By 1999, 29-year-old Tina Fey was the head writer of “Saturday Night Live” –
downplaying the position of being the first female to lead the writers of the long running show, claiming there weren’t that many head writers in the show’s history in the first place. Still, it was a job that reinforced her comedic talents and was only the beginning in a career that would open doors to film, her very own television show, and ultimately a Golden Globe award for her acting in “30 Rock.”
Born in Pennsylvania in 1970, Tina found she had an early talent for making people laugh, “to get people to like me” she said. She studied Drama at the University of Virginia, graduating in 1992. Tina caught the eye of “SNL” producer Lorne Michaels while working out of Chicago’s famed Second City improv troupe during the 1990s. By 1997, she was brought on as a writer and moved to New York.
Tina’s near-decade run while at “Saturday Night Live” was met with success both in the “SNL” studios and outside of it. She won a Writers Guild of America award in 2001 for the 25th anniversary special for “SNL,” and the next year, the writing staff picked up an Emmy for its work. Tina also proved herself a strong cast member on the show, particularly as anchoring “Weekend Update” – first with Jimmy Fallon, and later with Amy Poehler. She also found time to pen the much-praised Lindsay Lohan vehicle “Mean Girls” in 2004. The creation of her own sitcom, “30 Rock” (a reference to 30 Rockefeller Plaza, NBC’s headquarters) launched in fall 2006 and marked Tina’s end with “SNL” and the beginning of a new chapter in comedy. While slow to gain a loyal audience following, “30 Rock” won an Emmy in 2007 for Outstanding Comedy Series. With theme music composed by Tina’s husband Jeff Richmond, the show features an amazing ensemble including Tina, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, and a host of special guests.
While managing “30 Rock,” Tina has emerged as one of pop culture’s most recognizable comedic faces. In 2007, Tina and her young daughter Alice were the faces on American Express advertisements, and Tina was voted number one on Time magazine’s “100 People Who Shape Our World.” While the fall 2007 writer’s strike halted production on “30 Rock,” Tina remains active as the show’s producer, as well as developing future film projects for herself. In just ten years, Tina has grown as a fledgling skit writer to one of America’s treasured comedic talents.
Tina Fey in "Baby Mama"
Tina on the Web
Ultimate web resource site for Tina.
TV Guide: Tina Fey
Detailed bio, photos, video clips, and TV listings of Tina on TV.
Thorough bio of Tina’s personal life and professional career.
Saturday Night Live Official Site
Tina’s page on the SNL site with bio, message board and photos.
A.V. Club Interview
2006 interview with Tina on launching her sitcom “30 Rock.”
Tina on the Screen
While appearing on 175 episodes of “Saturday Night Live” from 1997 – 2006, Tina also appeared in “Mean Girls” (which she also wrote) as Mrs. Norbury, and on the NBC comedy “30 Rock” as Liz Lemon.
Along with her recurring role as the star/writer/producer of NBC's "30 Rock," Tina continues to mold a career on the big screen with parts in this year's "Date Night" and "Megamind." She also co-wrote the upcoming music comedy, "Curly Oxide and Vic Thrill," about an eccentric punk-rocker who forms a band with a rebellious young Hasidic Jew played by Sacha Baron Cohen.
On viewing herself:
“I have to say, I'm really not that attractive. Until I met my husband, I could not get a date.”
“If you want to make an audience laugh, you dress a man up like an old lady and push her down the stairs. If you want to make comedy writers laugh, you push an actual old lady down the stairs.”