Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lady Crush

Tina Fey on Hillary Clinton, Weekend Update 2/23/08

Fey: Maybe what bothers me the most is that people say that Hillary is a bitch. Let me say something about that: Yeah, she is. And so am I and so is this one. (Gestures to Poehler)

Poehler: Yeah, deal with it.

Fey: Know what? Bitches get stuff done.

Saturday, February 23, 2008 – New York, NY

Adam by my side, toes numb, wind whipping, we raced down 6th Avenue after the Magnetic Fields show towards our cozy hotel room (and by cozy I mean ridiculously small) and got there in time to flip on the flat-screen at the start of Saturday Night Live’s first live show since the end of the writer’s strike. The sparkling pinot noir was perfectly chilled and complemented our Duane Reade purchases of Pringles, trail mix and Smart Pop quite well.

As most of my readers know, I love Tina Fey. They may also know that I love Steve Martin circa 1977 a little more. Imagine my complete and total satisfaction when Mr. Martin popped in to give Ms. Fey a little cleverly staged encouragement and a few face slaps during her monologue on Saturday night. I don’t know why I’m still so faithful to both Steve and SNL given all the crap that has come out of both comedic treasures for the past ten years or so. It is something deeply engrained in my wiring. Some cherished memories of mine are flashes of SNL while my mom combed my wet hair (the late night bath and hair combing was an excuse for me to stay up late to watch the first few sketches) and listening to Wild and Crazy Guy at my parent’s friend’s house in Houston, Texas. I didn’t really understand any of it, but I knew it was funny and I wanted a piece of the action. My comedic journey went the same way as many before me who didn’t make it. The sequence goes something like this: class clown, impress your social circle by regaling them with your improve skills and insults/cultural critiques, dream of doing stand-up in college, maybe even write some material in your journal, figure out that you are not as funny as you thought and then come to the realization that it is better to be happy than funny. Unfortunately, few folks have figured out how to be both at the same time. I’m sad to include Steve in that list. According to his recent autobiography of his stand-up days, Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life, the pinnacle of his funny in the late 70’s coincided with the loneliest time of his life. It maybe pure speculation, but I think he’s much happier now and my point is gravely proven by the quality of his current work.

Whoa there, Megan, you may be thinking, sounds like you just may be a tad bitter because you didn’t have the dedication to sow your comedic oats. Well, you’re right. I was distracted by art, boys, travel, video games, movies and fear of failure (not success, I would be totally fine with that). I also had a period where getting into comedy would have made me appear super-dikey (because of my haircut, deep voice and general butchish appearance) and I don’t think my self esteem could have handled that, let alone my reputation with the men in my peer group which was, at that time, shaky at best. It has been a challenge being a strong woman, and by strong I mean loud and obnoxious. In short, I blame low self-esteem and lack of focus. Luckily, now I can just blame lack of focus and my day job. ‘Cause, let me tell you, presently…I look real good. And, let me also tell you who has managed to be funny, have a normal upbringing, get married, have a baby, produce, write, act and be a person of great influence all while looking real good too – Tina Fey, that’s who. She’s the exception to the Tears of a Clown rule while simultaneously being a feminine and funny. That is the great trifecta in my opinion and totals to one awesome set of accomplishments - happy, funny and hot. She’s my lady crush and I’m proud of it.

I can describe my reaction as pure glee and euphoria when Tina, unaffected by the Obama train of inspirational dribble, backed Hillary on Saturday night. I believe my words were, “Oh no, she didn’t!” accompanied by the appropriate hand gestures. Yes, it was free TV time for the Clinton campaign and yes Hillary is clearly not having a good time as she struggles to throw everything not so effectively in Barack’s general direction. But, man, was it good to hear and it went very well with sparkling wine. Try to look it up on YouTube, it may still be posted. I know what you are saying, “But why should I listen to some chick from Upper Darby, PA, Megan?” ‘Cause if 8 years at SNL (several as head writer), a produced screenplay, her own TV series and a voice in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie isn’t enough, well, you might just be a hater and you should go and deal with that, okay? Despite all these qualifications and accomplishments, 30 Rock is still only granted half a wall in the NBC store at Rockefeller Center, sandwiched between Friday Night Lights merchandise and disposable cameras. The mural near the elevator bank near the store features all the major NBC stars (including Tina) but a giant Steve Carrell presides over the group hand outstretched. Why does everyone like The Office so much? Just because it originally came from England doesn’t make it smarter or funnier than any other show. Carrell is really starting to creep me out in that role. But, that’s another for blog entry, clearly.

I’m just happy to be inspired. And this time it’s not me as a 5 year old doing my impersonation of Steve Martin in The Jerk, shuffling around the house, pants down, picking up random item and declaring, “This is all I need…this chair, this lamp and this paddle game…that’s it that’s all I need…” etc. Pants down equals funny, I learned that at an early age. This time it’s someone more relatable and I’m so glad that the young funny ladies of today are being exposed to Tina’s post-feminist, smart but never entirely un-silly style and works. Bitches certainly do get things done, funny things and though I know I’ll never have the balls or experience to be on SNL, but I’m not counting out a shrewd, insightful yet uproarious screenplay about, oh, I don’t know, lady bowlers or a subject equally as stimulating. Perhaps I’ll finish that fake memoir I’m kind of writing or maybe my blog will find a theme I can latch onto and a novel will be born. Part of me is relieved that Tina Fey is filling the dorky chic, glasses wearing wise-ass comedian/writer slot for the time being – it takes the imaginary pressure off me. Now that one of us has been successful, I can sneak in, ride the wave. That’s how it’s done, right?