Tina Fey & Her Cringe-Worthy Joke Ruffle Audience

Kim Conte
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tina feyTina Fey was just awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor -- she's the youngest person and third woman to receive the honor -- so everything she says should be hilarious, right?

Well ... not exactly, as she proved last night during her acceptance speech at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In fact, one of her jokes fell decidedly flat.

Amy Poehler, Steve Carell, Betty White, and several other famous comedians gathered to honor the funny woman -- who then tested the boundaries of what is considered funny when she accepted the award with this line:

The rise of conservative women in politics ... is good for all women, unless you don't want to pay for your own rape kit ... unless you're a lesbian who wants to get married to your partner of 20 years ... [or] unless you believe in evolution.

According to The Washington Post, the lines "played first to nervous laughter and then to not much laughter at all."

There's a simple reason why this joke didn't draw a lot of laughs -- it's not a joke. See, this is Reason No. 905 why I love Tina Fey: She knew exactly what she was doing.

It would have been easy to just politely accept the award and go on her merry way. But instead she used her moment in the spotlight as an opportunity to talk about issues that are important to her -- at the risk of pissing off her audience. Some would say the "joke" bombed -- and if a joke's success is determined by the amount of laughter it garners, then it really did.

But isn't comedy all about finding the irony in truth? In that case, I'd say this instance was further proof that Tina Fey more than deserved that award.

Maybe you don't agree with her political leanings, but can you agree with this? Standing up for what you believe even if it isn't the most convenient or appropriate time to do so takes courage. I think my favorite part about Tina Fey's speech isn't what she said but that she wasn't afraid to bomb.

The ceremony will be broadcast on PBS stations on Sunday. In the meantime, catch Tina answering questions about the prize below.

What do you think of her remark? Was it an appropriate time to make a comment about politics?


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