#SummerHours Summer Reading: Tina Fey

Goodbye, winter caps—hello, summer hats! It’s that glorious time of year where many of us can switch from content creators to content consumers. NYWIFT members Mellini Kantayya and Kathryn O’Kane have put together #SummerHours, a series of fun summer books, movies, and TV shows by or about women.


By Kathryn O’Kane

Start with a yes and see where that takes you.”

— Tina Fey, Bossy Pants

bossypants tina fey

Tina Fey (NYWIFT Muse Honoree ’05) is a triple threat: writer, producer and performer with a cutting sense of humor. In 1999, she became the first head writer on Saturday Night Live. She created and starred in the Emmy award-winning comedy 30 Rock. Her portrayal of Sarah Palin during the 2008 election was an instant classic. Ms. Fey most recently created and starred in the show Great News on NBC. Her film Mean Girls has been adapted for the stage, which is currently running on Broadway.

In her 2011 book Bossypants, Ms. Fey recounts stories of her childhood; from her tough father, for whom most of the worlds ills can be described as “defective” and “inexcusable,” to her awkward teens and college years, which no doubt shaped her sense of humor and weltanschauung. She also recalls her rise to head writer on SNL, her connection to Sarah Palin, what she learned from Lorne Michaels (producing is about discouraging creativity) and the differences between male and female comedy writers (the men urinate in cups).

Tina Fey1

Ms. Fey’s advice to women in the workplace:

“As a female producer I have a tacit ‘No Hotheads’ policy. For years to be considered a genius in comedy, people had to be considered dangerous and unpredictable…I hire the most talented of the people who are the least likely to throw a punch in the workplace. I don’t ever want to get punched in the face over a joke.”

And those, my friends, are words to live by.

 

(Cover photo by Bridgette Matthews)

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