As she revealed on NBC's Late Night Wednesday, her 12-year-old daughter Alice Richmond prefers Poehler's Parks and Recreation to her very own Emmy-award winning series 30 Rock. (Never mind the fact that Richmond played a young Liz Lemon in the show's final season, or that she inspired some of the most quotable lines on 30 Rock, such as "I want to go to there.")
At first, Fey was a bit wary about sharing another story about her girls on Seth Meyers' show. "They used to be my only source of stories for programs like this, but now I can't do anything anymore, because they catch me. Alice came home one day and was like, 'Hey, a friend of mine's sister showed me a long YouTube video of you telling stories about me on different talk shows,'" the actress recalled. "I was like, 'I don't know what you're talking about! #fakenews.'"
But this story was too good to keep to herself. Fey said her elder daughter has been "getting a really great comedy education" by studying the classics. "Over one summer, she binge-watched all of The Andy Griffith Show twice, all of The Dick Van Dyke Show. These are fundamental," she said, acknowledging that it's atypical for pre-teens to watch "gentle black and white comedies."
As time went on, Richmond moved on to more modern comedies. "She watched all of the American Office this summer. Some of these seasons were like 26 episodes—she watched it in like a week! She came to me and said, 'What should I watch now?' I said, 'Well, you're 12 now. A lot of people like 30 Rock.' So, she watched a couple, and she came back out to me and was like, 'Um, it's too weird for me.' I was like, 'Oh, does it make you feel weird because mommy had to pretend to be in love with somebody who wasn't daddy?' She was like, 'No. It was just too weird for me,'" Fey said. "I was like, 'Oh! I thought you meant tonally. 'It's a little too bent!'"
Admittedly, "That was a hard motherly hit to take.
"She was like, 'What should I watch?' I was like, 'Well, you know, what about Parks and Recreation? You might really like that.' She goes, 'Oh, I watched all of it already.' It was so hard for me not to be like, 'GET IN YOUR ROOM AND WATCH 30 ROCK!' I wanted to spank her," Fey joked. "I felt like that woman in Big Little Lies when she found out that Zoë Kravitz gave her kid birth control. I was like, 'You come to ME for that! You don't go to aunt Amy and Mike Schur!'"
Neither of Fey's daughters has shown any interest in her work—with the exception of Mean Girls, which is being adapted into a Broadway musical set to debut in 2018. "They've been coming to rehearsals every now and then, and that's exciting," the actress and playwright said, admitting it might be the one project she's done in her career "that they're truly excited about."
That said, Fey's daughters might be too young to understand its nuances. Last spring, for example, her younger daughter watched a run-through and left with "all the wrong takeaways," Fey said. "She was going back to her preschool like, 'Let's play Mean Girls. I'm Regina. I yell at you. I'm a sassy teenager!' I'm like, 'No! It is very positive at its core—a very positive message!'"
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