As one of the most famous comedians to come out of The Second City, Tina Fey starred in two Mainstage revues, before leaving to write for Saturday Night Live, creating 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and starring in multiple acclaimed comedies. Before moving to Chicago to take classes at The Second City, she studied playwriting and acting, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in drama. She began classes in the early 1990’s, and eventually moved up to the Mainstage in 1996.
Once Tina Fey moved up to the Mainstage, after being in shows such as “Piñata Full of Bees”, she starred in two revues, Citizen Gates and Paradigm Lost. Members that starred with her included Rachel Dratch and Scott Adsit, and her graduating class included Dratch and Adsit, along with Horatio Sanz and Jack McBrayer. When she moved to the Mainstage, it marked the first time there were three women and three men in the revues, versus four women and two men.
In 1997, Tina Fey was hired as a writer for Saturday Night Live for their 23rd season, and became the first female head writer in Season 25. She began performing on the show in 2000, and co-anchored Weekend Update until she left SNL in May 2006. In 2015, Rolling Stone credited her as the third most important cast member throughout the show’s 40-year history. During the tail end of her run at SNL, she was creating 30 Rock, which premiered in October 2006.
30 Rock is regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time, and is influenced by her time at SNL, and stars some of her fellow Second City alum. In addition to 30 Rock, Tina created Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Outside of television, her work includes writing and acting in Mean Girls, and starring in films such as Baby Mama, Date Night, and Sisters. These films include Second City alumni such as Amy Poehler, Steve Carrell, Rachel Dratch, Neil Flynn, and Tim Meadows.
1996-1997: Citizen Gates, Mainstage
1997-1998: Paradigm Lost, Mainstage