How Tina Fey's Girls5eva Dolly Parton impression differs from her Sarah Palin: 'No one asked for this'
The producer of the new Peacock series tells Jimmy Fallon they tried to get the real Parton, but when time ran out Fey had to step up to the plate.
Tina Fey isn't just an executive producer on the new Peacock comedy Girls5eva. She also makes a memorable appearance as Dolly Parton — or, rather, a hallucination of the country superstar who appears to an exhausted and overworked Dawn (Sara Bareilles) as she desperately tries to capture the songwriting magic that famously led Parton to write "Jolene" and "I Will Always Love You" in the same day.
But as Fey told Jimmy Fallon on NBC's The Tonight Show Thursday, her performance wasn't always the plan. In fact, it was a very last-minute bit of casting.
"Remember a long time ago when I looked a lot like Sarah Palin and everyone was like, 'You should play Sarah Palin'? This is the opposite of that," Fey explained. "No one asked for this. But it was the middle of the pandemic when we shot this whole show, and we just kept being like, 'Let's try to actually get Dolly to do this crazy episode.'"
Fey continued, "We kept trying to contact Dolly Parton, but the clock was running out, it was COVID, and then it was like this shoots the day after tomorrow... who's around? Who's already COVID-tested and in the system? It was me. That's how I've gotten most acting jobs: Who's around? That's how I got 'Weekend Update' with you! 'Eh, she's around.'"
Watch the video above. Girls5eva is streaming now on Peacock.
Girls5eva (TV show)