Saturday, August 13, 2011

CR Review #25: Bossypants by Tina Fey

While I'm definitely a fan of the off-beat sense of humor on 30 Rock, I was not a particular fan of Tina Fey when she was the head writer and did Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live. But looking back, her stuff was much funnier than most of the skits and headlines that make it onto the show these days (sorry, Seth Myers). I was curious to read her book and find out which Tina was the author: the quirky, bizarre Tina from 30 Rock, or the feminist "women are funny, too" humor from SNL.

Bossypants turns out to be a nice mixture of both. Tina's book is a collection of essays, mostly about how she got to where she is today: she sold tickets for the local PA teen theatre troupe, she studied drama at UVA, she did improv at Second City in Chicago, she got her job at SNL and found herself under Lorne Michaels' wing, leading to her job today as star and executive producer of her own show. Tina is very keen to have the reader know that she is very lucky to have the job she has (comparing being on 30 Rock to being, say, a Chilean Miner was a cute way to be self-deprecating), she hates being known as a working mother, and that being famous is not as glamorous as you might think. Her detailed breakdown of what its like to be at a professional photo shoot was pretty interesting (I assumed as much about the prevalence of Photoshop, but never really considered how the stylists fit everyone into the same size dresses and shoes).

I enjoyed her detailed explanation of the whole Sarah Palin situation: how it came about that she guest-starred on SNL, what it was like playing alongside Sarah Palin, what her republican parents thought about it, etc. And I laughed out loud twice in the chapter about her teenage theater job in rural PA. But my favorite part of the book was the fact that Tina Fey has a pretty dirty mouth. I was surprised by the number of raunchy insults and swears, and I enjoyed every last one of them. Thanks, Tina Fey, for teaching me some new insults!

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