Tina Fey’s Male Co-Workers at ‘SNL’ Had a Totally Disgusting Habit, She Once Revealed

When Tina Fey wrote on the NBC sketch series Saturday Night Live, she noticed her male co-workers had a particularly gross habit.

As a young ‘SNL’ cast member, Tina Fey noticed the male writers had a disgusting hygiene habit

Tina Fey of 30 Rock
Tina Fey on location during filming for 30 Rock in 2008 | Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage

In a piece for The New Yorker, Fey recalled a harrowing moment from her time as a writer on Saturday Night Live. While reaching for a book in her former boss Steve Higgins’ office, she started to adjust a paper cup that was sitting in front of the book.

“Don’t touch that,” Higgins told Fey, jumping up from his seat. The SNL writer picked up all the paper cups in his office and threw them out.

When Fey asked Saturday Night Live writer Paula Pell, she confirmed: “Oh, yeah, that’s pee in those cups.”

Fey was shocked. As she wrote in The New Yorker:

I had come from Second City, which was by no means clean — it would not be unheard of to see a rat giving birth in an overstuffed ashtray, for example. But I had never heard of anyone peeing in a cup except at a doctor’s office. Maybe you’d do it on a road trip if it was too far between rest stops. I had definitely never heard of anyone peeing in a cup and leaving it on a bookshelf in his office to evaporate back into his body through the pores on his face.

‘Weekend Update’ host Tina Fey asked her future husband about the habit

When Fey told a fellow SNL staffer, expecting shock and horror in response, the co-worker told Fey — he also did it sometimes.

“He said it was just something guys did when they were too lazy to go to the bathroom,” Fey wrote. “… I started to feel as if I were from space.”

Luckily’s Fey’s then-boyfriend, now-husband said, “What! No. That’s disgusting,” she she asked if he’d ever done it.

However, the SNL writer/”Weekend Update” host began to notice the cups –and jars — more frequently. It only got grosser over time, as Fey explained:

Once I became aware of this practice, I started noticing cups in other places. In the ‘Weekend Update’ offices—which were like the smarter but meaner older brother of the regular writers’ offices — there weren’t any cups. There was a jar. It was a jar of piss with a lid on it, and, judging by its consistency, I suspect that the writers sometimes spat into it.

The ‘Saturday Night Live’ alum used the story on an episode of ’30 Rock’

30 Rock
Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey, Judah Friedlander, Grizz Chapman, John Lutz, and Katrina Bowden at Entertainment Weekly and NBC’s celebration of the final season of 30 Rock in 2012 | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly

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Luckily, as Fey confirmed in The New Yorker, it wasn’t every male Saturday Night Live writer who “whizzed in cups.”

“But four or five out of twenty did, so the men have to own that one,” the comedian argued.

Fey also used this experience as a plotline in an episode of 30 Rock, in which Liz finds jars in her writer Frank’s office.

Asked countless times over the years whether both men and women are actually both funny, Fey argued in the magazine:

Here’s the truth: There is an actual difference between male and female comedy writers, and I’m going to reveal it now. The men urinate in cups. And sometimes jars.