Tina Fey says there’s a simple reason she won’t publicly endorse a presidential candidate in this year’s election: She doesn’t want anyone hitting her up for campaign donations.
“If I have [made a 2016 pick], it’s private,” Fey said with a smile, “because then people will try to get money from me. That’s my money!”
ITK caught up with the “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” alum Tuesday at the Washington premiere of her new dark comedy film “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” at the United States Navy Memorial.
Fey plays a reporter who heads to a war zone on assignment. The film, produced by Fey and “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels, is based on journalist Kim Barker’s 2011 book, “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
Fey, famous for her crushing portrayal of 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, says that since leaving “SNL,” she hasn’t had to follow primary night coverage and the presidential debates with as much intensity.
“I watch most of the debates,” Fey, 45, explained, “but when you’re watching them to look for jokes, you’re watching them really intently and with a different eye than when you’re just a voter.”
The eight-time Emmy Award winner quipped: “Just by watching ‘The Today Show’ every morning, I’m getting a certain funnel of the political drama.”
But, she continued, “I was definitely smarter and more knowledgeable about politics when I was at ‘Saturday Night Live.’”
A slew of real-life politicians has hit the “SNL” stage over the years — Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders made cameos this season, and GOP front-runner Donald Trump guest hosted in November — but Lorne Michaels was mum on whether the sketch comedy show would tap any other political figures in the coming weeks.
“I think, literally, we don’t know week-to-week,” Michaels said. “I can tell you what we’re doing for the next two weeks in March.”
Some lawmakers and VIPs might have been trying out their best material for Michaels, though, on Tuesday at the screening hosted by Paramount Pictures and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA): Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden; Secretary of State John Kerry; MPAA Chairman and former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.); Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho); and Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) were all eyed among the crowd at the exclusive event.
While Fey remained tight-lipped about which of the current crop of White House hopefuls she’d get behind, she did encourage a certain political outsider to run.
“Baba Booey,” she offered, referring to the nickname for radio host Howard Stern’s longtime producer, Gary Dell’Abate.
“It’s his time,” chimed in “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” screenwriter Robert Carlock. “He’s been waiting in the wings.”
“America needs more Baba Booey,” Fey added.