer, since most of the writing for the segment is done by three or four writers dedicated to the task.

Other work

She partnered with fellow cast member Rachel Dratch in the critically acclaimed two-woman show Dratch & Fey at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City, the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, and the Chicago Improv Festival. Lorne Michaels saw her at one of the performances, which led to her becoming the co-anchor of SNL's Weekend Update.

She also appeared in Martin & Orloff, a surreal comedy which premiered at Austin's SXSW.

Fey wrote the script and co-stars in the 2004 movie Mean Girls. Characters and behaviors in the movie are based on Fey's high school life and on the non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence (ISBN 0609609459) by Rosalind Wiseman. The cast includes other present and past cast members of SNL including Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, and Amy Poehler.

She is also developing a sitcom for NBC.

External links

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Preceded by:
Colin Quinn
Weekend Update
2000–present
Succeeded by:
Amy Poehler as Jimmy Fallon's replacement

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