Tina Fey Attracts a Big Crowd at the Free Library

Upper Darby's own Tina Fey waves to her parents, who were in the audience at the Free Library where she was promoting her new book 'Bossypants'. (Ed Hille / Staff Photographer)

She is, without question, the boss of us.

Homegirl Tina Fey returned to Philly Tuesday night for an appearance promoting her new humor book, Bossypants. The event sold out the auditorium at the Parkway Central Library; it sold out a simulcast upstairs in the lobby and another closed circuit venue across the Parkway at Moore College.

Next time she comes to town, they should hold the festivities at the Wells Fargo Center. That’s how much the career of the sitcom star, Sarah Palin imitator, actress and now author has blown up.

With her parents in the crowd, Fey was introduced by Comcast honcho Steven Burke, who quipped “Welcome to Kabletown.” That’s the corporate handle Fey’s sitcom 30 Rock uses to spoof Comcast, NBC’s new owner.

Not many writers enter to such a frenzy of flashes. But the library audience had been informed they could take as many pictures as they wanted. For the first 30 seconds Fey was on the stage.

She brought the funny , despite the rather stiff interviewing style of WHYY’s Marty Moss-Coane, who moderated.

Fey talked about growing up in Upper Darby and her post-collegiate introduction to improv at Second City in Chicago.

“It was a rough and tumble place,” she recalled. “It wouldn’t be unheard of to see a mouse giving birth in an ashtray.”

The crowd roared when Fey described the riotous Saturday Night Live sketch of her as newly appointed vice presidential candidate Palin getting rocked by Katie Couric. “It was mostly just a transcription of the actual interview,” she said.

The biggest laugh of the night came during the brief Q&A session with ticketholders. She talked about how she had assiduously avoided the appeals of former SNLer Al Franken to contribute to his election campaign in Minnesota.

When Franklin eventually won, after a closely contested recount, Fey texted him, “I knew you could do it without my $4000 bucks.” His angry, obscene response brought down the house.

Hopefully, Fey’s wrist was as strong as her wit. The line to have books signed afterwards snaked all the way through the building and out onto the alley behind the library.

Let’s see historian David McCullough beat that when he comes to the Library in June.


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