Tag Archives: Tina Fey

Question to Ponder: Will a Woman Ever Have Her Own Late Night Show?

So, I was up way too late the other night and watching Conan O’Brian and I got excited that he will be taking over for Leno soon, and then I thought about the whole who will be the next Leno controversy and I realized these shows really are all about old white dudes and Jimmy Kimmel and Carson Daly.   Not once have I heard someone say, you know what would be a sweet idea, let’s replace Leno with a really hilarious woman!  How is it that we think that that only these dudes can make people laugh during the 11-1:30 slot?  I feel like people like to get worked up about how Americans don’t want to get their news from women, but I’ve decided I’m more worked up over the fact that I can’t get my parodied news from women.  It’s not like there aren’t funny women out there.  Here’s some women that I think would be awesome to host Late Night TV talk shows.  I guarantee all of these people are more interesting than Leno and Carson Daly.
6a00d83451bae269e200e551987c228834-800wi1 Tina Fey

Obviously, on the list because she is my heroine, but I also because I   think she’s the leading contender.  Here’s what she has going for her:

  • Has late night chops from her years on Saturday Night Live.
  • Her work on Weekend Update and 30 Rock proves she rocks when it comes to topical humor.
  • Improv background at Second City could make her good at ab libbing funny conversations with whoever is promoting their last movie.
  • She’s so hot right now thanks to Sarah Palin (probably the only positive contribution Sarah Palin made to the country if you think about it).
  • Sure, we’d have to wait till 30 Rock is done with it’s run, but I think Tina’s worth the wait.
  • 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live proved that Fey knows how to run her own show.
  • One of the most obviously feminist candidates for the position.

Amy Poehleramy-poehler

Amy Poehler is also hilarious and a little deranged and I like that.  Here’s what’s in her favor:

  • Also has Saturday Night Live experience and Weekend Update experience.
  • She’s well-known.
  • She’s pretty goofy, so she might be good at coming up with absurd segments in the same vein as Conan’s “In the Year 2000.”
  • She has an improv background too.

sambee01Samantha Bee

Samantha Bee is one of my favorite Daily Show correspondents because she always knows how to use being a woman to her advantage to make things especially outrageous or hilarious.

  • Her Daily Show experience means she knows how to take what’s going on in politics and the world and make it hilarious.
  • She could use her Daily Show experience to do a more hilarious man on the street feature than Jay Leno’s Jaywalking.
  • Bee’s background is in sketch comedy, which I also feel could be good for those little funny segments that always happen before the guests come out.  Those are usually the funniest part of these shows, might as well make them good!

Sarah Silvermansarah-silverman-cc08

Definitely my most controversial selection.  I feel like the thing that Sarah has going for her is she knows how to use humor to make shocking statements that can get people to think.  On the downside, not everyone sees her that way.  Here’s why I think she’d be good:

  • She certainly has a watchable quality in that you’re always wondering what crazy thing she is going to do next.
  • Controversy will get viewers and could open up some taboo conversations in a non-threatening, funny way.
  • She’s been doing her own show on Comedy Central for awhile, so she knows how to do it.
  • “I’m Fucking Matt Damon” is one of the most hilarious sketches to happen on a late show (The Jimmy Kimmel Show) in recent memory.

haskins_bioSarah Haskins

Sarah Haskins is my dark horse suggestion.  I know many of you out there are asking who the hell Sarah Haskins is, so I’ll tell you.  She does these hilarious Target Women sketches on Current TV (some kind of internet TV website) that mock the way things are marketed to women.  I’m in love with all of them, but especially the ones for birth control, yogurt, and cleaning products.  Here’s what works for her:

  • The Target Women spots are short funny bits and they rock.  Late night shows need them.
  • She’s really smart (Harvard grad!) and you like to see that in someone who is mocking topical news.
  • Along with Tina Fey, she is probably the one of the most obvious feminists.
  • Also has improv background.  I really do love those improv-ers.
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I can see Russia from my yard!

In honor of Tina Fey winning a crap ton of Emmy’s (Best Writing in a Comedy Series, Best Actress in a Comedy Series, and Best Comedy Series) for 30 Rock, I figured it was a good time to put up her killer Palin impression.  Tina Fey, you are still my heroine!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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An Update and Thoughts on Lost and 30 Rock

I know I have been slacking on writing, but finals are just wrapping up, so I’ve been a little swamped. I have some ideas I am hoping to get up soon.

LOST

1) The smoke detector went nuts when Christian showed up. Does that mean the smoke monster was there in the form of a human???

2) Is Kate also playing mom to Sawyer’s baby? Does still have contact with Sawyer? Can the Oceanic 6 talk to those on the island at all?

3) I think my eye theory (the idea that we only see close ups of the eyes of the Oceanic 6, it’s unprovden, but I’m convinced there’s something important going on with whose eyes we have seen close ups of) still applies, though i am starting to think that the Oceanic 6 might be dead (or reflecting back on things from dead..) so maybe eye closeups also mean death. I guess one of the biggest mysteries of Lost these days really is who is alive and who is dead. Are the Cceanic 6 dead or alive? If they are dead, it seems like it shouldn’t matter that they can’t kill themselves. So I think I am leaning towards alive, but they are for sure, messing with my head? Is Christian (AKA Jacob, at least in my mind) dead or alive? What about the on island people? Maybe there haven’t been any on-island flashforwards cause they are all dead?

4) I feel like theres a big Kate and Sawyer moment in the future when Kate gets the baby from him, learns about Clementine, and realizes that Sawyer knows her old friend, Cassidy.

5) I suspect that ghost Christian will tell Jack and Claire about each other. I think that relationships is part of why Jack isn’t supposed to raise Aaron.

6) Kate’s strong insistence that Aaron was HER son was interesting to me. In a way that made me feel a little like it’s still possible that’s Sawyer’s kid, not Aaron, which would be another reason Jack isn’t supposed to raise him.

7) I think the Jack and Kate stuff took place in August 2006 when the Yankees just destroyed the Sox in that long home series (and the last game I saw at Fenway before moving to DC). Good to see Jack hates A-rod though, that earns him some points. Some people seem to think this was August 2007. I’m just leaning ’06 because that was a bigger, more painful sweep. I think more people would remember that one. I have a feeling that Sox World Series win in 2007 might become relevant and it’s also interesting that Christian is appearing at the same time as Sox stuff.

8) Jack reminded me why I hate jack. I can’t believe he’s such a control freak that he didn’t want to be knocked out. I liked the way Juliet called him on his shit though. Good episode all around for Juliet.

9) I’m dying for Miles to find the Dharma mass grave. I think the previews indicate that there’s some possibility of that sort of thing happening in the near future.

10) I’m now really wondering if it might be that Hurley in the coffin (though I’m not ready to reject my theory that its Locke in there). But, Hurley would make a lot of sense. It seems like he is pretty much on his own in that mental institution so that would explain the lack of family and friends. He also seems to have a death wish. The only catch is he probably can’t kill himself, which means he’s either already dead or has to be murdered.

(ALERT – my favorite thought of the week is number 11! Let’s finish strong)

11) It’s VERY interesting to me that the people who seem to be largely happy in the flashforwards are women with children. While Sun seemed sad Jin was dead, she was happy with her baby. Kate seems happy raising Aaron (and likely Sawyer’s kid, if kate is helping with Sawyer’s kid AND there’s a second kid in addition to Aaron. Also, I bet that means Cassidy knows who the dad is). I don’t know what to do with this other than feel a little weird about the idea that, at the moment, motherhood=happiness. I hope this gets shaken up in the future. But, it is interesting. When Lost ends, I really think I am going to have to write a paper on essentialism in Lost. It’s just so obsessed with motherhood!

30 Rock

I loved this episode of the 30 Rock, because I really get a kick out of any episode where I remember that Liz Lemon is basically me. I thought this week’s episode was a good reminder of why it is crazy for women to think that they can have it all and that they have to be superwomen and have it all. Liz’s WAY over the top parody of the superwoman was great, especially her moment in the red dress in front of the fan was classic.

Floyd: “Wow! You look great!” Liz: “Do I? I’m pretty tired from playing as hard as I work.”

I think that moment really rang true for me. Since I am working full-time and going to school part-time, playing as hard as I work is a total fantasy, much like the woman in the red dress. I think many women feel the same way. The scene is also brilliant in that it allows viewers to reflect on the ridiculous things women think men want from them. I also loved the way that the wheels quickly fell off her plan to look fabulous. I feel like that also rang so true that so many women are trying to do so much and make it seem graceful, effortless, and dare I say, hot, that it often doesn’t take much for things to fall apart fast. One thing I also loved about this episode and love about 30 Rock in general is Liz’s great love for food, especially junk food. Like Lemon, I am a stress eater and a junk food-aholic, so watching her pound that teamster sub in the security line was great! Lastly, I love to see any flashback to nerdy, tomboy Liz. They just seem to so right. Ok, I guess I am going to go, now that I’ve exposed how much I love Liz Lemon (and Tina Fey) because she is so like me. But, I don’t think I have ever seen a character that represents me, so Liz is exciting dammit!

I’d do thoughts on The Office too, but all these shows all on one night is just too much!

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Everyone Wants to Inject Her and Listen to Jazz

A little more for you all on one of my heroines, the lovely and talented Tina Fey. She’s on the cover of Entertainment Weekly this week. Check out the story here.

Also, a few sort of unrelated musings on Ms. Fey. I’ve been wanting to write a full review of “MILF Island,” but with finals next week, time is pretty short. So, some thoughts on that, Baby Mama, and my paper on 30 Rock.

I’m currently writing a paper on the ways 30 Rock is able to use humor and satire to further a feminist project. In that paper, I argue that the brilliance of 30 Rock is that it consistently exposes the way that the media ignores real issues, such as gender discrimination, debates about issues, etc. in favor of lowest common denominator programming. In 30 Rock, this often means that Liz Lemon (Fey) is prevented from doing “topical” or feminist humor, in favor of idiotic sketches (one about a bear fighting a robot comes to mind) or sketches designed to promote products (like a sketch about the GE Trivection Oven). In Liz’s struggles with Jack (Alec Baldwin), the humor often comes from the way that Lemon fights Jack to raise real issues and the ways that she is consistently shot down. Most of what I liked about the MILF Island episode is that it overdid the notions of sexuality in reality programming to make Fey’s point that people would rather watch sensational stereotypes and melodrama than programming that could teach them something. It is clear that the network also prefers these shows because of their high ratings and low production costs. For me, the brilliance of this technique is that it consistently makes viewers question the ways that Fey has been limited in creating 30 Rock. While it is often spot on about real issues, it some times could be more feminist (for example, Liz could be less of a pathetic, single 30-something woman). By exposing the network forces at work, Fey gives people the tools they need to examine the ways gender operates in the media. All of this brilliant thinking going on in 30 Rock might also be why the show struggles in the ratings, but it is cool that Fey is telling you why the show struggles and makes viewers critically examine the choices the media makes. “MILF Island” is an episode I loved because it proves my point perfectly! If you’re interested in this idea, I’d recommend checking out a few episodes, “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Greenzo,” and “The C-Word.” All the episodes are available at NBC.com.

On an unrelated note, I want to put in a plug for Baby Mama, Fey’s new movie with Amy Poehler, due in theaters April 25. The movie which has been categorized as a female buddy pic (which are not at all common!) is about the wacky hijinks that ensue when Fey’s character, a succesful single business woman hires a working-class woman (Poehler) to act as a surrogate for her. While I am eager for a female comedy that does not some how involve pregnancy (not that I didn’t enjoy Juno or Knocked Up), I’m excited for a comedy with TWO female leads that in my mind, will likely make us laugh while also addressing some gender and class issues.

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Different Ways of Reading “Bitch is the New Black”

I turned 26-years-old yesterday and my mom was in town for the big B-Day. Time with my mother is never dull. I’ve become loud, opinionated, slightly inappropriate, and a lot of fun at times largely due to my mother’s influence. So, its no surprise that in a mere 48 hours, she left me with some interesting thoughts and she inspired me to write this post.

As some of you may have noticed my avatar is a picture of me wearing my homemade “Bitch is the New Black” t-shirt which I is one of my favorite homemade stenciled letter t’s (this is as artistic as I get kids!). I made the shirt almost immediately after Tina Fey hosted the first Saturday Night Live after the writers strike. On that episode, Fey and Amy Poehler reunited on “Weekend Update” and delivered an amazingly funny sketch on women’s news during which Fey announced her support for Hillary Clinton saying, “Bitches get stuff done” and “Bitch is the new black.”

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/play.shtml?mea=229113

It was hilarious and I thought it very effectively used humor as a way of addressing the role of sexism in this year’s presidential campaigns. It’s no secret that Hillary has faced enormous sexism this year as she has consistently been called shrill, or too emotional (for crying during the New Hampshire primary), or accused of “pimping out” her daughter, or being too easy on Bill, or called out for showing too much cleavage, or even harassed by people on the campaign trail yelling for her to iron their shirts. I feel that the image of Hillary Clinton as a bitch is really at the root of this problem (smart, assertive, competent women have never been super popular and it has been especially bad in the age of Britney, Lindsay, and other train-wreck overly-sexualized female celebs), so it was great to see Fey humorously embrace the word “Bitch” and challenge those assumptions. (I’m sure the Bitch magazine crew was psyched!). Naturally, I ate all of this up. It’s not often you get to see a feminist voice use humor on national television to call people out for ridiculous sexist beliefs.

Since I am naturally obsessed with humorous t-shirts, I felt the need to make this shirt and proudly wear it around, which I have been doing for about a month. The shirt has gone buckwild at karaoke night at a local dive bar, traveled to Boston for the Women, Action, and the Media conference, and done a lot of wandering around DC. It’s been SUPER fun to wear because it always gets a good response. My friend, Heather, provided the typically female friend response, “That’s awesome. Bitch IS the new black!.” While my friend, Gabe, provided the standard male response, “Dude, that’s a hectic shirt.” So, I’ve been loving the way the shirt gives opportunity to be funny AND bring up the issues of sexism in the media, the coverage of Hillary, and really the perceptions of assertive, competent women that we frequently see in the media. I’ve been considering it a pretty sweet method of doing good feminist work in an engaging, fairly non-threatening way (since it links back to Fey’s humor).

So, imagine my surprise when my mom saw the shirt this weekend and her first response to it was, “I think you better not wear that shirt in public with everything going on in this campaign.” I was baffled, the shirt was all about the campaign! But, my mom read the shirt as bitch versus black as a race; in other words, Clinton versus Obama. I’m glad she mentioned it because I hate the idea of perpetuating the notion that feminism is a white, upper class women’s movement and I could definitely see how someone unfamiliar with Fey’s work might think that the shirt was a statement on the Oppression Olympics (who is worse off, women or black people) theme of this campaign, which I find horrifying as whole (I spend a lot of time around Second Wave feminists, who in my mind, are a little too eager to frame the race as woman versus black and who deserves to be President first). I feel like this race should be giving us to think about the ways that race and gender intersect to create oppression not creating a distracting debate about who is more oppressed. I think this is one of the reasons I was moved by Obama’s speech on race. Instead of competing in the Opression Olympics, he encouraged Americans to engage in a frank debate about race. I’d love to see more frank discussions about race and gender in this race, instead of this non-sense debate about who is worse off. Now, I’m concerned I’ve been totally misrepresenting my beliefs in my awesome feminist t-shirt!

So, I have to admit now, I’m quite curious about how other people read this shirt. Should I stop wearing it? On the other hand, doesn’t wearing the provocative shirt help start these tough conversations about gender, race, the campaigns, the media, and American culture? How many people are seeing the shirt in a humorous matter and how effective is Fey’s humorous message as a feminist project? It’s all so fascinating! In the era of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, I want to believe that feminists can use humor to address gender discrimination in the same ways that Stewart and Colbert use humor to address the idiocy of the conservative agenda, but my mom’s read on the shirt really alerted me to the ways that it can be quite challenging when your audience is not in on the joke. Thoughts on how we can really make humor work for women? Is Fey on the right track?

Special Bonus- Fey-related thought:

While you’re checking out Fey on SNL, make sure to watch this fake commerical for Annuale. I’ve always had a major problem with these birth control pills that treat menstruation as a disease to be eliminated. It’s a precedent that makes me really nervous. What other things about being a woman are we going to pathologize? So, I love this sketch which totally mocks the concept as ridiculous. I also think that the pink Chuck Taylor is totally boss.

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