UPDATE (12/14 6:53 PM EST): Colin Quinn has tweeted a response to Fey's contention that he called her the “c-word” during their days on “SNL” together (Item #1 below):
Statement: It's all true. I have used profanity when I've been angry at people. When I was wrong ( as with Tina) I've said sorry to them.
– Colin Quinn (@iamcolinquinn) December 14, 2015
Tina Fey was on “Howard Stern” this morning for the first time since 2006, and a lot has happened since her last appearance — the Sarah Palin impression, seven seasons of “30 Rock” and her acclaimed Golden Globes hosting gigs with friend and frequent co-star Amy Poehler.
In short: the King of All Media had a lot of catching up to do with the former “SNL” head writer and “Weekend Update” host, whose latest film “Sisters” hits theaters this Friday — the same day as a little movie called “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Here are 9 big highlights from this morning's sit-down, with embedded sound clips where available.
1. Colin Quinn called her a “cunt” once.
Howard: “Did you confront a staffer at 'Saturday Night Live' after they — somebody called you a cunt, is that correct?”
Fey: “Oh, yeah.”
Howard: “Who called you a cunt?”
Fey: “Who called me [a cunt] back in the day? [hesitates] Oh, you know, we've since made up.”
Howard: “Who was it?”
Howard: “Tina, who had the nerve to call you a cunt? Was this when you were head writer?”
Fey: “This was, yeah.”
Howard: “You were the head writer of 'Saturday Night Live' and someone had the nerve to call you a cunt.”
Fey: “Yeah, and I love him so much.”
Howard: “Who was it?”
Fey: “It was Colin Quinn.”
Howard: “Now why would Colin call you a cunt?”
Fey: “I was trying to help him with a show that he was working on…and I think his anxiety about the writing of the show spilled over. Because it was very random. I was like, 'what?' He left me a message and he said that…and it was funny, cause when someone says something like that about you, when you literally can't even think of like…I couldn't even guess why. Usually if someone calls you that, you're like, 'I know what I did.'…I asked Colin…to be on '30 Rock' like three times after that, and he turned us down every time, and then I saw him on 'Girls' and I was like, 'he's dead to me.' But we have since reconnected at the 'SNL 40' actually, and we're good.””
2. She recently got in a verbal altercation with a woman in London.
Citing her recent anger issues in the wake of her father's death (Donald Henry Fey passed away in October), Fey recounted a heated verbal spat she got into with a woman at a restaurant in London.
“At one point, two of my friends go to leave. I said, 'let's take a quick picture before you leave.' We're standing up for literally a minute. And this woman…stands up and she's got like, she looks like she has like a fucking Justin Bieber wig on backwards…And she comes around and name-checks me, she's like, 'Tina, Tina Fey, I love you darling, but sit your ass down. …Get your bum out of my husband's face.' And her husband is like [all the way] over there, and I go, my bum is ample but it's not going around four people. So she just kept saying my name and she kept saying 'get your bum out of my husband's face.'”
After a family friend had to be physically restrained from “punch[ing] somebody,” Fey described confronting the woman over her rudeness:
“We finish the picture and I turn around and she's looking at me, and she's like, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry, we love your skits but you can't do that. And that's the other thing that pushes my buttons, is I go, 'don't say sorry when you're not sorry.' Everyone goes 'I'm so sorry.' You're not sorry. Don't fucking say you're sorry. …So I go over…and I said, 'these are family friends, I haven't seen them in 20 years.' Which was a lie, whatever. And she's like, 'but you need to know in England we don't do that, darling.' And I was like, 'you need to know that you're being a fucking cunt right now.'”
3. She was forced to tell Sylvester Stallone to enunciate better when she was a young writer on “SNL.”
“This guy Scott, it was his sketch, and only years later I was like, 'oh, he totally pranked me,'” Fey recounted. “Like he should have been the one to do that, it was his sketch. I was like, 'okay!' […] I think it was actually Cheri Oteri wrote the sketch, and when an actor would write a sketch they would assign writers to cover it. And so this writer particularly was like, 'I don't care if this lives or dies, it's not really my sketch, so go tell him we can't understand him.'”
Luckily for Fey, Stallone didn't bat an eye at the comment. As she explained, “He was very sweet, because it was clearly not the first time in his career that he had been given that [note].”
4. Lorne Michaels' doorman and Robert De Niro both gave Lorne the idea to bring her back to the show to play Sarah Palin.
“Lorne always says he knew something was up because he came downstairs and his doorman was like, 'what a gift.' Sarah Palin, Tina Fey, what a gift.,” said Fey. “…and he was like, 'oh, she doesn't work at the show anymore.' And then he walked out of the building, walked down the street, and ran into Robert De Niro, who said, 'What a gift. How much do they look alike?'…and so within five minutes he was like, 'I think we have to think about this.'”
5. She recounted Louis CK's 'SNL 40' encounter with Sarah Palin.
“This is not necessarily my story to tell, but she came to the 'SNL' 40th [anniversary]…and Louis CK was talking to her. And Sarah Silverman…she was saying like — cause Louis was talking to Sarah Palin and he was like, 'she has kind of like a sad look in her eyes.' And Sarah Silverman's like, 'I think Louis is gonna fuck Sarah Palin.'…He just sort of saw that there was a little window of damage that he was gonna pry open. Like, right up Louis' alley.”
6. She explained why the Oscars are such a difficult show to host.
Though Fey turned down the offer to host during her “30 Rock” run (she was in the middle of the season and couldn't make it work), she described pretty clearly why it's such a hard nut to crack for a comedian.
“Having gone to it a couple times…it's real tense in there […] It's real serious in there, no one's having fun. Like even the person who wins Best Actor is not really having that much fun. Cause it's very high stakes, and as the night goes on, more and more people are pissed off that they lost. So it's a terrible room for comedy.”
7. She thinks “tall” is an overrated physical attribute.
“I think 'tall' — no offense — is one of the most overrated qualities. Do you ever meet these network executives that they're just tall? 'You got this job cause you're tall. You don't even fucking know anything.'”
8. She predicts that the calls she'll get from the studio about “Sisters'” box-office performance against “Star Wars” will be “comical.”
“I think you get a call late Friday night [about box-office]. And I mean, it's gonna be comical. I just heard on the news…'Star Wars' is gonna make 220 million domestic.'”
9. The famous Kotex Classic sketch may never have made it to air if Fey — the first woman head writer in “SNL” history — hadn't been in a position to get it there.
“[Paula Pell] wrote that commercial back when I was first head writer. And I was like, 'this is great, cause the guys would never pick it.' We found out later, they literally didn't know what we were talking about.”