Tina Fey Outs SNL Alum Colin Quinn as ‘30 Rock’s ‘C Word’ Inspiration
30 Rock was borne of Tina Fey‘s real-life experiences working as a head writer for SNL, including those more frequently challenging than fulfilling. So too was the slur hurled in “The C Word” based on a real SNL cast member, now revealed by Fey herself as former Weekend Update host Colin Quinn.
The Season 1 episode in question saw Liz Lemon (Fey) overhearing one of the writers refer to her as the aforementioned C-word, which Fey herself revealed to have happened during her tenure at SNL. The story has floated around for years, but during a recent trip to Howard Stern, Fey admitted that Quinn was the basis for the incident:
We’ve since made up - I love him so much … it was Colin Quinn. I was trying to help him with a show that he was working on, and I think his anxiety about the writing of the show spilled over. It was very random. I was like, ‘What?!’ He left me a message and he said that.
That said, Fey quickly pointed out that they’d buried the hatchet, to the point Fey invited him to guest on 30 Rock on three occasions, all of which were turned down:
I asked Colin to be on 30 Rock like three times after that, and he turned us down every time. And then I saw him on Girls, and was like ‘He’s dead to me!’ But we’ve since reconnected, at the SNL 40th, actually, and we’re good.
Quinn himself acknowledged as much over Twitter:
No doubt plenty of 30 Rock has similarly storied basis in reality but good on Fey and Quinn for putting the ugliness behind them. That said, Stern jokingly points out that Quinn has no role in Fey’s upcoming Sisters, which itself hits theaters Friday. You can listen to the Stern exchange below.