Tina Fey
Source: Getty

Tina Fey Plays a Sarah Koenig-Esque Podcast Host on 'Only Murders in the Building'

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Sep. 7 2021, Published 2:17 p.m. ET

The cast of the Hulu original, Only Murders in the Building, is already star-studded with Martin Short (Oliver Putnam), Selena Gomez (Mabel Mora), and Steve Martin (Charles-Haden Savage) playing the main characters, but there have also been a few notable A-list cameos that have kept viewers intrigued.

Amy Ryan, Nathan Lane, and Sting, have all appeared on the comedy as side characters, and Tina Fey is the latest to join the cast in a guest role on the fourth episode, "The Sting."

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The 30 Rock actress plays Cinda Canning, a top true crime podcast creator who hosts All Is Not OK in Oklahoma. Arconia residents Mabel, Charles, and Oliver originally bonded over their shared obsession for the podcast.

While Cinda is not a real person, she does bear a resemblance to a real-life true crime podcaster.

'Only Murders in the Bulding'
Source: Hulu
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Cinda Canning is the "queen of murder podcasts" on 'Only Murders in the Building.'

In the debut episode of the show, as the residents of the Arconia are forced to vacate due to a fire alarm incident, Oliver, Mabel, and Charles connect about their love for All Is Not OK in Oklahoma.

Once they learn that Tim Kono (Julian Cihi) was actually killed during the aforementioned fire alarm scare, they decide to host a true crime podcast of their own.

Though Cinda's podcast is a driving force in Only Murders in the Building, the fourth episode is the first time that viewers can put a face to the name and to the voice.

The Only Murders in the Building hosts meet with her (and her lookalike assistants) to discuss what it would mean for them to accuse Sting of Tim's murder on their show.

She tells them that they key to a successful investigation is to "embrace the mess," and the main characters spend the rest of the episode doing so.

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Is Cinda Canning based on a real person in 'Only Murders in the Building'?

The two-time Peabody Award winner was created for the sake of the Hulu series, but she will likely remind avid true crime podcast listeners of Sarah Koenig.

Aside from the obvious similarities in the pronunciations of their surnames, Cinda resembles Sarah in other ways. The two share a look with dark hair and glasses, and their calming and even-toned voices are alike as well.

sarahkoenig
Source: Getty
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The success of All Is Not OK in Oklahoma seems to mirror the cultural impact of Serial too. While Cinda sells her podcasting talents for $30 million, Sarah and her Serial production team were acquired by The New York Times for $25 million in 2020.

Both the fictional podcast and the real true crime series follow murders. While Only Murders in the Building doesn't go too in-depth about the killing featured on All Is Not OK in Oklahoma, Sarah captivated listeners with her 12-episode first season of Serial. It focused on the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, and the subsequent imprisonment of Adnan Syed.

In addition to Cinda's character, other aspects of the comedy may have been inspired by Sarah Koenig and Serial. The piano tune played in between scenes of the show is also reminiscent of the Serial theme music.

New episodes of Only Murders in the Building debut on Tuesdays on Hulu.

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