Lena's Reviews > Bossypants

Bossypants by Tina Fey
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's review
May 29, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: humor, memoir

Tina Fey first became vaguely familiar to the American public when she began co-hosting the "Weekend Update" segment of Saturday Night Live. Though she was the first female head writer of SNL and creator and star of the award-drenched sitcom 30 Rock, it was her ability to expertly wield her passing resemblance to Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential campaign that finally shot her to the heights of youtube fame.

Bossypants is a memoir of sorts, discussing a few choice bits from her childhood, the outline of events that led her to New York and the ultimate accusation that she was "exploiting" the Palin family. It is very funny, extremely well written, and very, very fascinating.

I remember watching Fey during 2008 and wondering just how she was able to pull off doing her own show at the same time as playing Palin on SNL. In this book, she goes behind the scenes to talk about not only trying to keep things together for both of those obligations, but also having to pull off her daughter's Peter Pan-themed birthday party at the same time. Her response to Oprah telling her she might be a touch over-committed is priceless.

Though the insider's view into that time was the most interesting part of the book for me, there is plenty to delight elsewhere as well. Her sordid tale of her honeymoon cruise, observations about having been both a little bit fat and a little bit too thin, and her response to internet critics who accuse her of being an "overrated troll" are particularly rich.

Mixed in amongst the humor are also some extremely poignent observations about working as a woman in comedy and as a female boss. Fey seeks no pity as she points out the double-standards that still exist in these areas. We can only hope that she uses the second half of her life to combat them as effectively and hilariously as she has the first.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Petra X (new)

Petra X I'm not really a fan of Tina Fey although I did find her Palin quite funny (nearly as funny as the real thing), but you do make the book sound interesting, so I think I'll order it and see if it grabs me.

Lena I am a fan of Tina, so I was predisposed to like it. But I'll be curious to hear how it works for you.

message 3: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan So many people are reading and enjoying this. I do find her funny, mostly as her Palin self. I couldn't believe finding her so funny on SNL then seeing the real interview and seeing how little ad-libbing or acting she had to do. Scary!

Lena It was really interesting to hear her talk about the whole process of doing impersonations and what makes some people so good at it. She doesn't consider herself to be one of them, but she did talk about learning how to mimic Palin and how fantastic that Katie Couric interview was - talk about comedy writing itself.

Deborah Edwards Lena, I'm a big fan of Tina and am so looking forward to this book. Does she discuss dealing with SNL's purported history of putting female comedians on the back burner and the struggle to have their sketches used? She and Lorne are close, so I wasn't sure if she glossed over that part.

Lena It's not something she spends a lot of time on, but she does mention it. She gives a couple of examples that highlight the issue and talks about the fact that, at SNL at least, it has changed since she first arrived. But she probably addresses feminist issues more in her discussion of the criticism she got of her Palin jokes and the overall media treatment of Palin and Clinton during the campaign. Fascinating stuff.

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