Tina Fey

Comedy writer


SNL alumni


May 18, 1970


Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

Upper Darby, PA


51 years old


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A little about Tina

Her scar

She has a scar a few inches long on the left side of her chin and cheek, which she explained happened "during the spring semester of kindergarten, I was slashed in the face by a stranger in the alley behind my house."

TV weight

In 1998, when she was a writer at Saturday Night Live, she performed as an extra in a sketch, and after watching herself, decided to diet and lost 30 pounds.

First female head writer at SNL

In 1998, after Adam Mckay stepped down as Saturday Night Live's head writer, Tina was hired and became SNL's first female head writer.

Related comedians


Tina's posts (11)

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Tina Fey


On bombing

On bombing

Tina Fey


On bombing

Tina Fey

I don't know about you [David Letterman], but I find any little thing I do, if it doesn't go well, I just carry that bomb juice on me for days. I had to do something the other night at a charity thing, and I was promised I didn't have to write any jokes, and every year I forget that when I introduce the band, it takes them two-and-a-half minutes to bring the banjos out and stuff. And so it was like, "I'm here. I have nothing." And I'm dying. And I don't even have the wherewithal to improvise anymore. I just stood there. And then for three days, I was in a bad mood because I bombed.


I definitely think of myself as not a super-cool music person. I'm not a person who knows the latest and newest by any means. So if I have my radio on — it's so old. My Pandora radio will have an Elvis Costello channel and a Loretta Lynn channel. And all the show tunes. That's kind of where I max out. I'm not the coolest. That's the big perk I miss about not being at SNL anymore — hearing the house band every week and the guest every week. Because that would be my only exposure to new music, and just what you want: Give me your top two songs.
Not necessarily like, "What's the blow for the end of Act 2?" But big-picture things of how should I live my life, how to handle this person, jobs to take or not take, ways of managing people.
During my first year, I had a crush on a brainy, raven-haired boy from my dorm ... he would ask me at least once a day if I had ever seen the movie Full Metal Jacket and I would remind him that I had not ... After several weeks of mistaking this for flirtation, I tried to kiss him one night by the Monroe Hill dorms and he literally ran away. Not figuratively. Literally.


I’ve learned a lot over the past 10 years about what it means to be the boss of people. In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way... Contrary to what I believed as a little girl, being the boss almost never involves marching around, chanting, “I am the boss! I am the boss!”
So my unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism, ageism, or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way.
The second rule of improvisation is to not only say “yes” but “yes and” … you’re supposed to agree and then add something of your own … “if I start a scene and say “it’s so hot in here” and you just say “yeah”, we’re kind of at a standstill … to me, “yes and” means don’t be afraid to contribute, it’s your responsibility to contribute … always make sure you are adding something to the discussion … your initiations are worthwhile …
Another night to remember: Around three a.m., [30 Rock producer and writer Robert Carlock] and I were leading a rewrite in my living room and realized that we had both fallen asleep while talking. When we woke up a few moments (or hours?) later, the other writers were just sitting politely, awaiting further instruction. That is a dedicated staff.
The first rule of improvisation is “agree” always agree and say “yes” … when you are improvising this means you are required to agree with whatever your partner has created … so if we’re improvising and I say “freeze I have a gun” and you say “that’s not a gun, it’s your finger” our improvised scene has ground to a halt … now in real life you are obviously not going to agree with everything everyone always says but the “rule of agreement” gets you to at least start from an open minded place … start with a “yes” and see where that takes you … as an improvisor I always find it jarring in real life when I meet someone who’s first answer is “no” …
The next rule is “make statements” which is a positive way of saying don’t ask questions all the time … if we’re in a scene and I say “who are you?” or “where are we?” or “what’s in that box?”, I am putting all of the pressure on you to come up with the answers … in other words, whatever the problem, be part of the solution … don’t just sit around raising questions and putting up obstacles.
If you are a woman and you bought this book for practical tips on how to make it in a male-dominated workplace, here they are. No pigtails, no tube tops. Cry sparingly. (Some people say “Never let them see you cry.” I say, if you’re so mad you could just cry, then cry. It terrifies everyone.)