Ty Pennington: Well, this is awesome. First of all, let's talk about the fact that you guys totally spoofed us on the show [last year]. I was in New York, actually, launching my new line there when I turned on the TV, and out of nowhere, I hear my name. And then I see Seth [Myers] with his shirt off. I was going to run down [to the NBC studio] because I was right around the corner. I thought it was super-hilarious.
Tina Fey: I wish I could say that I wrote that, but it was one of our writers, Eric Kenworth. It was funny because it kind of outed the fact that Eric watches your show. He's, like, a "guy comedy writer," and then he wrote this really detailed sketch about your show. [Both laugh] Usually the writers cast [someone] based on who can imitate the person and who looks like him, but also with that [sketch] it was, like, "All right, who can get shirtless?"
Ty: And he screams every word he says into a megaphone. That's my thing.
Tina: Right. The whole week I was like, "Seth, you've got to go get a spray tan," because he was really pasty. He was like, "Really?" I think they ended up putting a ton of makeup on him to make him look tan.
Ty: [Laughs] Nice.
Tina: I'm not implying that your tan is a spray-on. [Laughs]
Tina: I'm glad you liked it. We've tried a bunch of times to do a Trading Spaces parody and we could never really do it. It's too many sets for us because you need the "before" and "after...."
Ty: Didn't you once go to the set of a Trading Spaces?
Tina: I totally crashed it. They were shooting one right near my apartment so I just went over there. I was such a nerd I kept walking by until someone said, "Hey, what's up?" I was like, "Oh, hey."
Ty: Let's talk about the stress of doing [live TV]. We did a live show in New York, for these firefighters and it was my first real taste of live television. That's what you guys deal with on a regular basis, huh?
Tina: Yeah. I think people almost forget that we're live because it's very rare that anything gets screwed up. But you guys have to speak extemporaneously on your show. We are reading cards, so it's a little bit easier. But I love live because
Ty: Because you never know what's going to happen. Have you ever had somebody come in and you guys had rehearsed all this stuff, and then they do something completely different than what you've rehearsed?
Tina: I can't think of anyone who's purposely messed with us, but it is interesting to see someone who's a great movie actor and they become Cindy Brady and freeze up in a live sketch . Sometimes if someone's in town, they'll just show up last-minute and jump in [on Weekend Update]. We had James Gandolfini on there one time who's, obviously, a fantastic actor. It was the first night that Amy [Poehler] and I were doing Update together and we were totally nervous, and he was so nervous, like, "I'm going to pass out." [Ty laughs] We were no help to him "We're nervous, too. You gotta suck it up."
Ty: I watched it that first time and you two were so awesome, though. It's like "the Estrogen Channel." It's fantastic.
Tina: [Laughs] Well, I've known Amy for a super long time so it was much easier than switching over [from Jimmy Fallon] to a stranger. We toured together with Second City, which is a comedy theater. I imagine that it is a little bit like what your life is like. "All right, everybody in the van, next destination...."
Ty: What's great about my job is I'm not overproduced, [which is important] especially with the emotions I'm dealing with on that show. Let's be honest, I went from being the sarcastic carpenter to, all of a sudden, the male Oprah. [Tina laughs] I wanted to do something positive, but I didn't realize how emotionally it would affect me. I've basically had therapy in front of America.
Tina: The show is so positive. The first one I saw, with that sweet lady, Alice? What an amazing lady! She was in Watts, right?
Ty: Yeah. She runs a school that helps train people on the computer so they can get jobs. She's just a really wonderful person who really cared about her community. I remember when we brought her home to her house, she had this breakdown in the kitchen....
Tina: She was, like, laughing and then she got to the kitchen and it hit her all of a sudden.
Ty: And then all of a sudden I'm hit with these emotions and I turn away and I hear, "Dude, don't turn away from the camera." There's a lot of negativity out there so it's great to be involved in something positive.
Tina: I saw another one where you [had your appendix out] and I thought you were up and around really fast. My husband had an appendectomy like that.
Ty: What we're really shooting to do is, like, open-heart surgery. [Tina laughs] We gotta step it up a notch. Raise the bar.
Tina: Are there ever moments where you're building and people are working so fast and... anybody ever just lose a finger?
Ty: Whenever you're working on power tools and they've got a camera in your face, it's supposedly inevitable. There was one time when somebody shot a nail gun right into my middle finger. But they couldn't show it
Tina: Because it was "the finger"!
Ty: Right. Did anybody ever trip and chip a tooth on your show?
Tina: Well, there's so much adrenaline doing the actual show that people will wake up Sunday morning and be like, "Oh, I'm really bruised up!" And they won't even know where it came from. One time Amy had to do a sketch where she had fallen through a trash chute into a dumpster. She hit the bottom and passed out for a second and then was like, "Where am I? Oh, right. I'm in the middle of a TV show!" [Ty laughs] Now when you go into Sears, can you just take whatever you want and walk out? "It's me. I got it!"
Ty: [Laughs] They've been really cool to me. When they approached me to design a line of furnishings, I was like, "Are you serious? This is something I've been dreaming my life to do." The line's doing really well.
Tina: It's good-looking stuff. I was looking at it online. I should have a line! I could have eyeglasses and pencils.
Ty: I was going to say, Mean Girls [which Fey wrote and costarred in] was just awesome.
Tina: Thank you. When we were shooting that in Toronto and I was checking into a hotel, you were checking in at the same time. I saw you, but I was too shy to introduce myself.
Ty: Are you kidding me?
Tina: I was like, [Nervous whisper] "It's the guy from Trading Spaces!" Which one of us is a sex symbol, Ty?
Ty: [But] is it awkward for you to be treated like a sex symbol?
Tina: [Laughs] I don't actually get treated that way. Anywhere.
Ty: You don't?
Tina: Well... I was in a Dairy Queen recently, just going to town on burgers and ice cream, and this lady came up with her son and she was like, "My son wants to meet you. He thinks you're hot." I thought, "Well, this should prove it" sweats and eating a banana-cream Blizzard! How do you feel [about the fact] that ever since you got noticed on Trading Spaces, all of a sudden there are 50 shows with hot carpenters?
Ty: Well, this has been great. I really do think you're a really talented human being, so I wish continued success. And if you ever need a topless guy....
Tina: OK! [Laughs] And if you're in New York again and you feel like dropping by the studio, just drop by.
Ty: Oh, I will! I'll bring the biggest megaphone invented. And I'll bring, like, 12 topless guys.
Tina: [Laughs] Then definitely drop by.
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