In what might be the first shot fired in East Coast/West Coast Half-Hour/Hourlong Funny/Unfunny War between NBC's dueling behind-the-scenes-at-a-sketch-comedy-show primetime series, 30 Rock's Tina Fey offered this one-liner at the expense of presumed NBC Messiah Aaron Sorkin:
Tina Fey dissed archfoe Aaron Sorkin Sunday night at the Writers Guild Awards. The "30 Rock" star competes with Sorkin's "Studio 60": Both take place behind the scenes at a show like "Saturday Night Live," where Fey was head writer. Wiggling around the Hudson Theatre stage in a party frock with plunging decolletage, Fey told the crowd, "I hear Aaron Sorkin is in Los Angeles wearing the same dress - but longer, and not funny."
Once one gets the initial Oh, snap!-style sting of the remark, her joke seems patently unfair, as Sorkin's show is intentionally unfunny; in constructing a drama, the celebrated writer's mission is to take on weightier issues affecting sketch comedy shows, like the unexpected budget overruns that can cripple a production when a procession of antagonistic natural predators are lost beneath a busy sound stage. Still, the gibe undoubtedly wounds, as Sorkin had famously deflected the brickbats of amateurish, unemployed critics by citing the silence of accomplished professionals like Fey, who presumably were enjoying his dramatic deconstruction of the genre. Now that Fey has unexpectedly betrayed him, he'll have to hope that remaining, assumed "real comedy writer" supporters Stephen Colbert and SNL's Seth Myers will pass on any opportunities to take gratuitous pokes at him in front of an audience of the reliably employed peers whose opinions he cherishes.