Tina Fey And Robert Carlock: “We Have To Contractually Thank Lorne Michaels, Even Though He’s Done Very Little” — WGA Awards
Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, the former Saturday Night Live co-writers who re-teamed on 30 Rock and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, used a mirrored line in their speeches accepting the Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence at the WGA Awards. (See video of their appearance below.)
The callback, as with most things the duo touches, only served as a comedic punch-up on a night that needed it. After Tracy Morgan and Rachel Dratch offered a wry introduction and a long clip reel highlighted the trove of sharp lines written by the honorees, the crowd got to its feet and offered the warmest ovation of the night.
“I have to contractually thank Lorne Michaels, even though he’s done very little,” Carlock said. Fey reprised the line a moment later, also displayed her quicksilver touch with an ad-libbed callback of the winner of a radio award a few minutes earlier. “I feel like the Gail Lee of comedy,” she said.
Surveying the Edison Ballroom crowd, Fey cracked, “I have worked so hard to get out of this room.” She said just as with the end of Lady Bird in Sacramento, “I realized that this room will always be the best part of me.”
Carlock had a good gauge on the audience, which had sat through two hours of awards, many of which were awarded to winners who were at the WGA’s event in L.A. “It’s late. We’re all drunk,” Carlock said. “No one wants to be here. But you have to wait for Tina to talk.”
He added, in mocking tribute, “Tina Fey should be on a postage stamp, and not just because that would mean she’d be dead …. and I could take a break.”
Fey praised Sargent, noting his pioneering work creating SNL‘s Weekend Update with Chevy Chase. “He should have copyrighted the term ‘fake news,'” she quipped.
While both partners offered brief sincere notes of appreciation, they kept the tone light and the other on their toes. “When you have a meeting with Robert,” Fey marveled, noting the tenor of the times, “he will never be ‘just getting out of the shower.’ … That’s just how low the bar is now.”
Here is video of the Fey-Sarlock portion of the show: