From Second City to the Kennedy Center, Tina Fey still leaves them laughing.
The Emmy – Golden Globe – Screen Actors Guild – People’s Choice award-winning writer, producer, actress, and comedienne took home another statue Tuesday night: the 13th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. As only the third woman to receive this award (Whoopi Goldberg and Lily Tomlin round out the trio), Fey is also the youngest (she’s 40, for those keeping track).
She is the creator, star and Executive Producer of NBC’s 30 Rock, now in its fourth season and spent nine years as head writer and cast member on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. But perhaps it is her eerily good impression of Sarah Palin that most folks are familiar with (even doing a little bit during a recent appearance on Late Night with David Letterman).
While accepting the award at a star-studded event at the Kennedy Center, Fey thanked Sarah Palin, the former Alaskan Governor, for her success. Palin wasn’t in the crowd, but spotted in the President’s box were David Axelrod, Stephanie Cutter and Susan Sher.
Fey’s husband, producer/composer Jeff Richmond was by her side while co-stars, colleagues and friends were on hand to pay tribute to Fey including former Mark Twain winners Steve Martin and Lorne Michaels; Date Night co-star Steve Carell; former Weekend Update co-anchor and now host of his own show, Jimmy Fallon; Mad Men and 30 Rock guest star Jon Hamm; Baby Mama co-star Amy Poehler; 30 Rock co-stars Jane Krakowski and Tracy Morgan; and the indefatigable Betty White.
Alec Baldwin who plays Fey’s “mentor” on 30 Rock appeared in a video as Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain. He wasn’t the only one people couldn’t stop talking about: people were commenting on the remarkable resemblance between Steve Martin and David Rubenstein, President of the Kennedy Center. Also spotted at the gala were National Symphony Orchestra Board Member Connie Milstein and guests Austan and Robin Goolsbee.
The event raised $1.3 million in ticket sales which will go to the Center, the largest total in the prize’s history. PBS will air the program on November 14, 2010.