Tina Fey has said in the past that someone once called her the c-word when she was the head writer on SNL, and that she even used that as the inspiration for the aptly named episode of 30 Rock, “The C Word.” Now, Howard Stern has finally gotten her to reveal that that person was Colin Quinn.
According to Fey, Quinn called her a c-nt for absolutely no reason in a “very random” phone message. A natural follow-up question here is “why?” But Fey still to this day has no idea, saying “I couldn’t even guess why [he said that]. Usually if someone calls you that, you’re like, ‘I know what I did.”
Now, acceptable use of that word can depend on a whole bunch of things, most importantly, probably, being what continent you’re on, and the gender of the name caller. Here, Colin Quinn, being an American man talking to his female boss, CAN ABSOLUTELY NOT USE THAT WORD. From the sound of it, Fey wasn’t happy with Quinn for a while, but they’ve since made up. (She even invited him to guest star on 30 Rock three separate times.) And she may not know what in her behavior (if anything) inspired Quinn’s outburst, but she’s taken the super chill route of giving him the benefit of the doubt.
I think he, I was trying to help him with a show he was working on and I think his anxiety about the writing of the show spilled over.
Here’s the segment, if you want to listen to Tina Fey squirm adorably as Stern refuses to let her get away with not naming names.
And for his part, Quinn acknowledged his wrong.
Statement: It's all true. I have used profanity when I've been angry at people. When I was wrong ( as with Tina) I've said sorry to them.— Colin Quinn (@iamcolinquinn) December 14, 2015