LOS ANGELES — Isn't it just like Tina Fey to have something go haywire on the night she's recognized for her many talents?
"If anyone's seen my purse," Fey announced to reporters backstage after winning three Emmys, "I left it under my seat."
It might have been the first thing the "30 Rock" mastermind did wrong all night after picking up trophies for outstanding comedy writing, comedy series and lead actress in a comedy.
When prodded by reporters, she humbly dodged praise and questions about her contributions.
"I think our cast is diverse and talented," she said in one breath.
"We've had the greatest guest stars," she said in another.
"Alec (Baldwin) elevates the show to another level with his abilities," she said.
She even shrugged off her resemblance to Gov. Sarah Palin, whom she won raves for portraying on the season premiere of NBC's "Saturday Night Live."
"But then my kid saw her on TV and said, `That's Mommy!'" she said.
She was more open about her thoughts on reprising the "SNL" role. As in, she'd prefer not to.
"I want to be done playing this lady Nov. 5," she said. "So if anybody can help me be done playing this lady Nov. 5, that would be good for me."
Television comedy's Jill-of-all-trades has always been self-deprecating, mining her apparent struggle with life's chaos for her character on "30 Rock," her self-portrayal in a new series of American Express commercials and the persona she presents to the public.
But to win TV's top honors for creating, writing and starring in her own television show might've been more than even Fey can deflect. When cornered to say how she felt about the different Emmys, she finally turned off the modesty. Kinda.
"They look identical," Fey quipped. "Alec was just saying to me backstage that maybe this means I can now stop apologizing for being an actor and writing on the show. The one for the show, that really belongs to everybody, so I don't like it as much."
During his acceptance speech for lead comedy actor for "30 Rock," Baldwin noted that Fey was this generation's Elaine May, the director, screenwriter and actress who famously partnered with Mike Nichols onstage.
"We have the greatest writers, but the show was created by one woman," Baldwin said backstage. "This was Tina's idea. This was Tina's thing. She is the head writer. She is there every day, even when she's not shooting as an actress. She goes back and forth between acting and writing. We're very, very lucky."
NBC is owned by General Electric Co.
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(This version SUBS graf 9 to correct to `kid' from 'kids.' )