Tina Fey’s Life Advice

The comedian held a Q&A with Temple students on campus. Here’s all the advice she gave them.

Tina Fey speaking at Temple

Photo by Dan McQuade

Today, Tina Fey receives the Lew Klein Award for Excellence in the Media. As is tradition with Klein Award winners, she did an hourlong Q&A session with Temple students this morning.

Fey talked with Temple students for an hour. She talked about her career at Saturday Night Live, at 30 Rock, in the many movies she’s worked on and starred in, and her time at the Upper Darby Summer Stage as a kid. But she mainly just answered questions for Fay fangirls and fanboys — one said, “I find you very attractive” — and gave them life advice. Below, a sampling of Fey’s wisdom at Temple today.

On what to do after graduating from college: “Don’t bother your parents if you can help it. … Move away from home. It helps you stand on your own.”

On what she learned in college: “Seventy percent of what you learn in college is living with roommates … also, you learn to say, ‘I’m not going to start peeing until I’ve made contact with toilet paper.’”

On her text message chain with Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch and Maya Rudolph: “At least once a week, there’s like a, ‘Nobody’s getting Botox, right?’ message.”

On social media: “Sometimes I get really angry and I say, ‘Thank god I don’t have a Twitter account.’ I would happily sit on a board that approves Twitter licenses.”

On her favorite cheesesteak: “Jim’s, on South Street.”

On how to get through tough writing assignments: “Just keep having deadlines is the best solution.”

On people who take offense at jokes: “I think people should be allowed to say whatever they want rather than hiding behind a veneer of political correctness. I want to know if you’re a jerk.”

On writing a good television show: “For TV, you’re like, ‘I don’t want to tell one story, I want to tell 144 stories,’ which is how many episodes of 30 Rock there are.”

On which person in the world she’d like to wake up as: “I know the answer’s Dom DeLuise, and I need to come up with a better one. … Yeah, I’m gonna stick with that. Dom DeLuise.”

To a young questioner who replied that she was actually 11 years old, and not a Temple student: “Are you a Doogie Howser — are you a college student?”

On what you should do before auditioning for Saturday Night Live: “Look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘Who do I look like?’ Then find out how to talk like that person.”

On overcoming obstacles: “If one door doesn’t open, look for a basement window.”

On how to move up in the working world: “Do hard work at the job you’re given as opposed to trying to move up by networking.”

On working with difficult people: “If you know someone’s difficult, don’t hire them. … Take difficult people in the moment. Kind of like a toddler.”

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