Vanity Fair Brings Out Big Guns for Tina Fey Profile

Just a few months ago, 30 Rock‘s Tina Fey would have been lucky to get a profile in Time Out New York. Then there was that star role portraying ill-fated VP Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live and now she’s gracing the cover of Vanity Fair with a portrait taken by Annie Leibowitz and an article penned by Maureen Dowd. My how things have changed for Ms. Lemon. (But will the publicity be enough to save her NBC comedy? Somehow we doubt it.)

The profile itself is filled with good stuff about Fey, such as her opinion on strip clubs: “I love to play strippers and to imitate them. I love using that idea for comedy, but the idea of actually going there? I feel like we all need to be better than that. That industry needs to die, by all of us being a little bit better than that.”

More juicy stuff from the story after the jump.

Dowd on Fey’s trajectory — Elizabeth Stamatina Fey started as a writer and performer with a bad short haircut in Chicago improv. Then she retreated backstage at S.N.L., wore a ski hat, and gained weight writing sharp, funny jokes and eating junk food. Then she lost 30 pounds, fixed her hair, put on a pair of hot-teacher glasses, and made her name throwing lightning-bolt zingers on “Weekend Update.” Speeding through the comedy galaxy, she wrote the hit Mean Girls and created her own show based on an S.N.L.-type show: 30 Rock. The comedy struggled in the ratings for two years but was a critical success, winning seven Emmys last fall and catapulting Fey into red-hot territory. Before she even had a chance to take a breath, a freakish twist of fate turned her from red- to white-hot, and enabled her, at long last, to boost the ratings of 30 Rock: Fey was a ringer for another hot-teacher-in-glasses, Sarah Palin, the comely but woefully unprepared Alaska governor, who bounded out of the woods with her own special language to become not only the first Republican woman to run on a national ticket but also God’s gift to comedy and journalism. So where does Fey go from white-hot?

Fey on cupcakes and Leibowitz — Her true vice is cupcakes. I’ve brought her a box, one frosted with the face of Sarah Palin. She chooses that one, which is bigger, joking that it’s O.K. if she gains weight before her Annie Leibovitz photo shoot in a few days, because “Annie’s going to photograph my soul, right?”