By Samantha Gillis
Does laughing until your belly aches sound appeasing? What about talking to a comedian for several hours to cure any pre-finals anxiety? If so, “Bossypants” by Tina Fey will ale any worry about that 500 point portfolio and leave tears of intense laughter running down your cheeks.
“Bossypants,” is a rare glimpse into the master mind of Tina Fey. Fey delivers a light hearted, captivating autobiography with a beam of feminism woven in. Her quirky humor laces the pages but never over powers the content.
She begins by telling about herself, her family, her early memories and her journey to becoming a television comedian, writer, producer and actress. In the typical Fey manner she addresses issues such as growing up, beauty, women in the work place, motherhood, and career success. When she addresses age she does so in a chapter called, “What turning forty means to me.” And in three sentences she declares the only difference is that now she has to take her pants off as soon as she gets home.
One of the best chapters is called, “Dear Internet” where she answers fan mail. I probably read this chapter three times to myself and then several more out loud to friends and family members—each time hysterically laughing. I won’t ruin what the chapter is about but I will say all of the mail she answers is from people who don’t necessarily like Fey. Her retorts are sarcastic, witty and brilliant.
Fey does gives some more serious advice especially to younger women. (Although this book is great for anyone who enjoys Fey, no matter the sex.) One bit of advice she pawns off to women is that they aren’t competing against other women for jobs, they are competing against everyone. This was interesting especially for women who may be going into the show business or television.
Fey speaks a lot about the Sarah Palin bit she did for Saturday Night Live and how she thought it was odd that people would think she would be hurting Palin’s feelings, when actors like Will Ferrell were never criticized for hurting George W. Bush’s feelings for doing his impressions.
She speaks about her fellow crew members at SNL with fondness. The anecdotes about the habits of writers and the interactions between comedians are fascinating and outrageous.
Throughout the book Fey includes photos of herself which add to the depth of the book. One especially great photo is of her in an all white denim suit, which she was/is especially proud of. There is another of her as a child in glasses which is particularly hilarious as well. Another element that adds to the depth of the book is how she has a plethora of lists scattered throughout the book, each adding humor in a way full paragraphs could not.
One piece of the book I wasn’t particularly fond of was how Fey felt the need to always put herself down. Although it can be entertaining to poke fun at one self, I thought after she got done telling about her awkward younger years the jabs to herself would stop but they did not. I just wanted her to embrace her weirdness and proclaim her awesomeness—but that never happened.
The book was a fantastic combination of humor, insight, content and words of wisdom. It is a great read for anyone who enjoys reading for leisure but wants something lighter to cool down for the end of the semester. The entire time I was reading the book I felt like Fey was in my living room speaking to me. I would just have one bit of advice, don’t read the book while in a crowded place—because I guarantee you won’t be able to keep your laughter harnessed.
Samantha Gillis is a senior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail her at email@example.com.