An Open Letter To Tina Fey Re: Bonding With The Roots

Kelly Conaboy | January 10, 2012 - 11:00 am

Dear Tina Fey:

Have you ever been to Honey’s in Philadelphia? I’ve been there, I think, five times. The first time I was there, about three years ago, I was sitting with my friend and a Dinosaur Jr. song was on and I was trying to talk about the Dinosaur Jr. song and my friend wouldn’t respond to me. This was weird because this friend definitely likes Dinosaur Jr. more than I do, but then after a few moments he said, “Questlove was just standing behind you.” And I thought, “So why did that mean you couldn’t respond to me about the song?” But I said, “Why didn’t you make any indication that I should look behind me?” It was a weird moment because he said that he didn’t make any indication because it wasn’t a big deal, but then it’s like — why couldn’t you say any words while he was standing there, then? If it’s such a small deal? Why did you have to make me look so foolish in front of Questlove, like my friend really didn’t want to talk to me? Isn’t it weird that he did that, Tina? Anyway, so, Questlove was on Watch What Happens: Live last night and he said this about you:

Tina Fey, you are never nice to the Roots! We’re from Philadelphia. You’re never nice to the Roots! I just don’t know. Fellow Philadelphians—we bond with each other, and it’s been hard trying to bond with her.

Eeeeek! Eeek, girl — I know. It’s the worst when people try to put you on blast for not being nice or bonding with them. As if you have to have a million things to say to everyone all the time in order to be nice. Sometimes you just don’t have anything to say to a person! Sometimes you just want to say, I know that you’re a fine person but you have to understand that I am uncomfortable talking to you not because I don’t like you but because I’m uncomfortable talking to almost everyone, so please refrain from telling people that I am mean. But you can’t always say that. So I’d like to give you some advice for next time you’re around the Roots. 

  1. Talk About Philadelphia: Jesus Christ, if there’s one thing people from Philadelphia love talking about it’s fucking Philadelphia. (See: The beginning of this letter.) (See: What Questlove said.) (I’m sorry about the language.) The second thing they love talking about is how they’ll NEVER move to New York. So I would suggest beginning with a discussion of how great Philadelphia is and then segueing into an uncomfortable joke about how The Roots will never move to New York, because I’m pretty sure when the Roots got their Late Night With Jimmy Fallon job they promised that they’d just commute (??) but now I think they live here full time. I don’t know, Tina.
  2. Talk About Jimmy Fallon: “He’s super great, right?” It really doesn’t matter. “I love his suits.”
  3. Compliment The Roots: “I really love your sound, you have such a great sound.” Again, it doesn’t matter what you say. People just like to hear you talk at them. “It’s classic yet modern.” “I love it.”
  4. Talk About It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: And then ask why The Roots have never been invited to be on the show. “It really seems like you guys would be a funny addition to an episode,” is maybe something you can say. “I would invite you to be on 30 Rock but, you know — New York.” And then make a fart noise with your mouth.
  5. Talk About Something Really Boring: But talk about it A LOT. And then look hurt when they aren’t interested. And then say, “I don’t know, I really like talking to you guys but it’s fine if you don’t want to talk to me. No, really. I know that sounded bad but it’s totally fine.”
  6. Ask Them A Question: People like when you ask them questions.

So I hope that helps, Tina. As I’m sure you’ve heard, Questlove has already tweeted about how everything he said about you was a joke. But, you know. It’s like, GOOD JOKE, Questlove. Super funny joke. The best thing about that joke is how awkward it’s NOT going to make you the next time you see each other, right? Ugh, Tina. You’ll get through this. We’ll get through it together.