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Bossypants by Tina Fey

June 1, 2011

Every few years, I revise my celebrity raft and celebrity desert island lists. Which ten celebrities would I like to put on a raft and send off into the ocean, never to be heard from again? Conversely, which ten would I want stranded with me on the proverbial desert island? Tina Fey has been on my desert island list for a while. I might give her two spots on the island now.

She’s one of the funniest people working in show business today. Consistently smart, sharp-witted and hilarious. This book, which I listened to as an audiobook, is her take on various things: the expectations of motherhood, juggling her work with her family, writing for Saturday Night Live, the difference between male and female comedy writers (men pee in cups), portraying Sarah Palin, advice on being a good boss, and dealing with idiots on the Internet among other things. Her self-deprecating humor and nerdliness are endearing but deceptive—she can spit with the best of them. Her ability to simultaneously point out a person’s idiocy and snip their wings off with a well-played one-liner is best evidenced in the section where she responds to cheap-shot posts on entertainment and celebrity websites:

“Tina Fey is a pear-shaped, bitchy, overrated troll,” one poster suggests.

“To say I’m an overrated troll, when you have never even seen me guard a bridge, is patently unfair,” Fey counters, then addresses her pear-shapedness, then drops a line about using the Hubble telescope to find the poster’s genitals. Easy targets and cheap shots, for sure, but the result is pretty hilarious. And after all, these idiots chose the most cowardly form of criticism, website posts, and fired the first cheap shot. Fey simply shows that she can out-do them at their own game. It’s fun to see her punch them in eye.

It’s not uncommon for comedians to have a dark past, or at least a few skeletons in the closet. This doesn’t seem to be the case with Fey. She’s joked before about how boring she is. Although there are no deep secrets revealed, I got the impression that this was the true Tina Fey here. She makes me laugh, often out loud. I like her.


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