Dorsher's World

Bossypants

When I find a new comedy Biography, I buy it. When the comedian is still alive, I immediately look for the audiobook. After having discovered the great pleasure of the comic telling ME their life’s story directly (see Tracy Morgan review), it’s hard to go back to plain old reading.
The other benefit is I can finish the book much faster as I wander from destination to destination, or plug through mindless but necessary tasks in need of completion.
Bossypants was interesting, and I picked it up on the heals of completing THE SECOND CITY UNSCRIPTED (review to come), but it wasn’t what I normally find in a comedian’s auto-biography, for the very obvious reason that Tina Fey is a comedic writer, a comedic actress, a comedic producer, an a comedy star: but not a stand-up comedian.
There are a lot of great vignettes in the book which collectively make up Fey’s story, most memorable being the Don Fey stories describing her father from a child to superhero perspective. The failed honeymoon cruise tale is also quite amusing.
There is not a lot of introspection in the book, and there is little regarding overcoming big failures to get where she is today. It paints an almost charmed if not somewhat aloofness towards her rise an recognition: though the Sarah Palin impersonations are both highlighted and recognized as bringing Fey popular approval and recognition. Did you realize she was no longer a writer not a cast member of Saturday Night Live when she played Sarah Palin? No, neither did I.
In essence, Bossypants is the as-luck-would-have-it story of the theater geek done well, right places at right times (expanded female cast at Second City, hired as SNL cast member after years as a writer on the show already), but with an appreciation of that luck and circumstance. Most lesson along the way serve to dispel ignorances as her world opens beyond insulated mindset.
Bossypants may not be the best title, either. Preacy-pants or Condescention-shorts may be more apt. I might reccomend avoiding the audio book for this one. Though Fey does read it herself, it is a bit more whinny and condescending towards others in a ‘teachers pet’ / ‘I know best’ manner.
The real gems: Fey talking improv, writing, collaborating as a writing/production team. Follow those sections, read them again and again, cut that portion from the audio-book and slap it up on you ringtone (do people still use those?). I’ve seen Tina Fey performing live improv with The Upright Citizens Brigade theater’s Sunday ASSSSCAT3000 show, and try to catch it every time I’m in New York. She is truly brilliant in the spontaneous silliness in group performance.

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This entry was published on January 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm. It’s filed under Comedy, Comedy Book Review and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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