Tina Fey vs The Kardashians
While mowing the lawn and listening to my beloved Nerdist Podcast the other day*, host Chris Hardwick remarked that Tina Fey was a great role model as compared to The Kardashians. This made me stop in my grass clippings strewn tracks.
Who ever considered The Kardashians role models and why would that be your other comparison point?
I was immediately enraged that the two entities (yes, I’m going to refer to the group of Kardashians as a single life-form, I’m not sure they could exist outside of their unit) were even uttered in the same sentence. On the one hand, you have Fey who has crafted an incredible career since leaving the Philadelphia suburbs:
- graduated from the University of Virginia
- honed her comedic skills at The Second City Theater in Chicago
- nine years of stellar work at Saturday Night Live where she became their first female head writer and created an iconic Sarah Palin impersonation
- achieved critical acclaim for developing the 30 Rock television show
- adapted the screenplay in Lindsay Lohan’s last decent movie (Mean Girls)
- wrote the New York Times bestseller Bossypants
- won seven Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, four Writers Guild of America Awards
- one husband, two kids
The follow-up isn’t how The Kardashians compare as role models, but rather, why the hell would anyone compare the two?
You compare Tina Fey to Will Ferrell, Christopher Guest, Ben Stiller, Maureen O’Hara, Albert Brooks, Bette Midler, Norman Lear, Lucille Ball, and Mark Twain.
You compare The Kardashians to Dane Cook, Spuds McKenzie, the E-Trade baby, The Fast and Furious movie series, Chicken McNuggets, and any other television show in the E! network.
Trust me, I get what Hardwick was doing, he was looking for an option as polar opposite as possible to compare Tina Fey. But it was jarring, and not in the way I think he meant it to be.
If I was having a conversation with Fey and mentioned a comparison to The Kardashians I would hope she’d spit in my face for sullying the sentence. Of course, she wouldn’t because she’s down-to-earth and self-deprecating. Whereas, if the situation were reversed, I’m sure any of The Kardashians would welcome the comparison’s construction and immediately offer parallels to Fey’s work.
I guess the other thing that bothered me was that Hardwick’s comparison rested on the premise that someone, ANYONE, would actually look to The Kardashians, individually or as a whole, as a role model. Unfortunately, I think that may have actually happened: “Farrah Abraham: ‘Teen Mom,’ Porn Star, Business Student.” No really, Bloomberg Businessweek wrote an article about former Teen Mom reality personality Farrah Abraham, who concocted a fake “stolen” sex tape with a real porn studio (for $1.5 million) to boost her waning notoriety, and is now enrolling in business school.
While I’m all for people making money and going to school, tell me this doesn’t sound like the Kim Kardashian path to success?
But who’s to blame for the power of The Kardashians? Consumers. Anyone who watches their shows, buys their products, runs Google searches about them, and (annoyingly) writes about them on their blogs. Yup, I’m now as much to blame for the continued existence of The Kardashians as the E! Network, Ray J., O.J. Simpson, tabloid magazines and the Internet.
I don’t know, maybe we need The Kardashians as a counterpoint to Tina Fey. But please, no more Kardashian knock offs, the world absolutely doesn’t need that.
—[*And by the other day, I mean June 3, 2012 when I first started this particular blog post. Lately, I’ve had a bad run of completing any of my personal writing , so I gave my Facebook friends the option to choose any of the 11 drafts I had started but hadn’t finished. I think as penance, they forced me to write about The Kardashians. Lesson learned. But hey, it worked.]
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