Tiny Fey’s sidesplitting autobiography showed up at the library just in the nick of time. Recent reads had taken me down a somber path, and I was more than ready for a little levity. Bossypants is an absolute belly laugh a minute. It’s also an interesting and poignant self-portrait of a woman who has made the most of her talents while not taking herself too seriously along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed it and if you’re a fan of Tina Fey, you will too.
Ms. Fey strings together a series of hilarious anecdotes that depict her life story–from a very normal upbringing with stable, hardworking parents through a typically awkward adolescence and young adulthood, and on to those lean Second City years where she learned her craft and earned street cred. What is it about Second City? It’s like a petri dish for comedy–producing an endless strain of funny people.
The chapters devoted to working on Saturday Night Live were the most fascinating for me, since it was through SNL that I came to appreciate Tina Fey. We are let in to the mysterious world of SNL and given a glimpse into her experiences and ascension through the ranks.
Who will ever forget Tina Fey as Sarah Palin? Long after that woman becomes a footnote within modern U.S. history, Tina Fey’s impersonation will forever resonate as one of the funniest bits of political satire in this generation’s memory. Ms. Fey gives us her perspective on what it was like to portray Sarah Palin. SNL has long been recognized as a social and political barometer for America, and Ms. Fey acknowledges that the show played a role in the 2008 election when the stakes were very high. But for all the laughs her Sarah Palin brought to so many, there was a backlash from the right and of course much of their vitriol was directly targeted at Tina Fey. Sometimes comedy can be very serious.
Some of the greatest laughs in Bossypants come when Ms. Fey tackles personal topics–like marriage, motherhood, being female. Yes, the themes are familiar, but the punch lines are as fresh as they come. And in the midst of the laughs lies an endearing sincerity, sans schmaltz.
I recommend reading Bossypants in private. It’s impossible and even a little unhealthy to try to stifle your guffaws. I gave my family a break one Sunday and read in my backyard, thinking I could laugh out there with complete abandon. At one point, I spotted my neighbor sneaking a peek at me through his fence. I panicked. How long had he been there, watching me laughing like a lunatic by myself? Oh well. It’s my garden and I’ll laugh if I want to! So I kept on reading. While I was out there, I couldn’t help but picture one Sarah Palin tiptoeing off to her own backyard (where she normally keeps an eye on Russia), to secretly savor Bossypants, beehive hair rhythmically waving with every repressed laugh. What a great visual.
Bossypants does not disappoint!