Review: Tina Fey’s Bossypants

 Oh my God, how much did I TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY FRACKING LOVE THIS BOOK?!?!?!?!?! Not only is Tina Fey one of my top five “I would totally go gay for you” crushes, but this book continues to cement in my mind that she is beautiful, funny, and an incredible business woman. Tina discusses everything from growing up in the suburbs, getting her period, and how to keep your daughter a virgin forever (hint: theatre camp, Greek eyebrows, and gay best friends) to working for Second City Improv in Chicago, writing for Saturday Night Live and then, of course, 30 Rock. The book is part comedy manifesto, part autobiography, part behind-the-scenes look at being one of the leading ladies of comedic television (and, really, television in general). She hits on body issues, commitment issues, getting along in the workplace, and finding comfort in being yourself. This book was amazing and, I have to say, had me laughing out loud every few minutes. Seriously. My boyfriend believes I have either gone crazy or started taking psychotropic drugs because of my random bursts of laughter. And, after the heaviness that was Escape, it was wonderful to read another book about another empowering woman that didn’t make me feel like cutting off every penis I come across or crying my pretty little eyes out.

I was SO LUCKY that the library had this sitting on the shelf when I happened to chance by, and I don’t think I’ve ever had as many people stop and say “ohmygodthatsthebookIwanttobereadingrightnowyou’resocool
andluckytohaveitI’mnowinstantlyinlovewithyou.” Or something like that. I could continue to rant and rant and rant about how much I love this book (which I do) and Tina Fey in general (which I also do, but in a much more naughty way) but this post has already topped the 1,000 word-good-gracious-how-can-you-write-that-much mark that I try to stick to, so instead I’ll just leave you with a smattering of quotes that made me laugh so hard, I’m pretty sure I felt a little pee come out. But don’t think these are the only funny part’s. They aren’t. So the book is still totally worth reading for yourself. Trust me!

On her first day at school: “We colored together in silence. I was so used to being praised and encouraged that when I finished my drawing I held it up to show Alex, who immediately ripped it in half. I didn’t have the language to express my feelings then, but my thoughts were something like ‘Oh, it’s like that, motherfucker? Got it.’

On getting a pamphlet about her period from her mother: “The explanatory text was followed by a lot of drawings of the human reproductive system that my brain refused to memorize. (To this day, all I know is there are between two and four openings down there and that the setup inside looks vaugely like the Texas Longhorns logo.)”

On inheriting traits from her father: “It’s my face, too, it turns out. The cheekbones later discovered there by a team of gay excavators are courtesy of my dad. “

Discussing one of her primary crushes in college: “I met HRW (Handsome Robert Wuhl) the next evening at his off campus apartment…He introduced me to one of his roommates, Jess or Chris or something. He was a wiry little guy who would be joining us on the climb. This was news to both me and Jess-Chriss. To say he was unfriendly would hte the biggest understatement since the captain of the Hindenburg said ‘I smell gas.’ He alternated between ignoring me and shooting me disdainful looks that clearly said ‘Who is this ugly off-brand non-sorority girl ruining our homo-erotic bro-times?'”

A moment that is both funny and, also, insightful: “My dream for the future is that sketch comedy shows become a gender-blind meritocracy of whoever is really the funniest. You might see four women and two men. You might see five men and a YouTube video of a kitten sneezing. Once we know we’re really open to all the options, we can proceed with Whatever’s the Funniest…which will probably involve farts.”

From the chapter on beauty tips: 2.) The Right Undergarments Are an Essential Part of Your Silhouette – I developed breasts very early, around nine years old. I developed breasts so weird and high, it’s possible they were above my collarbone. At that point, wearing a bra was not so much about holding the breasts up, as clarifying that they were not a goiter”

MY FAVORITE QUOTE FROM THE ENTIRE BOOK: “We should leave people alone about their weight. Being chubby for a while (provided you don’t give yourself diabetes) is a natural phase of life and nothing to be ashamed of. Like puberty or slowly turning in to a Republican.”

This passage is a bit long, so bear with it, but it’s totally worth it! It comes from the section where Tina is responding to some of her ‘fan-mail’:
Posted by jerkstore on “In my opinion Tina Fey completely ruined SNL. The only reason she’s celebrated is because she’s a woman and an outspoken liberal. She has not a single funny bone in her body.”
                Dear Jerkstore,

                           Huzzah for the Truth Teller! Women in this country have been over-celebrated from too long. Just last night there was a story on my local news about a “missing girl”, and they must have dedicated seven or eight minutes to “where she was last seen” and “how she might have been abducted by a close family friend”, and I thought “What is this, News for Chicks?” Then there was some story about Hillary Clinton flying to some country because she’s secretary of state. Why do we keep talking about these dumdums? We are a society that constantly celebrates n one but women and it must stop! I want to hear what the men of the world have been up to. What fun new guns have they invented? What are they raping these days? What’s Michael Bay’s next film going to be?
                      When I first set out to ruin SNL, I didn’t think anyone would notice, but I persevered because – like you trying to do a nine-piece jigsaw puzzle – it was a labor of love.
                      I’m not one to toot my own horn, but I feel safe with you, jerk-store, so I’ll say it. Everything you ever hated on SNL was by me, and anything you ever liked was by someone else who did it against my will. Sincerely, Tina Fey.
                     PS: You know who does have a funny bone in her body? Your mom every night for a dollar.”

Last one, promise!: “‘Blorft’ is an adjective I just made up that means ‘Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.’ I have been blorft every day for the past seven years.”

Happy reading, and I’m hoping to be back soon with another Library Loot!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kathy Johnson
    May 11, 2011 @ 00:43:46

    I’ve got this book on reserve at my library, though I’m number 181 on the list! Eventually it will make its way into my eager little hands…. Thanks for the little taste of what’s to come.


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