Tina Fey: funny lady, skilled actress, great writer, hilarious impersonator of a woman we are all relieved didn’t actually become vice president, and now the youngest winner ever of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Last week, the fantastic Ms. Fey picked up the honor and on Sunday PBS aired the ceremony. If you like lots of funny people cracking wise while being sweetly obsequious, then the event was for you. (What? It’s PBS, I can use my big girl words.)
During the show, a host of famous folks who have worked with Tina in the past and present paid tribute to her, from Steve Martin to Jon Hamm and Tracy Morgan to Betty White. The Kennedy Center hosted award is the highest prize given out in the country for comedy. Tina is the 13th recipient of the honor and only the third woman, behind Whoopi Goldberg and Lily Tomlin, ever to receive it. At 40, she is also its youngest recipient. Oh, and one more thing, she looked really pretty at the show. (What? It’s PBS, I’m being thorough.)
Guest after guest came out to swoon over Tina while poking gentle fun at the mistress of honor. Tributes were interspersed with clips from 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, Second City theater performances and Mean Girls. Her Weekend Update co-anchor Fallon sang “Beautiful Fey,” her 30 Rock co-star Jane Krakowski sang “Muffin Top,” and, for some reason no one fully understands, Jennifer Hudson, who has never worked with Tina as far as I can tell, sang “Respect.” Longtime friend and collaborator Amy Poehler said “Tina, I am so honored to be able to attend your comedy Bat Mitzvah tonight. So far the food has been excellent, and your Evita theme is really working.”
And, in the continued interest of thoroughness, Amy looked darn pretty, too, especially considering she gave birth to her second child just three months ago. But, of course, the night’s biggest star was the woman herself. After the slew of stars finished feting her (also including SNLers Lorne Michaels, Fred Armisen and Seth Meyers, her Date Night co-star Steve Carell and a taped segment with Alec Baldwin dressed as Mark Twain), Tina took the stage herself.
In her acceptance speech was peppered with jokes, many of them with Liz Lemon-worthy levels of self deprecation. Here are a few of her choicest bits. Just remember not to get emotional, because us Stone Cold Bitches need to stick together.
Also, Tina mentioned that the last time she was in Washington D.C. was in 2004 when she posed with Sen. John McCain for the cover of Life magazine. She said she has it on good authority that the cover photo of the two of them together has been hanging in his office by his desk since then and he has been looking at Tina with her Tina Fey glasses every day since 2004, “getting ideas.”
“I guess what I’m saying is, this whole thing might be my fault,” she joked.
Oh, Tina. We’d never blame you for that. And even if we did, you’d just have to keep giving adorable answers to fans questions like this and all would be forgiven.
Team Cake and Team Tina, forever. Congratulations, girl. You deserve it.