Bossypants by Tina Fey


Bossypants by Tina Fey
Bossypants by Tina Fey

Tina Fey is a major celebrity in our house – mostly because she’s one of the most famous people to attend The University of Virginia. My husband is a two-time UVa graduate who worships all famous Cavaliers. In my house, we hear a lot about Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Sampson, Tina Fey, and Katie Couric (in that order!).

Given how much I’ve heard about comedian Tina Fey over the years, I was excited to listen to her memoir, especially since everyone kept describing it as hilarious and laugh-out-loud funny. Who doesn’t want to laugh during their morning commute?

Learning more about the SNL star’s life was interesting, but Bossypants wasn’t as funny or insightful as I expected. In fact, some parts, like how she stole a job from an older YMCA staffer, were cringy. There were also a few racist bits and several references that reinforced stereotypes of gay people. 

“My ability to turn good news into anxiety is rivaled only by my ability to turn anxiety into chin acne.”

Tina Fey, Bossypants

She addresses her trademark facial scar right upfront but never fully reveals how she got it – she just tells you how she judges people she meets by how and when they ask her about it. This pretty much sums up what the rest of the book was like – it snarkily scratches the surface of Fey’s life but doesn’t really reveal much about her.

I did enjoy hearing about her time on SNL and what it was like to play Sarah Palin during the 2008 election. These behind-the-scenes tidbits were the best part of the book. I also appreciated hearing some of her advice about being a woman in a male-dominated field. Her jokes about unattainable beauty standards and motherhood were the funniest, most relatable parts.

I think part of my reaction to the book is that I listened to it almost a decade after it came out – and, thankfully, what we find funny as a society has changed in that timeframe.

I am glad I listened to this one, but it’s not one I’d go out of my way to recommend to others.

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