Tina Fey was voted The Associated Press' Entertainer of the Year, an annual honor chosen by newspaper editors and broadcast producers across the country. Fey was selected by AP members as the performer who had the greatest impact on culture and entertainment in 2008.
What most impressed voters was her impression of Gov. Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live." Her cameos helped drive the show to record ratings and eventually drew an appearance from Palin herself.
"Tina Fey is such an obvious choice," said Sharon Eberson, entertainment editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "She gave us funny when we really needed it and, in a year when women in politics were making huge strides, Fey stood out in the world of entertainment."
Fey's 2008 was a full year, though. She also starred in Baby Mama
and won three Emmys for her NBC's sitcom "30 Rock," which she created, stars in and writes.
"She simultaneously entertained us with her wit and put a mirror up to the nation during the election and made us think about what was going on," said Scott Shive, assistant features editor at the Lexington Herald-Leader. "She is the epitome of the smart kid coming out on top for once."
The comedian bested runner-up Robert Downey Jr., whose comeback was capped with the blockbuster smash Iron Man
, and the third-place vote-getter, Heath Ledger, who posthumously wowed audiences as the Joker in The Dark Knight
Last year's AP Entertainer of the Year also went to a comedian whose satire blended in with politics: Stephen Colbert.