Badass Writer of the Week: Tina Fey

Liz Lemon, Tina Fey’s “30 Rock” alter ego,  not  talking to Oprah.

Liz Lemon, Tina Fey’s “30 Rock” alter ego, not talking to Oprah.

“Be yourself. No one else can be you.”—Tina Fey

By Sean Tuohy

Tina Fey is our queen. 

We’ve all known it for a while, but now it’s time to accept it in our hearts;  Fey is here to reign over us.

A “Star Wars” nerd, a writer and author, and a hell of a comedian, Fey has proved beyond a doubt she has serious chops. She was the first female head writer on “Saturday Night Live,” she landed her own primetime television series on NBC (which became a beloved classic), starred in blockbuster films, and wrote a best-selling memoir.

The Bossypants scribe was born to be a comedy writer. At an early age, she soaked in late night sketch television, “Ghostbusters,” and cartoons. After college, Fey made her way out to Chicago to become part of The Second City comedy troupe. Making it to that comedy club is like being tapped to lead SEAL Team Six. Fey then moved on to the mecca of sketch comedy: “Saturday Night Live.”

Fey started out as a behind-the-scenes writer, never planning to make her way on screen. Producers quickly saw that Fey was meant for the camera and she became a regular player.  In 2004, she became the first female head writer of “SNL” and wrote and produced the iconic “Mean Girls.” Fey also created backstories for all of the characters in the movie, none of which were presented to audiences, just in case an actor had a question. 

Let’s be honest who doesn’t love “Mean Girls?” Right, Dan? Dan… (Daniel Ford: I’ve sadly never seen it, but I date someone that can recite lines from the film with ease.)

Two years later, Fey gifted“30 Rock” to the world. A show within a show! Fey played overworked Liz Lemon who tried each week to produce a live sketch show while trying to have a love life and be a nerd at the same time.

She also gave us tools something to say whenever we want to quit whatever soul-sucking job we're suffer through in order to pay rent, buy food, etc.: #shutitdown

Fey also wrote a hilarious memoir titled Bossypants in 2011. The book dominated The New York Times best-seller list for weeks and has sold more than one million copies in the United States. Her childhood was scarring, but charming and filled with angst, confusion, bad haircuts, and sweating, proving yet again that there is hope for us mere mortals.

After “30 Rock” ended, Fey starred in several blockbuster comedies including “Admission,” ”Muppets Most Wanted,” and “This Is Where I Leave You.” However, she returned to the small screen in 2015 as writer and producer of “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmit,” which has garnered high ratings and much love from critics and viewers alike. The show has also burrowed its theme song deep into our brains.    

There appears to be no limit to what Fey can do, but I’m really hoping she ends up starring as a Jedi in the new “Star Wars” films.