The moment Tina Fey joked on the Emmys red carpet about planning something funny for this year’s awards, we were sure that she would continue her tradition of photobombing her fellow nominees. It started a year or so ago, when she slyly popped up behind Mariska Hargitay on the red carpet at the SAG Awards:
Then at last year’s Emmys, she chose buddy Amy Poehler as her photobomb victim, creeping on her serious photos…
…as well as in .gif form!
And since this season of 30 Rock is the last, Tina’s days of Emmy nominations are numbered. (At least, until she cooks up her new meta sitcom, but we figure she’ll take at least a season-long break.) So, she needed to go out with a bang. She was even talking about it on the red carpet! “We’re gonna party like it’s 1996,” she told ABC red carpet correspondent Chris Harrison, adding that “We’ve been trying to watch famous series finales in our writer’s room every day.”
At least, I took these references as code that we should have our eyes glued to the TV screen to catch her sidling up to someone, be it Amy or a new victim. Instead, all we got was this bit she and Jon Hamm did:
Sure, it was a cute bit — because Jon and Tina always are — but we knew that it was coming. What made the photobombs of past such successes were how no one expected them; they were utter surprises, the kind of .gif that yanked a disbelieving laugh out of you, and then immediately you had to share it with your friends.
I’m not saying that Tina abstaining from photobombing this year means that she was less of a presence. It’s Tina Fey! She’ll probably be at future awards even if she doesn’t have a show on the air to be nominated. It’s just that the photobombing had become tradition, so to not see that irreverence at this year’s awards made me feel like the show hasn’t quite ended. So, I’m still refreshing Tumblr in the hopes that I missed out on some spontaneous little moment. And til then, we always have Amy Poehler’s brilliant prank.