“In another decade, Fey, like Valerie Harper or Roseanne Barr, could have milked her shtick interminably,” Crosbie explains, “but these days, fame is far too fleeting,” adding an ominous prediction (that reminds me of something my mother always told me: “Boyfriends come and go, but your girl friends are forever.”)
“What has been or will be Fey’s undoing,” predicts Crosbie, “is her disquieting revisionist history of, and antagonistic relationship with, female comics.”
Fey likes to position herself as a courageous pioneer, forging trails across the comedy plains in a covered wagon clown car, one with “SNL, Cast of 2008″ emblazoned on its canvas top.
But — being, like me, a Canadian — Crosbie is eager to point out that:
It is simply not true, and deeply insulting, to suggest that Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler and Kristin Wiig invented funny, liberated women. (…)
With the original 1976 cast of Second City Television, we had Andrea Martin and Catherine O’Hara, who did better work than anyone has done since: All of these women were writers and comics, and it is they who rewrote the script about men and women and being funny.
They are mentioned, in passing, and buried in a long list, in [Fey's bestselling book] Bossypants.
Crosbie also mentions Totie Fields and Pearl Williams. To which list of “balls out” female comics, I’d add Sophie Tucker and Rusty Warren, that raunchy lady whose records your parents put on after you went to bed, and whom Catherine O’Hara affectionately spoofed (while squeezing in a joke that’s part of our province’s morbid lore):
Take that, all you chicks in Bridsemaids!