Dolly Parton is a one-woman entertainment dynamo, famous for her blonde locks, which are always portable, since she adores wigs. Tina Fey is a comic genius and author who has created, written and produced some of the most memorable movies and TV in the last three decades. Both ladies know the feeling of having a hit on their hands, on-screen, on record, or on stage.
At 75, Dolly Parton’s engagement docket is as cram-packed as ever. The “Coat of Many Colors” artist overflows with joy and gratitude at the opening of this season’s Flower and Food Festival at Dollywood, as noted in a Country Music Alley feature. An all-new display greets guests to the resort complex, featuring the image of Dolly Parton’s mother, Avie Lee, depicted in beautiful native blossoms, as she sews the garment that is the subject of the song.
At the moment, Tina Fey doesn’t have a spare moment to smell the flowers. She’s got another hit on her hands with Girls5Eva, her Peacock gal pal singing group show. As Today and Entertainment Weekly per MSN relate, Fey’s circumstances in portraying Dolly Parton came to last resort, but her routine for preparing to play Dolly is pure gold and definitely something to delight the lady herself.
Tina Fey becomes the only choice to play Dolly Parton
Longtime Dolly Parton fans remember the warm SNL welcome for the country music wonder back in April of 1989. She took both hosting duties and musical guest honors, and recalls that it was a “long, laborious night,” although her smile never dims. She quickly discovered the rigors of truly “live” TV, and let’s just say that no one needs to think that Dolly wants to have a return engagement to the late-night standard anytime soon. “I never worked so hard in my life,” Parton summarizes.
Of course, Tina Fey cut her comedic teeth on SNL wit and repartee. The idea of being overworked actually inspires the idea of portraying Dolly Parton. The Girl5Eva storyline incorporates the true-life story of how Dolly Parton wrote “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” on the same day, judging by how the rough-cut versions are together on the same dated cassette. The character, Dawn, played by Sara Bareilles, is hallucinating under the wear of being overworked when Parton appears to her.
Ready, willing and tested
Per TV land protocol, viewers can only watch and wait to know what magic Dolly Parton imparts to the character, but shooting the episode couldn’t wait. “We kept trying to contact Dolly Parton,” Tina Fey asserts to Jimmy Fallon this week, but since the series episodes filmed in the middle of the pandemic, time was getting too close to hope for the legend in person for the “crazy episode.”
By perfect coincidence, Tina Fey was there and tested free of the virus. The star steps into Dolly Parton’s shoes, likely high heels, perfectly. Perhaps a better blonde wig is in order, though. Still, there’s something positive for health and availability. Tina Fey describes how she got her “Weekend Update” slot on SNL just because “she’s around.” No one regrets that spur of the moment call.
The perfect song snippet to bring Tina Fey to her Dolly Parton presence
Tina Fey masters a myriad of unforgettable characters, both on TV and in movies. The actress is not alone in drawing from a Dolly Parton classic for inspiration. She does, however, select a somewhat unusual snippet from “9 to 5” for motivation in pulling off becoming Dolly Parton.
Many a working woman awakes to the command to “pour myself a cup of ambition” in the movie theme song. In contrast, Tina Fey finds alternate Dolly Parton lyrics to leave her in the perfect Parton state of mind.
Before every line, Tina Fey had to spiritedly sing “yawn and stretch and try to come to life,” the comedienne discredits the performance as “Halloween quality” but bets are that Dolly Parton disagrees. The proof is in the pudding, and fans are sure to show their love.
Another diehard Dolly Parton fan from SNL
Dolly Parton radiates and evokes love around the globe. When it comes to Saturday Night Live, the music legend and global ambassador of good never needs to look far. She has another adamant admirer among the talented SNL family– one who sings, too.
Melissa Villasenor wowed Dolly Parton fans and SNL lovers alike last Christmas when she “Dolly-ized” a few Christmas classics to match her favorite music marvel’s style. The versatile cast member explains in several interviews how Dolly Parton became “my best friend” through the pandemic. Melissa particularly took inspiration from the audio version of Dream More by Dolly. For her part, Parton feels “flattered” by Villasenor’s devotion and impressions. “I’ve never looked or sounded better,” Dolly Parton compliments.
Dolly Parton surely appreciates the tributes from SNL and Girls5Eva. She follows her musical and creative passions with unparalleled hard work and dedication and never gives up on the next act in life.
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