Comedian Tina Fey recently paid tribute to Saturday Night Live performer Jan Hooks, who passed away unexpectedly on October 9 at the age of 57. She also managed to roast Rob Schneider in the process.

Fey was speaking at Elle’s Women In Hollywood Awards on Monday, mentioning that she had cast Hooks to play Jane Krakowski’s estranged Florida mother on 30 Rock. Fey spoke on how Hooks was under appreciated in Hollywood.

Fey spoke about Hooks to Vanity Fair prior to the awards ceremony, saying “We needed to cast Jane Krakowski’s estranged Florida dirtbag mother, and I thought, My God, do you think we could get Jan Hooks? And the answer was like, ‘Yeah, you can get her.’ She was living in Woodstock. And the phone was not ringing.”

Monday at the Elle ceremony, Fey elaborated on her admiration for Hooks and managed to take a dig at Rob Schneider of all people. “It made me sad when she passed,” Fey said, “and it made me mad at the time how available she was. Jan should have had a bigger career. Jan deserved a big movie career. Certainly as big as Rob Schneider’s f*cking career. She was a bigger star on SNL.”

Schneider was a popular SNL cast member from 1986-1993, and has built a lucrative career making terrible movies. His most famous films are the Deuce Bigalow films. Hooks, meanwhile, starred on SNL from 1990-1994 and her career never really blossomed beyond that.

“She [Hooks] was actually a little shy about jumping back into the game,” Fey said about Hooks coming to 30 Rock. “And she came down and she was so funny. We did a scene where Jenna and her mother are reunited [and they] sing their duet that they used to sing in pageants when Jenna was a child. And it was a mother and a daughter singing to each other, ‘Do that to me one more time . . . ‘”

Tina Fey has not heard from Rob Schneider yet regarding the random dig.

[photo credit: jtbrennan]