Edith “Little Edie” Beale, one of the subjects of the Maysles brothers 1975 documentary Grey Gardens, has one of the more distinctive accents ever recorded. On last night’s episode of 30 Rock, Tina Fey took her best shot at an imitation, having Liz Lemon conduct an entire press conference in Little Edie’s voice — or, to be more precise, the voice of “Drew Barrymore’s impression of that crazy lady.” (Barrymore played Edie in HBO’s recent Grey Gardens, an adaption of the documentary.) Liz didn’t utter any of Little Edie’s most famous quips (“This is the best outfit for the day,” etc.), but otherwise really went for it. How did she compare to the real thing?
Here’s Liz holding a press conference to donate $5 million to “a high school for drama, the arts, and feelings,” in full Grey Gardens mode:
And a quip in the same voice from earlier in the episode:
Here’s Barrymore’s impression of Edie Beale, from HBO’s Grey Gardens:
And here’s the real deal:
Not so bad! Now let’s see Fey try to do Sarah Palin doing Little Edie.