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Wednesday, May 5, 2004


To borrow a phrase from a friend I am tickled senseless and thrilled pink at all the media attention Tina Fey's been getting as one of America's true comedy icons because of her new movie Mean Girls. I saw the movie on its opening night out of extreme excitement and want to see it many more times. Sure the thematic territory is well trod but I don't think its ever been done with this combination of wit and heart, that only Tina could mix in this unique way. My love of Ms. Fey goes back to the late 90's when my friends and I were regular Second City patrons. Her genius as a writer/performer was evident then, though to me she was in the shadow of Rachel Dratch, who'd been there a couple of years longer and had earlier opportunities to win my heart. (The third member of the female triad, Jenna Jolovitz, was awesome and everything, but never a serious condender) Then, when she became Head Writer, and "Weekend Update" anchor for Saturday Night Live, she got famous and became a sex symbol. Her transcendent hotness, I admit, didn't come across as much onstage because she hadn't grown her hair out and was not yet wearing the Glasses. Anyway, I can't help but feel that nerdy, obnoxious, I saw the Pumpkins' first show at the Metro back in '88, sense of propriety with anyone who came out of that Second City crew. You couldn't possibly appreciate them the way I do you know. In fact if it hadn't been for me shouting out this one brilliant suggestion during their improv set I very much doubt they'd be where they are today. But now, I'm just delighted at all the magazines Tina's on the cover of. It's beautiful. And further confirmation that she and I need to end our days together on a remote tropical island.

The movie was also full of north suburban Chicagoland references! The largely teen audience I saw it with at the Evanston movie theater erupted every time of Evanston or Northwestern was mentioned. Old Orchard was portrayed as an indoor mall which is what they get for filming in Canada. I lost it in the scene where characters from "Marymount Academy", which was a blatant riff on my high school Loyola Academy come in. They're portrayed as total dorks, which I'm hardly in a position to dispute.

Tina's success is of course prelude to the Greatest of Them All, Scott Adsit, finally attaining superstardom. He's been laboring in relative obscurity for years but he's gonna be in a Spielberg/Hanks movie this summer, after the release of which, my religion holds that he will ascend to the right hand of the Father and rule Heaven and Earth, making us all laugh quite a bit in the process.

And rounding out the entry on Second City gods, this New Yorker article on Harold Ramis was very cool. Reading it made me want to get him and Bill Murray back together, which is how Beatles fans must have felt throughout the 1970's.

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