Tina Fey Says It’s a “Terrible Time for Women in Comedy,” Hates All the Presidential Candidates


Tina Fey is making the press rounds in advance of the March 4 release of the political comedy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, in which she stars. Of course, Fey not long ago also had to do a press tour for her film, Sisters, in which she co-starred with Amy Poehler.

The bounty of junkets and innumerable interviews has inevitably led Fey to be asked the same questions lots of times — and reporters’ repeated queries were particularly annoying in addressing the “women in comedy” discussion. In a long profile in Town & Country that went up yesterday, Fey expressed a great deal of frustration with such questions, as well as with the state the country is in.

She mentions how on the Sisters press tour, “journalists were still bringing up, ‘People say women aren’t funny.'” Her response:

The next time I’m at a press junket and someone says that, I have to remember to say, ‘We need to stop talking about whether women are funny. And we need to acknowledge that black people are funnier than white people. Let’s discuss that.’

The other question she constantly had to answer about being a woman in comedy is the usual, “‘Isn’t this an amazing time for women in comedy?’” And her response to this was:

People really wanted us to be openly grateful – ‘Thank you so much!’ – and we were like, ‘No, it’s a terrible time,’” Fey said. “If you were to really look at it, the boys are still getting more money for a lot of garbage, while the ladies are hustling and doing amazing work for less.

As for the current election, while many of us harbor a quiet annoyance with the less insidious candidates and a loud terror with the more extreme ones, producing something of a confusing rainbow of emotions every time we see them all on one screen, Tina Fey’s reaction to them is a little more monolithic (and very Tina Fey): she says she “hate[s] them all.” She mentions having played Palin on SNL, and says it was easier to stay neutral for the purposes of comedy then, whereas now “it would be tough to stay neutral. In hindsight [the 2008 election] seems genteel in comparison.”