Tina Fey’s Best Film and TV Roles, Ranked
No one would argue that Tiny Fey is now the true Queen of Comedy who seems to never fail in the things she acts in or produces. Even so, we could still rank her projects based on merely good to classic.
We don’t want to place any favoritism on Fey’s TV projects over her movies, because they both have equal value in the comedy they’ve brought to the entertainment world. In some cases, the comedic writing in her movie and TV projects has become a little too underappreciated if you look a little deeper.
Let’s do a serious (though short) ranking analysis on Fey’s work and what we consider her very best. These are the roles we bet will still be watchable a decade from now.
4. Liz Lemon in ’30 Rock’
Sure, most people would place Fey’s iconic role of Liz Lemon at the top, but let’s not get carried away considering how many other projects and performances she’s done. It’s a little too easy to place this role as her greatest ever.
One thing about her Lemon role is it fell on the heels of other comedic women who headed TV sitcoms. You could recognize trailblazers from Mary Tyler Moore to Carol Burnett in the role, though Fey also brought a lot of new things. Most fans would say she brought a bit of herself since the show was loosely based on her own role as a writer on SNL.
Her SNL training ground helped her hone her skills in how she recited those lines in 30 Rock to make you guffaw every time. Even if the ratings at the time the show aired weren’t as high as they should have been, a lot of people are now catching up on streaming.
During and after the series, it allowed Fey to create other popular roles for TV and in the movies.
Out of all those, which ones really do stand the test of time?
3. ‘Sisters’ with Amy Poehler
In many cases, Fey is always better when generating chemistry with an ensemble. Her work with Amy Poehler is obviously comedic magic, something that essentially turned them into an official cinematic comedy duo.
Their first 2008 big-screen effort Baby Mama maybe had some problems, yet their 2015 follow-up (Sisters) was a laugh riot. Fey’s role as Kate Ellis went a little against type. Her character is more than a little crazy while helping to pump new life into the comedic formula she and Poehler generated.
We all hope the two make another movie together in the next couple of years. At least we’ve seen them host award shows as a duo. Those gigs almost go under the same category as a favorite performance.
2. ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’
Many fans are starting to cite Whiskey Tango Foxtrot as one of Fey’s best movie roles to date because it gave her a chance to show off her dramatic acting skills. At the same time, it also had elements of comedy, allowing her to balance both with stunning skill.
She plays Kim Baker as a variation on the real Kim Barker who was an American journalist covering the war in Afghanistan back in 2003. The movie is based on the book Barker wrote about the sexism she faced and other obstacles.
Fey was perfectly cast in this role alongside Martin Freeman, outside of former not having anything to do with the writing or producing. It offered everyone a chance to see how she can shape a role based on another person’s script, namely a male writer.
Some were perplexed why this film flopped at the box office. Nevertheless, we want to see Fey steal a movie like this again.
1. ‘Mean Girls’
The relevance of Mean Girls just continues to grow each passing year, despite being in theaters 15 years ago. That time period was the true takeoff point for Fey with this 2004 movie, then starting 30 Rock a year later.
Her role as Ms. Norbury is now a near classic, including the hilarious scenes of her becoming exasperated at the teen girl behavior in her school. As an endlessly quotable movie, it’s referenced by Millennials to this day on social media.
It’s likely to make Fey a true comedic hero among the 18-34 set, not including thanks to a popular Broadway musical adaptation opening recently. By all means stay clear of the notorious TV sequel, though, which Fey removed herself from.