Tina Fey and Andrea Martin, executive producer and star, respectively, of NBC’s upcoming Great News (Tuesday, 9 ET/PT), have much in common, including solid-gold comedy credentials.
The two Emmy winners trained with the famed Second City improv troupe and each earned fame on a late-night comedy show — Fey on Saturday Night Live and Martin on SCTV. Even their ethnic heritages — Fey is Greek-American and Martin Armenian-American — aren’t too geographically distant.
Martin felt a kinship when the two acted together in Hulu’s Difficult People, which is produced by Fey’s close friend and comedic colleague, Amy Poehler.
“The chemistry was so great because we both had come from the same place, Second City,” Martin says. “There was an unspoken language, a trust. I just thought there was an ease about it. How fortunate to be able to act with somebody who has your same type of history. Armenian, Greek. Did you feel that way, Tina?”
Fey agrees: “I am always happy to work with people who have been improvisers. There’s a common language. And then, because of the Greek-Armenian thing, there are common lighting needs.”
Speaking of Greek-Americans, what does Fey think of Martin’s portrayal of Aunt Voula in two My Big Fat Greek Wedding films and a short-lived TV series about the characters?
“She’s great in the films,” Fey says before raising a question. “As I said to her, I just have always wondered what was wrong with my phone when those films were casting. Do I call to have a Verizon representative come out? I don’t know what to do.”
Martin, laughing, chimes in: Tina is “literally the only famous Greek who hasn’t been called about My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I’m going to change that if we do MyBig Fat Greek Wedding 3. I’ll be in the casket, but you can be one of the pallbearers. A Greek one!”