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Woman of the Week: Tina Fey, The Queen of Nerdy Comedy

Born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey on May 18th 1970, Tina Fey is the undisputed queen of nerdy, awkward, and just plain adorkable comedies.

Raised in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia, Tina Fey was born to Donald and Jeannec Fey. At the age of five, she was brutally attacked in her own front yard by an unknown stranger. Slashed across the face, the scar still remains there today. Growing up, she decided to go by the name Tina. Introduced to Saturday Night Live at an early age by her father and brother, Fey became the class clown in middle school, taking joy in making her fellow classmates laugh. She studied drama at the University of Virginia, graduated in 1992, and headed to Chicago, the ancestral home of American comedy.

To support herself, Tina Fey worked at the YMCA, but she still aspired to work in theater. So, she started her first set of courses at the premiere school for improv, sketch comedy, and comedy writing, The Second City of Chicago.

She spent many years at The Second City in Chicago before being discovered by a writer of Saturday Night Live, Adam McKay, in 1995. She joined one of the many members of the SNL cast who were discovered at the famous comedy center.

When Adam McKay became the head writer, he suggested that Tina send a submission packet with six sketches that were ten pages each.

Tina Fey got the job at SNL after taking McKay’s advice, becoming one of the only female writers working in the legendary Studio 8H at that time. She also cited herself as one of the shortest members of the writing crew, coming in a foot shorter than most of them. A few years later, Tina Fey became the first female head writer in the show’s history.

Tina Fey made her onscreen debut alongside Jimmy Fallon co-anchoring Weekend Update during the 25th season of SNL. She took the show by storm with her geeky yet attractive librarian appearance. Ratings went through the roof, and her mark in the history of comedy was made. Although she left the show during its 31st season, she has returned to SNL many times to host.

Tina Fey has been in many productions on the big screen and small screen. In 2004, she wrote and starred with Lindsay Lohan in the hit teen movie, Mean Girls. Pulling from her awkward childhood, Tina Fey helped in portraying the story of a teenage girl going through the pains of high school. Later, Fey drew on her experience writing for SNL to write and star in the television show, 30 Rock. The long-running show depicted the trials and tribulations of working and managing celebrities in New York City. The show lasted seven seasons before its finale on January 31st 2013.

Of all her onscreen appearances, Tina Fey gained the most notoriety for her appearance as former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Donning thick black-rimmed glasses, pulled back hair, and a red skirt suit, Tina Fey made a guest appearance on SNL playing the Alaskan governor during the heated presidential race in 2008. The sketch was a huge success, and Fey has returned to portray the politician in several episodes.

Along with her close long-time friend and fellow comedian, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey has hosted the Golden Globe Awards twice and is due to host again next year. Nevertheless, she has received many rewards in her own regard. Including numerous nominations, Tina Fey has won eight Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Writers Guild of America Awards.

As well as being an awesome comedian and actress, Tina Fey is also an award-winning novelist. Her autobiographical comedy, Bossypants, was published in 2011 and quickly topped the New York Times Best Seller List. The book chronicles everything from her nerdy start to the birth of her two children. The book was nominated for Grammy Award.

Recently, Tina Fey has starred in Muppets Most Wanted, another movie in the Muppets franchise that was released with positive reviews. Her next film, This is Where I Leave You is an adaptation of a novel by Jonathan Tropper, and stars her alongside Zac Efron and Jason Bateman. It is to be released on November 4th of this year.

Tina Fey has dedicated her life to not only making people laugh but also to saving lives. She supports organizations like Autism Speaks and Night of Too Many Stars, which both sponsor autism research and education. She also is a supporter of Mercy Corps, an organization that fights to end world hunger; Love Our Children USA, which fights violence against children; and Light the Night Walk, which benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Tina Fey has done it all and been through it all. The question now is not what the queen of laughter hasn’t done; it is in the world will she do next.

Born to an English teacher and raised in Columbus, Georgia, Chelsey was born with a love for literature. She finished her first novel at the age of 12 and published The Kindling Muse, a young adult fiction novel at the age of 18. Chelsey is a freshman, majoring in Creative Writing and Theater Arts. Aside from classes and other student duties, she spends most of her time promoting her book and writing the second book in The Kindling Muse series. When she’s not writing or reading, she’s drinking an iced vanilla latte while watching anything and everything on Netflix, daydreaming of new stories to write with friends.
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