Tina FeyLatest News and Opinion
Posted Tuesday 5/22/18 at 6:12AM EDT
SNL's celebrity cameo-filled 43rd season highlights the problem of having few cast members who are stars
"Since the departure of its prior core group of stars (the last of whom, Seth Meyers, departed midway through Season 39), SNL has struggled to build a major identity around its newer ensemble," says David Simms. "(Kate) McKinnon, the show’s one bona-fide star, and Kenan Thompson, its longest-running cast member, are two hall-of-famers. Everyone else is a mix of solid but unspectacular performers, some of whom (like Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong) have been with the show for six years without ever quite making it their own." Simms notes that Saturday Night Live is doing fine, ratings-wise. But, he adds, "beyond the growing staleness of its Trump material, SNL struggled to really address some of the biggest news stories of the year, especially the #MeToo movement." The one standout episode was the one hosted by Donald Glover, he says. "There’s a lesson to be learned from Glover’s episode: Its distinctiveness is what made it work, and helped so many of its sketches travel online in the days following," says Simms." More often than not, SNL succeeds when its cast members and writers build up recognizable brands of humor that can recur throughout the show. That’s never been true for much of SNL’s current cast, partly because they’re not given enough air time to define themselves onscreen, and some of the longer-serving veterans may have missed their chance to do so entirely. It’s a problem the show knows that it has—and a mistake it should steer clear of when it begins its next rebuild around newer stars."
- There’s no excuse for SNL to be as stodgy and self-referentially lifeless as it was in the season finale
- Here are the 10 best sketches of Season 43
- Give it up to the SNL costume department for their fast work on the royal wedding sketch
- Was Nicki Minaj's SNL performance cultural appropriation?
- Kate McKinnon is glad to walk you through her SNL work, but she explains why she won't discuss her personal life
- Watch McKinnon "trash" a hotel room for GQ
- Read a history of SNL's Jeopardy! sketches
- Pete Davidson is "casually dating" former SNL musical guest Ariana Grande
Posted Sunday 5/20/18 at 4:34AM EDT
SNL ends the season with a Sopranos finale homage and numerous celebrity cameos
Saturday Night Live's Season 43 finale was even more star-studded than the Stormy Daniels episode two weeks ago. It began with a cold open homage to The Sopranos' 2007 series finale, featuring Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro reprising their roles as Michael Cohen and Robert Mueller. Then, in a monologue that addressed criticism that the show has become too dependent on celebrity cameos, Tina Fey interacted with Benedict Cumberbatch, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Fred Armisen, Anne Hathaway, Tracy Morgan and recent host Donald Glover, whom Fey hired to write for 30 Rock. Lin-Manuel Miranda and John Goodman also made cameos. So did Fey's husband Jeff Richmond, who appeared in a "Mean Girls" sketch, and who has worked with his wife as a composer on 30 Rock, SNL and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
- Watch Tina Fey give a 360-degree YouTube tour of the SNL studio
- SNL spoofs Dick Wolf's NBC Chicago shows with "Chicago Improv" sketch
- Fey revived her Sarah Palin impression late in the show
- Watch Nicki Minaj perform with Fey in "Friendship Song" sketch that was cut for time
- Aidy Bryant portrayed the Oakland BBQ woman, who has become an internet meme
Posted Friday 5/18/18 at 1:36PM EDT
Jimmy Fallon unveiled a ridiculous "What's Behind Me?" game for Tina Fey
Check out the weirdest late-night game you'll ever see. ALSO: Fey shared with Fallon her SNL sketch ideas.
Posted Thursday 5/17/18 at 10:42PM EDT
Tina Fey and Rachel Bloom are changing the way female comics engage with "male gatekeepers"
Fey's recent appearance on David Letterman's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction and Bloom's recent interview conducted by Marc Maron on his WTF podcast were remarkable, says Lili Loofbourow, because both interviews felt "thrillingly blunt." "Real cultural transformation is as laggy as its effects are subtle and hard to name, but the novelty is this: Neither Fey nor Bloom court Letterman’s or Maron’s approval," says Loofbourow. "In fact, Fey repeatedly rejects it. When Letterman raises Fey’s controversial August 'sheet-caking' bit (from SNL) and tries to declare it a success, she doesn’t let him, implicitly rejecting the authority he (just as implicitly) claims to pronounce her comedy good or bad. Both women are affable and funny interviewees, but when it comes time to indulge in the tired mutual-approval party these comedy chats so often become, Fey and Bloom refuse to participate. 'Well, dig into that. Why?' Bloom replies when Maron says he considers Crazy Ex-Girlfriend a 'guilty pleasure.' After describing for him plot points (including a suicide attempt) that Maron knew nothing about, Bloom pleasantly observes that shows written by and starring women tend to be dismissed as fluff—even after Maron, thinking aloud, admits he hadn’t thought the phrase through. It’s a small thing, but if you know the codes of etiquette these women operate under—and carefully dissect in their comedy—it’s pretty wild." ALSO: Tina Fey pitches Nicki Minaj a sketch idea in SNL promo.
Posted Wednesday 5/16/18 at 5:46PM EDT
Tina Fey's SNL promo takes her on an animated journey through her career
"I'm back at 30 Rock and couldn't be more excited. Thanks Lorne," Fey says in her promo.
Posted Monday 5/14/18 at 11:28PM EDT
Former Late Night writer: David Letterman's explanation for not hiring women was a "master class in distortion"
Letterman co-created his NBC Late Night show with a woman, his then-girlfriend Merrill Markoe, who served as the original head writer and was responsible for many of its innovations. Yet in 33 years as a late-night host, he mostly avoided bringing in female writers. Nell Scovell, who became the second female Late Night writer when she was hired in its ninth season, dissects Letterman's recent explanation to Tina Fey on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction on his lack of women writers, and finds a straw-man argument, scapegoating, obfuscation and nonsense. Scovell, the author of a recent book on her experience as a female TV writer, writes: "After creating a straw-man argument that women just weren’t interested in working on an award-winning TV show, Letterman sets out to further absolve himself of guilt." Scovell also contacted Markoe, asking why "she may have slipped Letterman’s mind." Markoe wrote back, “Because we were having sex, maybe he remembers me as an intern.”
# TOPICS: David Letterman, Netflix, Late Night with David Letterman, Late Show with David Letterman, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, Merill Markoe, Nell Scovell, Tina Fey, Late Night, Women and TV
Posted Friday 5/11/18 at 4:18PM EDT
NBC cancels Great News after two seasons
The TV news workplace comedy from Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield averaged three million total viewers in its sophomore season.
Posted Friday 5/04/18 at 1:53PM EDT
Tina Fey calls out David Letterman's lack of female writers on his late-night shows
On the new episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Letterman acknowledged the criticism that he lacked females in his late-night writers' rooms. Letterman said people would ask "why don’t you have women writers? And the best I could come up with was ‘I don’t know.’ I didn’t know why there weren’t women writers. There was no policy against women writers. I always thought, ‘Well, geez, if I was a woman I’m not sure if I would want to write on my nickel-and-dime, dog-and-pony show anyway because we’re on at 12:30.” Fey responded: “Yeah, well, we do want to write on it, though," which resulted in cheers from the audience. “That is my ignorance, and I feel bad for that,” Letterman replied. Meanwhile, former Late Night with David Letterman writer Nell Scovell tweeted that all five of Letterman's Netflix executive producers are male. ALSO: Fey tells Letterman she regrets her much-criticized SNL Charlottesville sketch.
# TOPICS: My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, Netflix, Late Night with David Letterman, Late Show with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, David Letterman, Nell Scovell, Tina Fey, Late Night, Women and TV
Posted Thursday 5/03/18 at 6:07PM EDT
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to end after Season 4, with plans for a movie finale
Netflix today released a Mary Tyler Moore-themed teaser for the Ellie Kemper comedy's fourth season, which is set to be its last. According to Deadline, co-creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock are planning to write a movie to bring Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to an end, with Netflix and producer Universal Television in negotiation on wrapping up the series. Season 4 is currently filming and will be released in two parts, consisting of six episodes available on May 30 and seven to be released at a later date.
Posted Thursday 5/03/18 at 10:55AM EDT
Tina Fey on Michelle Wolf: "You can’t ask a coyote to guard the house"
"When you invite a comedian into that place where that tone is set, they’re going to give it to you straight, and I think that’s pretty much what she did," say Fey, who suggests the White House Correspondents' Dinner hire a children's choir for next year.
Posted Monday 4/30/18 at 8:42PM EDT
Tina Fey teaches David Letterman improv in one of two My Next Guest episodes coming to Netflix in May
Netflix initially announced that My Next Guest Needs No Introduction would be a monthly event. But the first season will wrap by the end of May, with Fey's episode set for this Friday, May 4, and Howard Stern's episode dropping on Thursday, May 31.
Posted Friday 4/20/18 at 1:48PM EDT
Tina Fey says 30 Rock fans shouldn't expect "a straight reboot because that would be too easy"
Fey told Jimmy Fallon that, yes, she and collaborator Robert Carlock have discussed potentially reviving 30 Rock. "We're trying to think of a way to do something. What should we do?" she said on The Tonight Show, joking that the reboot could be set in a dystopian future or have a Muppet Babies twist. Fey also joked that saying "maybe" to red carpet questions about a 30 Rock revival means she was "thirsty for internet attention." ALSO: Jimmy Fallon choked up while paying tribute last night to Fey.
Posted Wednesday 4/18/18 at 2:31PM EDT
SNL to wrap up the season with hosts Amy Schumer and Tina Fey
Schumer will host for the second time on May 12, joined by musical guest Kacey Musgraves. Fey hosts the finale for Season 43 with musical guest Nicki Minaj on May 19. This will be Fey's sixth time returning to Saturday Night Live as host. She previously hosted (or co-hosted) in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015.
Posted Wednesday 4/11/18 at 5:05AM EDT
Tina Fey credits TBS for making Mean Girls a classic, discusses how female TV writers were once treated like "expensive cappuccino machines"
Fey says she was inspired to turn Mean Girls into a musical after seeing "people from TV" -- South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone -- conquer Broadway with The Book of Mormon. Without TBS, she adds, her new Mean Girls musical wouldn't be possible. “I think so much of that credit goes to TBS,” she tells Variety. “Isn’t it always on TBS? Thank you, TBS!” The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and 30 Rock honcho also spoke about the Time's Up movement, saying it was always her goal to put females in writers' rooms. “I think in comedy rooms, especially, women are treated like expensive cappuccino machines,” she says. “Where it’s like, ‘We have one. Why would we have two?!’ That’s too much pressure on that one person — to carry that, to be the African-American writer, the female writer. It’s always about changing the chemistry of the room. The more diverse the room is, it automatically becomes better.”
Posted Saturday 2/17/18 at 1:46AM EST
The #MeToo movement is "very present" in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 4
"Kimmy (will be) confronting some things in a workplace," says co-creator Robert Carlock. "It's the first time she's ever been in a workplace and that changes the rules. That movement, whether we talk about it expressly or not, is very present in how Kimmy looks at the world and you talk about someone who represents the relief of that happening and (the sense that) hopefully it's not too late for other people." Carlock and fellow Kimmy Schmidt co-creator Tina Fey have already tackled sexual misconduct on Great News, which they both executive produce.