UVa German Club

Tina Fey and I have some things in common. We are both graduates of the University of Virginia — Mr. Jefferson’s university. (Tina Fey graduated 15 years after I did.) We both speak German, as well. Which leads me to wonder/assume that Tina Fey studied German at UVa, as I did. Was she even in the UVa German Club, of which I was president at one time? I still have my brown T-shirt (yes, arguable taste) with “Mehr Licht” on the back.

Die Tina Fey is ja ganz toll, sogar ‘super’. Sie ist eine heutigen Lucille Ball. Friede, mjh

PS: Until the early 1900’s, German was America’s second language, more widely spoken than any other. (I grant that everyone may have been ignoring Spanish speakers at that point.) There were many native German speakers, immigrants and their descendants, and German was the most popular language in school. It is understandable that two world wars changed that. Deutsch is aber eine schöne Sprache, die klinkt so schön. Leide, dass so viele Leute erkennen das nicht.

PPS: “Mind providing some context for this cavedweller?,” a friend asks. Tina Fey is a comedian, even a comedienne, and a comic writer. I learned of her through her position as writer and weekend news anchor on Saturday Night Live, a popular late-night sketch-comedy show on Saturdays. As I said above, Tina Fey is reminiscent of Lucy Ball: She is hilarious, wickedly clever and beautiful. She currently writes, produces and stars in 30Rock, a must-see comedy on NBC Thursday nights. She co-stars with Alec Baldwin, whom I love nearly as much as brilliantly funny. They are a dynamic duo — both are brilliantly funny. A recurring thread in the show is that, now and then, Liz Lemon (Tina) and Jack Dohnagy (Alec) speak German, with subtitles. (Now, we learn, Kenneth the Page also speaks German.) Last night’s episode involved 3 Germans. Part of the joke hinged on Fey misspeaking in German, selling NBC rather than buying the German cable network. I am so grateful that this twist was not translated as it happened. I feel it was a deep-inside joke. Vielen dank!

[tweaked 1/12/08]

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