Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, the former Saturday Night Live co-writers who re-teamed on 30 Rock and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, mixed zingers with genuine affection in accepting the Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence at last night’s WGA Awards. (See video of their appearance below.)
“If you have a meeting with Robert,” Fey marveled, noting the tenor of the times, “he will never be ‘just getting out of the shower.’ He’ll shower himself on his own time. You’re safe. I think that’s just how low the bar is now. That’s why we’re getting this award now, because we never made anyone look at our genitals.”
As with most things the duo touches, the line served as a comedic punch-up on a night that needed it at times. After Tracy Morgan and Rachel Dratch offered a wry introduction and a long clip reel highlighted the trove of sharp dialogue written by the honorees over an 11-year partnership, the crowd offered the warmest standing ovation of the night.
“I have to contractually thank Lorne Michaels, even though he’s done very little,” Carlock quipped. 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 joked.
Here is video of the Fey-Carlock portion of the show: