WBEZ | tina fey http://www.wbez.org/tags/tina-fey Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Comedy Writer Paula Pell Says You Don't Have to Go Far for Good Material http://www.wbez.org/sections/interviews/comedy-writer-paula-pell-says-you-dont-have-go-far-good-material-114238 <p><p><img a="" alt="" and="" can="" class="image-original_image" comedian="" fey.="" getty="" go="" john="" joke-writing="" just="" lamparski="" says="" she="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gettyimages-470393952_enl-09be51c2816ec26a49bbd9397557c5d009032aaf-s1400.jpg" style="height: 406px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;" tina="" title="Paula Pell has &quot;a very toned joke-writing muscle,&quot; says comedian Tina Fey. &quot;She can just go and go and go.&quot; (John Lamparski/WireImage/Getty Images)" toned="" very="" wireimage="" />It isn&#39;t necessarily easy to make funny people laugh, but comedian Amy Poehler says Paula Pell can do it: &quot;She just has this very specific way of telling a joke and being in on the joke,&quot; says Poehler.</p><p>Pell has serious comedy cred: She&#39;s been a writer on<em>&nbsp;Saturday Night Live</em>&nbsp;for more than 20 years and has worked on&nbsp;<em>30 Rock,&nbsp;Parks and Recreation&nbsp;</em>and Judd Apatow movies. Pell was behind some popular SNL characters, like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/spartan-cheerleaders-at-a-chess-tournament/n10803">the Spartan cheerleaders</a>, middle school teachers&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/photos/sketches/127341">Marty and Bobbi Culp</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/debbie-downer/n11879" target="_blank">Debbie Downer</a>. Though it may look like a lot of fun, SNL is not an easy gig.</p><p>&quot;You&#39;re under the gun at all times because it&#39;s live TV,&quot; says Pell. &quot;A lot of time between dress and air you&#39;re having to come with an entire ending to your sketch that gets an even better, bigger laugh &mdash; which is terrifying. ... People are filing into the audience and you&#39;re writing a new joke for the end of it.&quot;</p><p>But decades of practice have made Pell a pro. &quot;She has a very toned joke-writing muscle,&quot; says Tina Fey. &quot;She can just go and go and go. She&#39;s great at looking at a performer and knowing what they&#39;re good at and what they&#39;re going to be funny doing.&quot;</p><p>Pell was the screenwriter for the new movie&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/12/17/459996211/sisters-is-a-house-party-and-a-victory-lap">Sisters,</a>&nbsp;in which Fey and Poehler play sisters in their 40s, tasked with cleaning out their old bedroom in their childhood home. Fey plays a sassy, sexy, unemployed hairdresser. Poehler plays her buttoned-up, do-gooder sister who never dates.</p><p>Pell says she&nbsp;<em>was&nbsp;</em>the Poehler character growing up. All she had to do for material was re-read the journal she&#39;s been carrying around since she was a teenager in Florida.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2451_d027_00237r_crop_enl-0f989dc1ab79fd8436e7e45510b5dd40f99ea402-s1200.jpeg" style="height: 614px; width: 620px;" title="In 'Sisters,' Amy Poehler and Tina Fey come home to clean out their childhood bedroom before the family house is sold. They decide to throw one last party for their high school classmates. (K. C. Bailey/2015 Universal Studios)" /></div><p>For example:&nbsp;<em>February, 19, 1977: I&#39;m 13. I have bluish-greenish eyes, and have a heavy build, unfortunately. In May I&#39;ll be getting my braces out. I&#39;m very outgoing and I have a very strong sense of humor.</em></p><p>Her hobbies were her rock tumbler, houseplants and the&nbsp;<em>Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon</em>.</p><div id="res460181575" previewtitle="In Sisters, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey come home to clean out their childhood bedroom before the family house is sold. They decide to throw one last party for their high school classmates."><div data-crop-type="">&quot;Some children challenge themselves to maybe run a marathon or something,&quot; she says. &quot;I challenged myself to stay up for two days and make cinnamon toast and watch the Jerry Lewis Telethon and laugh and cry.&quot;</div></div><p>How people carry that teenage identity into adulthood is something Pell wanted to have fun with in the movie.</p><p>Whether you&#39;re the overachiever or the screw-up in high school, you bring some of that into adulthood, Pell says. &quot;And then they get to be about the age that Tina and Amy are in the movie and they realize that they need to kind of drop the story and rewrite it.&quot;</p><p>Pell says she tells young comedy writers to mine the specifics of their own lives for material &mdash; whether its rock tumblers, or a sister who&#39;s nothing like you. Pell says you don&#39;t have to go too far to find great material.</p></p> Sun, 20 Dec 2015 23:31:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/sections/interviews/comedy-writer-paula-pell-says-you-dont-have-go-far-good-material-114238 TV writers, showrunners are the new Spielbergs http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-08/tv-writers-showrunners-are-new-spielbergs-108399 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Getty%20Images.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 349px;" title="Jenji Kohan, co-creator/writer/producer of the hit Netflix series 'Orange is the New Black.' (File: Getty Images)" /></p><div>Steven Spielberg may be best known for directing Oscar-winning films such as &quot;Saving Private Ryan&quot; and &quot;Schindler&#39;s List,&quot; but he actually got his start in television&mdash;helming the pilot for a show called &quot;Night Gallery&quot; in 1969, when he was just 23 years old. The star of that show, Hollywood legend Joan Crawford, tried to get Spielberg&nbsp;<a href="http://variety.com/2013/biz/news/cover-story-steven-spielberg-tackling-tv-on-his-own-terms-1200498890/" target="_blank">fired</a>. She did not succeed.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Of course, Spielberg went on to an illustrious career in film, but never forgot his television roots. Under the TV division of DreamWorks (now Amblin TV), Spielberg produced the mini-series &quot;Band of Brothers&quot; and several other shows, including Showtime&#39;s &quot;The United States of Tara&quot; and the current&nbsp;CBS thriller&nbsp;&quot;Under the Dome<em>.&quot;&nbsp;</em>Another new series, the sci-fi space drama &quot;<a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/cbs-orders-steven-spielberg-drama-601934" target="_blank">Extant</a>,&quot; will premiere on CBS in the summer of 2014.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But in this day and age, I wonder &mdash; would a 23-year-old Spielberg, full of promise, imagination and exciting new ideas&mdash; simply decide to stick with TV? Sure, innovation on the small screen is not a recent phenomenon (see Norman Lear&#39;s<em> &quot;</em>All in the Family&quot; and Susan Harris&#39; &quot;The Golden Girls&quot;), but with television becoming more high concept and high quality than ever, 2013 is a great time to be running your own show.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The following list is a sampling of the best TV writers and showrunners in the business today. While a few have acheived success outside the realm of television &mdash;&nbsp;&nbsp;like Fey&#39;s &quot;Mean Girls&quot; and Whedon&#39;s The Avengers&quot; &mdash; all have succeeded in bringing unique, compelling and often gorgeously cinematic stories right into our living rooms.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p><strong>Vince Gilligan</strong></p><p>Gilligan is the creator and executive producer of the critically acclaimed AMC drama series&nbsp;&quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;&nbsp;He has also written and directed many episodes over the show&#39;s past eight seasons, receiving Emmy nominations for his direction of the pilot and the 2012 episode &quot;Face/Off.&quot; However, Gilligan got his first big break writing the screenplay for the Drew Barrymore film &quot;Home Fries&quot; while still a student at NYU,&nbsp;then by joining&nbsp;&quot;The X Files&quot;&nbsp;as a writer and later executive producer from 1995-2002.</p><p><strong>Jenji Kohan</strong></p><p>Before co-creating, writing and producing the hit Netflix series &quot;Orange is the New Black,&quot; Kohan was best known for creating the Showtime series&nbsp;&quot;Weeds,&quot; which ran from 2005-2012. Before that, Kohan honed her writing skills on shows like&nbsp;&quot;The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,&quot; &quot;Mad About You&quot;&nbsp;and&nbsp;&quot;Sex and the City.&quot; She also produced several episodes of &quot;Gilmore Girls&quot;&nbsp;and won an Emmy as supervising producer of the Tracey Ullman sketch comedy series&nbsp;&quot;Tracey Takes On...&quot;</p><p><strong>Tina Fey</strong></p><p>Fey has the distinct honor of being the first female head writer at&nbsp;Saturday Night Live,&nbsp;which segued nicely into her role as creator/writer/producer/star of the NBC comedy<em>&nbsp;&quot;</em>30 Rock.&quot; Now, Fey is gearing up for <a href="http://www.glamour.com/entertainment/blogs/obsessed/2013/08/tina-fey-just-sold-a-new-show.html" target="_blank">another show</a>&nbsp;that she recently sold to NBC &mdash; a yet-untitled comedy she will be executive producing with Robert Carlock, who also&nbsp;co-produced&nbsp;&quot;30 Rock.&quot; A highly-anticipated &quot;Mean Girls&quot;<a href="http://www.glamour.com/entertainment/blogs/obsessed/2013/01/mean-girls-musical.html">musical</a> is also in the works.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>David Simon</strong></p><p>As a former beat reporter in Baltimore, Simon&#39;s insider knowledge of city politics and corruption made his HBO drama series&nbsp;&quot;The Wire&quot;&nbsp;one of the best shows on television. Simon served as executive producer and head writer of &quot;The Wire&quot; for all five seasons. After the show&#39;s cancellation in 2008, Simon adapted the non-fiction book &quot;Generation Kill&quot; into an HBO mini-series. He also co-created the current HBO series&nbsp;&quot;Treme&quot;&nbsp;with Eric Overmyer,&nbsp;which will begin its fourth and final season in December.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Joss Whedon</strong></p><p>Whedon began his career as a<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joss_Whedon" target="_blank"> television wunderkind</a> by writing for shows like &quot;Roseanne&quot; and &quot;Parenthood,&quot; then swiftly transitioned into making his own. He is the creator of the iconic cult series&nbsp;&quot;Buffy the Vampire Slayer,&quot; &quot;Angel,&quot; &quot;Firefly&quot; and&nbsp;&quot;Dollhouse,&quot; all of which have earned him a devoted fan following of &quot;Whedonites.&quot; Whedon is also the&nbsp;co-writer of the first &quot;Toy Story&quot; film, writer/director&nbsp;of&nbsp;&quot;Serenity&quot; (a cinematic continuation of his short-lived TV series&nbsp;&quot;Firefly&quot;), co-writer and producer of the 2012 horror film&nbsp;&quot;Cabin in the Woods&quot;&nbsp;and writer/director of the third-highest grossing film of all time, 2013&#39;s &quot;The Avengers.&quot; His new Marvel TV show, &quot;<a href="http://www.superherohype.com/news/articles/172437-joss-whedons-shield-comes-to-abc" target="_blank">Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D</a>,&quot; is set to premiere on ABC in September. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>Mindy Kaling</strong></p><p>When Kaling first began as writing for the NBC&#39;s &quot;The&nbsp;Office&quot;&nbsp;at age 24, she was the only woman on a staff of eight. Eventually she stepped into the onscreen role of Kelly Kapoor, while continuing to write and direct episodes until the comedy series&#39; end in 2013. Now, Kaling serves as the co-writer, producer and star of her own show, &quot;The Mindy Project,&quot;&nbsp;which will return for a second season this fall. The popular Fox sitcom, which won the 2012&#39;s Critic&#39;s Choice Award for Most Exciting New Series, also makes Kaling the first South Asian-American woman to be the headliner of her own network television show.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Larry David</strong></p><p>David is best known as the head writer and executive producer of&nbsp;&quot;Seinfeld&quot;&nbsp;from 1989 to 1998, and as the co-creator alongside Jerry Seinfeld. But in 2000, David stepped out on his own with the HBO series &quot;Curb Your Enthusiam,&quot; a mostly-improvised comedy in which David played a fictionalized version of himself. The show lasted eight seasons, and won David the Golden Globe for Best Television Series &mdash; Musical or Comedy in 2003.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Amy Sherman Palladino</strong></p><p>After starting out as a staff writer for shows like &quot;Roseanne&quot;&nbsp;and &quot;Veronica&#39;s Closet,&quot;&nbsp;Palladino created the beloved mother-daughter dramedy<em>&nbsp;&quot;</em>Gilmore Girls,&quot;&nbsp;which ran on&nbsp;The WB&nbsp;and later The CW<font color="#c2c2c2" size="1">.</font>&nbsp;from 2000-2007. She also created the delightful ABC Family series &quot;Bunheads<em>,&quot;&nbsp;</em>which was cancelled after only one season in 2013. What&#39;s next? Hopefully, more of Palladino&#39;s trademark snappy dialogue and master-shot filming style in a new arena.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Louis C.K.</strong></p><p>C.K. began his television career as a standup comic and comedy writer for late-night talk shows, but in 2009, he made a rather unorthodox deal to bring his semi-autobiographical comedy series &quot;Louie&quot;&nbsp;to television.&nbsp;He accepted the modest offer of $200,000 to a pilot with FX over prospective production deals with larger networks, because the FX execs allowed him full executive control of the show. &quot;Louie&quot;&nbsp;is shot on a red camera setup, and C.K. edits many of the episodes on his personal laptop. In addition to starring, C.K. has served as the series&#39; sole writer and director for going on four seasons.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Shonda Rhimes</strong></p><p>Rhimes has come a long way since writing the screenplays for &quot;The Princess Diaries 2&quot; and the Britney Spears vehicle &quot;Crossroads.&quot; Now, Rhimes serves as the creator, head writer and executive producer of three ABC television series: the long-running medical drama &quot;Grey&#39;s Anatomy&quot;&nbsp;(now gearing up for its 10th season), the &quot;Grey&#39;s Anatomy&quot; spinoff &quot;Private Practice&quot;&nbsp;(which ran from 2007 to 2013)&nbsp;and the current smash hit&nbsp;&quot;Scandal.&quot;&nbsp;On the horizon: a new ABC series in development called <a href="http://jezebel.com/new-shonda-rhimes-show-revolves-around-trucker-turned-l-883521160" target="_blank">Lawless</a>, revolving around&nbsp;the true story of a&nbsp;female truck driver-turned-lawyer.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Lena Dunham</strong></p><p>At just 25, Dunham created the HBO juggernaut &quot;Girls.&quot; She also plays the lead role of Hannah Horvath, in addition to serving as the series&#39; head writer, co-executive producer and sometimes director for two wildly successful seasons (the third season of &quot;Girls&quot; is currently shooting in New York City). And although Dunham&#39;s first big break came as the auteur of the 2010 indie film &quot;Tiny Furniture,&quot; she has firmly cemented herself as a TV sensation, earning two Golden Globes and a showering of critical praise for &quot;Girls&quot;&nbsp;as the millennial answer to &quot;Sex and the City.&quot;</p><p><strong>Aaron Sorkin</strong></p><p>Sorkin may not be the most recognizable face to the average viewer, but his reputation as an Emmy Award-winning writer and TV series creator is well-renowned. His list of television credits includes&nbsp;&quot;Sports Night,&quot; &quot;The West Wing&quot;&nbsp;and&nbsp;&quot;Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,&quot; in addition to his current lightning-rod HBO drama,&nbsp;&quot;The Newsroom.&quot; Sorkin is also a celebrated screenwriter (&quot;The American President,&quot;&nbsp;&quot;A Few Good Men&quot;)&nbsp;and in 2011, his electrifying script for David Fincher&#39;s &quot;The Social Network&quot; earned him an Oscar&nbsp;for Best Adapted Screenplay. &nbsp;</p><p>Who are your favorite TV writers and showrunners?&nbsp;</p><p><em>Leah Pickett is a pop culture writer for WBEZ and co-host of <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2">Changing Channels,</a> a podcast about the future of television. Follow Leah on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and<a href="http://hermionehall.tumblr.com" target="_blank"> Tumblr</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 15 Aug 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-08/tv-writers-showrunners-are-new-spielbergs-108399 Rihanna, Bieber and the dangers of celebrity worship http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-03/rihanna-bieber-and-dangers-celebrity-worship-106255 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rihanna-barrington-high-032213-600x337.jpg" title="Rihanna speaks to students at Barrington High School on Friday, March 23, after arriving nearly 4 hours late. (Celebuzz)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">The gymnasium of Barrington High School exploded with <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/barrington_area/chi-rihanna-barrington-high-school-20130322,0,5100849.story" target="_blank">Beatlemania</a>-like screams on Friday as <a href="http://www.mtv.com/artists/rihanna/" target="_blank">Rihanna</a>, pop princess of the Billboard charts and racy queen of the tabloids, made her grand entrance.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Never mind that she was over three hours late, a delay she attributed to &quot;<a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2297876/Rihanna-holds-2-000-Chicago-school-children-hours--stays-just-12-minutes.html" target="_blank">Chicago traffic</a>&quot; in an Instagram photo she posted just an hour prior. The meet-and-greet for students who had won a video contest about &quot;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/barrington_area/chi-rihanna-barrington-high-school-20130322,0,5100849.story" target="_blank">giving back to your community</a>&quot; was obviously low on Rihanna&#39;s priority list, as she offered &quot;thanks for waiting&quot; non-apology to the 2,500 person crowd--the majority of them young girls--and stayed for only 12 minutes.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Fans grew disgruntled waiting for Rihanna to arrive, deeming her behavior &quot;<a href="http://chicagoist.com/2013/03/23/rihanna_visits_barrington_high_scho.php" target="_blank">rude</a>&quot; and <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2013/03/23/rihanna_visits_barrington_high_scho.php" target="_blank">pathetic</a>.&quot; However,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.celebuzz.com/2013-03-23/riri-tardy-for-the-high-school-party/" target="_blank">most were quick to forgive her</a>&nbsp;when she finally showed up. &nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;It was a really long wait, but Rihanna is so inspirational,&quot; freshman Batul Yawer told the <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/19029873-761/barrington-students-shine-during-3-hour-wait-for-rihanna.html" target="_blank"><em>Chicago Sun Times</em></a>.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/021212-justinbieber.jpg" style="width: 320px; float: right; " title="Justin takes a selfie on an audience member's phone. (SugarScape)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Yeesh.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">What do these teens find &quot;so inspirational&quot; about Rihanna? Sure, she caught the attention of hitmaker Jay Z in 2004, and with the help of some very talented songwriters, churned out <a href="http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/rihanna-equals-madonnas-record-of-number-1450160" target="_blank">12 num</a><a href="http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/rihanna-equals-madonnas-record-of-number-1450160" target="_blank">ber one singles</a>&nbsp;to tie Madonna&#39;s record. However, the 24-year-old singer is also famous for <a href="http://hollywoodlife.com/2012/04/20/rihanna-drugs-use-coachella-cocaine-weed-pic/" target="_blank">rolling drugs</a> on her bodyguard&#39;s head,&nbsp;<a href="http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/11/23/rihanna-apologizes-to-press-for-grueling-777-plane-tour/" target="_blank">acting erratically</a>&nbsp;on several occasions and, perhaps most disturbingly,&nbsp;returning to <a href="http://www.vibe.com/article/chris-brown-rihanna-confirms-we-are-back-together" target="_blank">boyfriend/abuser</a> Chris Brown after he was convicted of physically assaulting her in 2009.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Of course, everbody makes mistakes, and even chart-topping royalty like Rihanna should not held to standards unattainable by mortal beings. But her questionable conduct in the public eye (irresponsible at best, nihilistic at worst) sets a horrible example for her young fans to follow: be a bad girl, behave unprofessionally,&nbsp;<a href="http://gawker.com/5960967/the-new-rihannachris-brown-duet-is-great-unfortunately" target="_blank">record a love song</a>&nbsp;with the man that punched you in the face and <a href="http://www.justjared.com/2013/02/04/rihanna-dont-call-me-a-bad-role-model/" target="_blank">make no apologies</a> for it.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Fans also cling with troubling rabidity to one <a href="http://bieberfever.com">Justin Bieber</a>, pop singer and babe magnet extraordinaire. His tween devotees (they call themselves &quot;Beliebers&quot;) have&nbsp;slammed him with false&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1673747/justin-bieber-paternity-suit.jhtml" target="_blank">paternity suits</a> just to get his attention, issued death threats to his now ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez and<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/cut4bieber-trending-topic-draws-shock-outrage-article-1.1235624" target="_blank"> threatened to cut themselves</a> over his alleged drug use.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Bieber is a talented-enough kid, but this whirlwind of insanity around a 19-year-old who frequently throws temper tantrums (he had the &quot;<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2013/mar/04/justin-bieber-worst-birthday-club" target="_blank">worst birthday</a>&quot; ever, you guys) and doesn&#39;t even know how to spell &quot;<a href="http://wzlx.cbslocal.com/2013/03/13/5-things-justin-bieber-could-learn-from-janis-joplin/" target="_blank">Janis Joplin</a>&quot; is downright terrifying.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The hero-worship of athletes is also way over the top. From high school to college to professional leagues, sports stars are showered with inconceivable amounts of money and praise. The greats (Michael Jordan, Tom Brady and even the recently<a href="http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1966486,00.html" target="_blank"> scandalized</a> Tiger Woods) are revered as gods. But besides being masters of their game, what have they really done to better society as a whole?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" on="" pbs.="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Gloria%20Steinem.jpg" style="height: 240px; width: 320px; float: left; " title="Gloria Steinem circa 1972, featured in the PBS documentary 'Makers: Women Who Make America.' (USAToday) " />Some of my role models are actors and musicians; however, they also possess many qualities outside the realms of &quot;acting&quot; and &quot;singing&quot; &nbsp;that I hold in high regard. I look up to these people not just because of their talent, but because of how they carry themselves through the world.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jessica-massa/four-reasons-millennial-w_b_863420.html" target="_blank">Tina Fey</a> inspires me as a writer, feminist and whip-smart businesswoman. I admire Andrew Bird for being a positive influence on other aspiring musicians through the <a href="https://rockforkids.ejoinme.org/?tabid=221218" target="_blank">Andrew Bird Scholarship Fund</a>&nbsp;for Chicago arts programs. Many more of my role models are featured in the PBS documentary <a href="http://www.pbs.org/makers/home/" target="_blank"><em>Makers</em></a>, which chronicles over 50 years of trailblazing American women: from Hillary Rodham Clinton to Maya Angelou to the original leader of the feminist movement, the incomparable Gloria Steinem.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Outside of the entertainment industry, I implore our nation&#39;s youth to look to the people in their own communities for inspiration. Our life-changing teachers, nurses, neighbors, social workers, mentors, counselors, close family and friends are the true unsung heroes of our society; never to receive the same widespread media coverage as Rihanna and Justin Bieber, but always the ones whom we should value the most.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Who are your role models? Leave a comment below, tweet&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>&nbsp;or join the conversation on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>.&nbsp;</em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Mon, 25 Mar 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-03/rihanna-bieber-and-dangers-celebrity-worship-106255 Tina Fey's Chicago love affair http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/tina-feys-chicago-love-affair-105241 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 11.24.03 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="358" mozallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="http://www.hulu.com/embed.html?eid=tc_mfzmwer5og-cb4lzsqw" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="620"></iframe></p><p>Tina Fey&#39;s love affair with Chicago is well documented. And on the <a href="http://storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-240-live-at-the-old-town-ale-hous/preview" target="_blank">Afternoon Shift Thursday</a>, Rick Kogan talked with Second City&#39;s Andrew Alexander about what the show did for local comedians and writers. And Charna Halpern, director and co-founder of iO (formerly Improv Olympic) says about &quot;30 Rock&quot; impact on Chicago is significant.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F77325410&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>As &quot;30 Rock&quot; wraps up tonight, here&#39;s a look back at some of the love she and the show have bestowed on the city.</p><h2><strong>Tina&#39;s two great loves</strong></h2><p>On meeting her husband Jeff Richmond while they were working together at Second City in <a href="http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/2009/01/tina_fey200901" target="_blank">Vanity Fair</a>:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;(Tina and Jeff) fell in love quickly, soon after a Sunday afternoon spent together at Chicago&rsquo;s Museum of Science and Industry. (&ldquo;We walked into a model of the human heart,&rdquo; Fey deadpans.) The writer-comedian and the musician-director dated for seven years, have been married for another seven, and have worked together in improv theater in Chicago, on Saturday Night Live, and on 30 Rock.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>On food in Chicago, during an <a href="http://www.hulu.com/watch/187122" target="_blank">Ask Tina</a> segment where she said the &quot;internet could run out of space&quot; if she kept talking about her favorite Chicago restaurants:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;I lived on the North Side. You need to go to a place called the Athenian Room on Webster. You need to order the roasted chicken. It&#39;s cooked on a spit, it comes on a bed of steak fries and the chicken juice gets into the fries. Unbelievable.&quot;</p></blockquote><h2><strong>Chicago casting</strong></h2><p>As Chris Jones <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2006-10-08/news/0610070204_1_mad-tv-paradigm-tina-fey">pointed out</a> as the show began, the cast is a televised reunion of the Second City cast of &quot;Paradigm Lost&quot;:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;I can&#39;t believe I got away with it. I somehow got all those people past all those random hurdles you have to get people past when you are doing television. And if <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Zulevic#Television" target="_blank">Jim Zulevic</a> had not passed away, he&#39;d have been in there too.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Tina talked more about why she loves Second City actors in the same article:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Second City actors know their purpose within a larger story and ensemble. I know people like <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-04-23/entertainment/ct-ae-0425-scott-adsit-20100423_1_tina-fey-laugh-second-city" target="_blank">Scott</a> and <a href="http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2012/04/30/rachel-dratch" target="_blank">Rachel</a> so well. We did eight shows a week together in Chicago. So for example, I know that if you want a subtle physical bit that suddenly turns into a fall, <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-04-23/entertainment/ct-ae-0425-scott-adsit-20100423_1_tina-fey-laugh-second-city/2" target="_blank">Adsit is your man</a>.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 31 Jan 2013 11:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/tina-feys-chicago-love-affair-105241