Tina Fey. How do I begin to explain Tina Fey? That woman is genius. Of all the SNL alumni, I love Fey the best. I must have mentioned it a million times on this blog already. I’ve watched almost all her SNL sketches, I know the dialogues of some of her Palin sketches by heart, and I’ve even watched one of her Second City sketches. Oh, and I was one among the dozen people (probably) who watched her show, 30 Rock. I HAD to read the book too. I needed to know the person behind all my interest in sketch comedy and comedy in general. And, boy, did she deliver.
Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.
She has seen both these dreams come true.
At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.
Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.
(Includes Special, Never-Before-Solicited Opinions on Breastfeeding, Princesses, Photoshop, the Electoral Process, and Italian Rum Cake!)
I usually keep a notebook by the side when I’m reading a book to make note of what I want to say while reviewing it. This book made me forget of the note’s existence. I was that immersed in the life of this woman from Pennsylvania who took the American comedy genre by storm.
A lot about who she was before SNL and 30 Rock is revealed. Her signature self deprecating jokes are aplenty. Before reading the book, I read a number of reviews which stated that the book will make the reader laugh out loud. I did not heed this and read the book mostly on the shuttle to work. Guess who all the regular commuters avoid eye contact with now?
Tina Fey’s Shakespearean nature to invent new words is seen in this book too. Similar to “blerg” and “lizzing” in 30 Rock, it is “blorft” in this book. I didn’t even know I needed this word until I read this book.
I was a little excited but mostly blorft. “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.
Fey has a learned a lot of life lessons from being a writer, an actor, and a boss and she gives some kick ass advice. None of this seemed preachy. The jokes interspersed in it also helped. Her experience working at YMCA and how she subsequently made it to SNL were inspiring. By inspiring, I don’t mean she did something out of the world and movie-worthy which made Lorne Michaels stop and notice her. Her progression from YMCA to SNL was as normal as could happen to you and I. Celebrities, they’re just like us!
You need not have to know about her work before reading this book, although it is more fun that way. This book definitely will make you want to start watching 30 Rock and hunt for THAT Clinton/Palin cold open video. Even the chapter titles were quirky and funny. One of the final chapters, “The Mother’s Prayer For Its Daughter”, was the chapter were other commuters slowly started to sidle away from the girl with the unfortunate hair whose nose was in a book.
Some beautiful quotes:
If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty, which is: who cares?
To say I’m an overrated troll, when you have never even seen me guard a bridge, is patently unfair.
SLAY, Fey. Slay.
My ability to turn good news into anxiety is rivaled only by my ability to turn anxiety into chin acne.
And this more serious one:
So, my unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism, or ageism, or lookism, or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.
5 out of 5, of course!
What did you think of the review? Are you a fellow Fey fan? Let me know in the comments! 🙂