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While Tina was allowed to stay up late as a child to watch Jackie Gleason and The Honeymooners, but she was not allowed to watch The Flintstones. "My dad hated it because it ripped off The Honeymooners. I actually have a very low level of Flintstones knowledge for someone my age."
Fey attended Upper Darby High School, where she was an honor student, a member of the choir, drama club, and tennis team, and co-editor of the school's newspaper. She also anonymously wrote the newspaper's satirical column, The Acorn. Following her graduation in 1988, Fey enrolled at the University of Virginia, where she studied playwriting and acting. She graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama.
Fey first broke into comedy as a featured player in the Chicago-based improvisational comedy group The Second City. While performing shows with Second City in 1997, Fey submitted several scripts to NBC's variety show SNL, at the request of its head writer Adam McKay, a former performer at Second City. She was hired as a writer for SNL following a meeting with SNL creator Lorne Michaels, and moved to New York. Fey told The New Yorker, "I’d had my eye on the show forever, the way other kids have their eye on Derek Jeter."
At first, Fey struggled at SNL. Her first sketch to air starred Chris Farley in a Sally Jessy Raphael satire. She went on to write a series of parodies, including one of ABC's morning talk show The View. She co-wrote the "Sully and Denise" sketches with Rachel Dratch, who plays one of the teens. In 2000, Fey partnered with Dratch in the Off Broadway two-woman show "Dratch & Fey" at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City.
Fey later became head writer and a performer, known for her position as co-anchor in the "Weekend Update" segment. In 2004 she adapted the screenplay Mean Girls in which she also co-starred.
After leaving SNL in 2006, she created the television series 30 Rock, a situation comedy loosely based on her experiences at SNL. In the series, Fey portrays the head writer of a fictional sketch comedy series.
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In 2008, she starred in the comedy film Baby Mama, alongside former SNL co-star Amy Poehler. Fey next appeared in the 2010 comedy films Date Night and Megamind.
She has received seven Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, four Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Writers Guild of America Awards. She was singled out as the performer who had the greatest impact on culture and entertainment in 2008 by the Associated Press, which gave her its AP Entertainer of the Year award for her satirical portrayal of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in a guest appearance on SNL.
In 2010, Fey was the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, and the youngest-ever winner of the award.
On April 5, 2011, her book, an autobiographical comedy entitled Bossypants, was released.