Tina Fey, Jan Hooks

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Tina Fey is paying tribute to late Saturday Night Live star Jan Hooks.

At last night's Elle Women in Hollywood, the 44-year-old funnylady told a story about recruiting Hooks to play the mother of Jane Krakowski's character Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock several years ago before Hooks' recent passing.

"We were doing 30 Rock and we needed to cast Jane Krakoski's estranged, Florida dirtbag mom. And I said, ‘Oh my God, do you think we could get Jan Hooks, because she's an idol of mine?'" Fey said from the stage during her speech. "And the answer was like, ‘Yeah, you can get her.' She was living in Woodstock and the phone was not ringing. And we called her and were like, ‘Do you want to do this?' And she was like, ‘OK.' And she was actually a little shy about kind of jumping back into the game and she came down and she was so funny."

"Jan was so funny and the crew was so mesmerized," Fey continued. "It made me sad when she passed and it made me mad at the time that how available she was. Jan should have had a bigger career. Jan deserved a big movie career, certainly as big as Rob Schneider's f--king [career]. She was a bigger star on SNL."

Jokes aside, Fey recalled the "deep sadness" she felt when she learned that Hooks had died at the age of 57 earlier this month.

Tina Fey, Neil Patrick Harris

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Earlier in the night, before Fey's emotional speech honoring Hooks, the Golden Globes host opened up about her advice for Neil Patrick Harris, who will be hosting the 2015 Oscars.

"My advice, though, is sing!" Fey told E! News. "Sing because you can. Just sing the whole time. He can really sing."

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