Philadelphia Traditions: Yo, I’m From Philly!

What makes Philadelphians … Philadelphians? We went rummaging through the pasts of Tina Fey and 20 other notable area expats to find out how our city made them who they are

The young Feys decided that “Elvis had spoken to us,” Peter recalls. So with destiny on their side, they waited after the show for Elvis to leave the building.

“Sure enough, he came out, and we had our picture taken with him,” Peter says. “He was very nice, but obviously he had elsewhere to be. He was just looking at the camera, and there we were with our grins and our silly concert shirts on, like dorks.”

Fade into: March of this year. 30 Rock’s season finale is being taped at NBC. Costello, Sheryl Crow, the Beastie Boys, Norah Jones and other musicians are in the studio to sing an extravagant, fake tribute song, written by Tina’s real-life husband, Jeff Richmond.

“It’s all these people, many of whom we’d grown up going to see, like Cyndi Lauper — I took Tina to see her one time,” says Peter, who was there for the taping. He brings the old photo along, and after some small talk gets up the nerve to show it to Costello.

“He howled,” Peter says. “He could not believe that little 16-year-old face was Tina.” Then Tina starts showing the picture to the girls in hair and makeup, and someone suggests they retake the photo, and Elvis agrees. So they pose with Elvis again, right there, 22 years later. (Alas, no return trip to the alley behind the Tower.) And at the very end of last season’s 30 Rock finale, after the credits, there was the original snapshot, showing a rock god and a geeky girl from Upper Darby who never did become a Phillies ball girl after all.

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  • Ahmir “?uestlove”

    i have to say i am rather disappointed in not being included in your issue. we are PROUD philadelphians and this is a fact known across the world. i shouldn’t have to resume/name drop our achievements of the last 18 years.
    whether you deemed our celebrity not legit enough, or you still see us as “rappers”—i feel as though this omission was a slap in the face from a periodical that bears the name of the place we still call home.

    -ahmir ?uestlove thompson
    drummer of the legendary overlooked Roots crew.

  • Will T.

    I find this photo quite offensive. Did you know according to OSHA topless typing accounts for approximately 342 nipple injuries a year in the United States alone??

  • Rita

    Was that the same Kobe Bryant featured in this article as the athlete with the DODGERS cap on when they were playing the PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES? Come on, surely you could have found someone true to this great city!!