Fey has the last laugh

Tina Fey receives top US humour prize

Published: Thu 11 Nov 2010, 7:24 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 12:59 PM

Comedian Tina Fey, whose parody of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin some say influenced the 2008 U.S. presidential election, accepted the Mark Twain prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

An all-star line-up of comedy luminaries, from fellow Twain Prize winner Steve Martin to Betty White, saluted Fey for her pioneering role as the first lead female writer on Saturday Night Live to her Emmy Award-winning comedy 30 Rock.

Fey thanked all of the stars who travelled across the country to honour her. “It means so much to me that you care about showbiz more than your families,” she said.

“I never thought I’d ever qualify for the Mark Twain prize. ... Maybe the Judy Blume prize for awkward puberty,” Fey said.

“We are all here tonight because Tina won something,” her former SNL castmate Seth Meyers said, alluding to Fey’s Palin alter ego.

Fey, 40, is the youngest person to have won the honour in 13 years, and the third female recipient after Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg. “She dares to offend and shrugs off the obvious choice. She has the uncanny ability to make something out of nothing,” her Date Night co-star Steve Carrell said in a tribute to Fey.

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