The Guardian

What we can learn from Tina Fey’s workplace comedies

From Mean Girls to 30 Rock, Fey’s comedy dissects the everyday stresses of working life
Fey it till you make it... Tina Fey. Photograph: NBC/Getty Images

They say “write what you know” and Tina Fey knows a lot about work. Specifically, working in live TV (she was on Saturday Night Live from 1997 to 2006). She turned that experience first into the Emmy-winning 30 Rock, and later brought it to her producer role on another workplace sitcom, Great News. Even her non-office-based projects – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Mean Girls – revolve around power dynamics, people management and everyday stresses; stuff that’s not funny until Fey turns it into a Netflix hit.

It is no surprise she’s now something of an expert. Recently, on podcast, Fey recounted the time invited her to help save the UK’s television industry. “I said:] made 13 episodes of The Office and Greg Daniels and made like a thousand … so I sort of said I can’t.” Really, though, there was no need to fly her in as a de facto management consultant; she has been imparting her special brand of workplace wisdom for her entire screen career. Here are the main take-aways …

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