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Award for funniest person: Tina Fey

MSNBC - USA - Tina Fey is, at this moment, our funniest person. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are more topical and more reliable political satirists, Steve Carell incorporates more poignancy, and if you’re one of the many internet sensations whose lip-synching routine, uproarious wedding dance, or movie send-up has earned you instant fame, more power to you.

But on an ongoing basis, our funniest person — bringing the greatest hilarity to the greatest number — is Tina Fey. Her first big movie as a lead, “Baby Mama,” opens on Friday, and a nation full of theater-goers in need of a laugh crosses its fingers.

Why is Tina Fey our funniest person? In part because she gave us our funniest show. She developed “30 Rock,” which won last year’s Emmy for outstanding comedy and is a critical piece of NBC’s reinvigorated Thursday-night lineup. That lineup, incidentally, is smarter overall than it ever was in its more famous heyday, when good shows at 8 and 9 o’clock often shared space with pure dreck at 8:30 or 9:30. The whole slate sings these days, and “30 Rock” is — for comedy alone — the strongest link. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture between NBC Universal and Microsoft.)

“30 Rock” is, more than anything, a masterpiece of consistent tone. Cartoonish and frenetic in the smartest way, it looks and sounds like nothing else on television. While the Emmy and the slavish cult following the show now enjoys make it look like an obvious winner, it was Fey who risked her reputation when early predictions firmly held that “30 Rock” would wilt in the shadow of Aaron Sorkin’s similarly themed but night-and-day different drama, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” That one, you’ll remember, barely held on for a full, non-Emmy-winning season.

Honestly, Tina Fey is easy to love — to admire, even. Unlike many famous funny people, she was a powerful writer before she became a familiar on-screen presence. Compare this to guys like Seth Rogen and Jason Segel, who had acting successes before they got major projects they’d written — “Superbad” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” respectively — off the ground.

There is something about a lady with glasses who bossed around a bunch of undoubtedly smelly writers for years before you ever saw her walk a red carpet that makes her instantly more relatable than anyone who does the same thing in the reverse order.

Those possibly smelly writers, of course, were at “Saturday Night Live,” where Fey was head writer from 1999 to 2005 and where she served as “Weekend Update” co-anchor for most of that time.
Source : Originally Published MSNBC - USA, Apr 21, 2008
Celebrities : Jon Stewart, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert
Categories : Comedian News, Celebrity News
Posted 4/21/2008 06:04:35 AM | Permalink
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