I’ve been a fan of Tina Fey’s since he first appearances behind the SNL Weekend Update desk and watch 30 Rock religiously. When I saw the early reviews, I knew that I would need to check out Fey’s Bossypants. It did not disappoint. Someone get this woman her own TV show. Oh, wait…
Some reviewers seemed put out that the book is not as revealing as they’ve apparently come to expect from celebrity memoirs. But Bossypants isn’t really a memoir. It’s a collection of humorous essays about experiences in her life. Think female David Sedaris and you won’t be far off. Fey mentions her scar and explains why she won’t talk about it. She says that there was the occasional jerk hosting SNL, but she doesn’t feel the need to name names. Good for her. What’s left are some hilarious glimpses into the unexpected celebrity life of a self-described nerd with David Foster Wallace references and fart jokes.
Fey does not shy away from describing the ingrained misogyny of comedy – something that she hopes has changed. As a performer in Chicago’s Second City, it was understood that NO ONE wanted to see two women alone in a sketch together. That’s not how comedy works! Fey offers her and Amy Poehler’s classic SNL skit as Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton as Exhibit A of the fallacy of this idea. She also wonders if the old sexism isn’t behind the personal attacks she received for portraying the reality TV star while her male counterparts eviscerate other politicians with little fallout. (Have you seen Will Ferrell’s George Bush?) Maybe. Or maybe it upset some so much because it was so believable. (See: This.)
Fey seems surprised that Bossypants would be read by men. On purpose. In one passage she describes the relative “quease-making” of sticking a contact lens in your eye by relating it to a rather graphic gynecological experience and a breast self-exam. Then she clarifies the comparison for those of us who may not get these references:
If you are male, I would liken it to touching your own eyeball, and thank you for buying this book.
No, thank you, Tina!