IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Tina Fey tells Jimmy Fallon how she saved a man's life

During a visit to “The Tonight Show,” she told her friend and former “SNL” alum about the rescue — and that the man still has no idea she was behind it.
/ Source: TODAY

Someone out there owes Tina Fey one heck of a thank-you note, but that person has no idea why.

When the actor, writer and comedian paid a visit to “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” Wednesday, she opened up about a recent incident that made her an unlikely lifesaver.

Watch TODAY All Day! Get the best news, information and inspiration from TODAY, all day long.

Earlier this year, Fey and her family decided lockdown in a New York City apartment left them feeling cooped up — especially daughters Alice, 15, and Penelope, 9 — so they rented a house with a backyard, a view of the Hudson River and, as they soon realized, a strange sound coming from the distance.

“The first morning that we were there, I was standing outside ... with my coffee, and I just hear something going, ‘Haaalp,’” she recalled, wondering, “Is that ‘help’ or a bird? Is that a person saying, ‘Help’?”

She asked Alice her opinion on the sound and eventually enlisted husband Jeff Richmond as a third listener, before they finally came to the consensus that someone was probably in distress. They then called the police and learned they were right.

Celebrities Visit Broadway - June 8, 2019
Jeff Richmond and Tina Fey pose with daughters Alice and Penelope (and actress Kerry Butler) backstage at the "Beetlejuice" musical on Broadway on June 8, 2019.Bruce Glikas / WireImage

"The cops take off, and then we found out, a couple of hours later, that it was a guy who flipped a kayak in the Hudson and was floating north in the Hudson — no oar,” Fey said. “They found him like a mile north in the river.”

“Tina, you saved a man’s life!” Fallon exclaimed.

The 50-year-old acknowledged that he was right, but she added that the man “doesn’t know that it was us.” And while she was happy to be his anonymous hero, she has a message for him and other on-the-water adventurers.

“Never kayak!” she insisted, then noting that the popular activity was only part of the problem. She also had something to say about the waterway that stretches from New York to New Jersey. “The Hudson? That’s not like a stream. It’s like a rat toilet!"