Katie Parker's Reviews > Bossypants

Bossypants by Tina Fey
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's review
Apr 08, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, new-releases, memoir
Read from April 05 to 11, 2011 , read count: 1

The new memoir from comedy writer/actress Tina Fey has been receiving a lot of praise, so I decided to include in my reads for the year. Unfortunately, I didn’t really love it as much as everyone else!
The book follows her life from her childhood in Pennsylvania to Chicago, and then to New York’s 30 Rock, both the address and the show. The book is definitely funny, especially the beginning. I was pretty much laughing out loud after every page, scaring/annoying my sleeping dog in the process. For example, take this quote of her first experience in kindergarten:

“I was so used to being praised and encouraged that when I finished my drawing I held it up to show Alex, who immediately ripped it in half. I didn’t have the language to express my feelings then, but my thoughts were something like “Oh, it’s like that, motherfucker? Got it.” Mrs. Fey’s change-of-life baby had entered the real world.”


“By nineteen, I had found my look. Oversize T-shirts, bike shorts, and wrestling shoes. To prevent the silhouette from being too baggy, I would cinch it at the waist with my fanny pack. I was pretty sure I would wear this look forever. The shirts allowed me to express myself with cool sayings like ‘There’s No Crying in Baseball’ and ‘Universität Heidelberg,’ the bike shorts showed off my muscular legs, and the fanny pack held all my trolley tokens. I was nailing it on a daily basis. Find something like this for yourself as soon as possible.”

However, the book fell short of my general expectations. I thought there would be several behind-the-scenes quips about SNL and 30 Rock, and while there were a few, those sections seemed so rushed! Maybe she was trying to cut out things that she thought everyone already knew, but it seemed like a lot was missing. I don’t know what, because I wasn’t there, but surely there were some funny moments coming up with some of those SNL sketches. Was she worried about writing about her friends? She talks about each of her 30 Rock writers, in turn, so I would assume that’s not it. (Of Donald Glover she says, “…he was our only ‘cool young person’ who could tell us ‘what the kids were listening to these days.’”) One part that she does elaborate on is the circumstances surrounding that first Sarah Palin sketch on SNL in 2008. Apparently she was simultaneously trying to coordinate and film Oprah’s appearance on 30 Rock and plan her daughter’s birthday party while practicing her Alaskan accent and fitting in rehearsals.

Anyway, it’s funny, but, like I said, it seemed incomplete. I liked it, but didn’t love it. It’s good for a quick read, but don’t expect to learn any shocking details about Tina’s life, or to get much gossip on her fellow writers and actors.

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