I love funny women and I love reading books. So, when a funny woman writes a book you bet your sweet ass I’m going to buy it and devour it. Which is exactly what I did with”Bossypants” by Tina Fey.
“Bossypants” is a self-help business book buried in a memoir that’s been wrapped in a 30 Rock script. Her stories of being a female comic in what is arguably still a boy’s club should be read by anyone who identifies as a minority in their business field. And because it’s so damn funny it should really be read by everyone.
“I don’t fucking care if you like it.” -Amy Poehler to Jimmy Fallon
That is one of many pieces of advice you can expect to learn from the book. This gem comes from fellow writer and actor Amy Poehler who was being foul instead of “lady like” during an SNL meeting. Fey begins the memory by saying, “Amy made it clear that she wasn’t there to be cute. She wasn’t there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys’ scenes.”
Her anecdotes range from her youth, to being a wide-eyed midwesterner at Second City after college graduation, to befriending two adult lesbians and a gay guy at her town’s summer theater arts program as a teen. She approaches all of her stories with her signature wit and self-deprecation. The standout recollections to me were the stories of how the three older theater gays shaped her; she treats them with more candor than any other experience in the book.
If you’re looking for a tell-all tale from Tina about catty Saturday Night Live actors or weird secrets from Lorne Michaels then this isn’t your book. Fey keeps the reader just outside of her personal life and instead focuses on sharing small slices that end with a lesson learned, or a penis joke. Her humor, excellent-hyphenated-word-combinations, and open letter to the internet keep you smirking, and you will definitely LOL.
What is a little irritating is that there are eight pages used to highlight funny jokes on 30 Rock that were written by other writers. I get it Tina, you’re humble. While the jokes are effing hysterical I wish you would have used those eight pages to talk more about leading creative people. Or more about negotiation tactics. Or at least mention a really awesome sandwich. One of my favorite parts of the book are her thoughts on body image, photoshop, and how shocked she was that a certain feminist magazine used photoshop, just like everyone else.