AP picks Tina Fey as entertainer of the year
Broadcast producers and newspaper editors -- who weren't busy safeguarding their pensions and 401Ks by burying what's left of them in the desert -- cast their votes in the AP's annual Entertainer of the Year Poll. The honors went to 30 Rock star and SNL lifeguard Tina Fey.
It's really the no-brainer choice. Sharon Eberson, entertainment editor for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, told the wire service, "She gave us funny when we really needed it and, in a year when women in politics were making huge strides, Fey stood out in the world of entertainment."
It really shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone who doesn't live in a cave or still flips through the radio dial wondering what happened to Fibber McGee and the Mercury Theater On the Air.
Fey's not only had a hit show that has redefined how sitcoms are written and produced at a time when everyone thought they'd been killed off by the lingering, slow deaths of shows like According to Jim and others. She also saved Saturday Night Live by making it smart and satirical again, even if she had a monkey in the shape of Jimmy Fallon on her back. Her presence and brilliance alone made 30 Rock a hit. If she had a third show, she could probably use it to cure herpes or worst case scenario, make it another hit for the fledgling NBC.
What's surprising is whose butts she kicked to win the award. She beat out Robert Downey Jr. and the late Heath Ledger for their respective performances in Iron Man and The Dark Knight. Downey turned an otherwise run-of-the-mill comic book film into a certified blockbuster, along with director Jon Favreau's epic vision. Ledger gave an Oscar-worthy performance as the Joker, which no one thought was possible since the last Fantastic Four movie actually caused blindness.
All three used their performances and talent to pull up and save some great projects to even higher levels of excellence. Next year, Fey may have to actually donate a kidney or other vital to save another TV show if she wants a two-peat.