A review of this — 2 years ago
This book is more a collection of pointers than a memoir; I feel it’s for feminists, women who are into comedy, people who want to get somewhere in life despite of obstacles and youth, women not taking shit from men and for feminists at large and…it’s fun.
Fey writes of her growing up in a small town, being a nerd, growing up, snogging boys and dreaming of becoming more than her parents wanted her to be. And there are some really good extended one-liners thrown in, e.g.:
I was taken to an examining room where a big butch nurse practitioner came in and asked me if I was pregnant. “No way!” Was I sexually active? “Nope!” Had I ever been molested? “Well,” I said, trying to make a joke, “Oprah says the only answers to that question are ‘Yes’ and ‘I don’t remember.’ ” I laughed. We were having fun. The nurse looked at me, concerned/annoyed.
…as there is racist pap involved; regarding her father:
Conversely, he would tell us things like “If you see two black kids riding around on one bike, put your bike in the garage.” This wasn’t racism; it was experience. Those kids were coming from West Philly to steal bikes.
At times she’s quite Bill Hicks-esque, as here:
This is what I tell young women who ask me for career advice. People are going to try to trick you. To make you feel that you are in competition with one another. “You’re up for a promotion. If they go with a woman, it’ll be between you and Barbara.” Don’t be fooled. You’re not in competition with other women. You’re in competition with everyone. Also, I encourage them to always wear a bra. Even if you don’t think you need it, just… you know what? You’re never going to regret it. My dream for the future is that sketch comedy shows become a gender-blind meritocracy of whoever is really the funniest. You might see four women and two men. You might see five men and a YouTube video of a kitten sneezing. Once we know we’re really open to all the options, we can proceed with Whatever’s the Funniest… which will probably involve farts.
…and other times just funny and sad at the same time:
Whitney Houston’s cover of “I Will Always Love You” was constantly on my FM Walkman radio around that time. I think that made me cry because I associated it with absolutely no one.
Her book is in my mind better than [author:Sarah Silverman|1923104]‘s “[book:The Bedwetter|7897478]”, which I think had a lot of flaws and felt rushed. This book has thorns, jumps and skips a lot but generally builds from Fey’s making-it-into-showbiz and staying there. And having a kid. And swearing over a lot of men who seem to have been the cause of a lot of her ails.
She, of course, writes more about “30 Rock” than of “Saturday Night Live”, detailing the risks and her becoming a boss:
We premiered on Wednesday, October 11, 2006, at 8:00 P.M. and we were an instant hit—like figs for dessert or bringing your guitar out at a party. We were New Coke! We were not a hit. But we barreled ahead knowing that we’d at least come out of this with DVDs to show our friends. The story ideas came fast and furious in the beginning. “What if Tracy went off his medication and started hallucinating a little blue dude everywhere?” Sure. “What if Jenna was in a movie called The Rural Juror and no one could understand her when she said the title?” Fine. “What if we do a story about Liz being called a cunt?” Why wouldn’t we? That had happened to me plenty! You know that saying “Dance as if no one is watching”? Well, that’s what we were doing.
…although writing about SNL, she does kick Sarah Palin (deservedly) in the nuts:
A few months after our [with Palin herself] friendly chat about kids (and my condescending remarks about New York), Mrs. Palin told conservative filmmaker John Ziegler that Katie Couric and I had exploited and profited by her family. But I know better than to respond to attacks in the media. Although if I were to respond, I would probably just say, “Nice reality show.”
One of my faves:
One of my greatest regrets, other than being the Zodiac Killer never learning to tango, is that I don’t always have time to answer the wonderful correspondence I receive.
Her insights into work are also laudable:
Politics and prostitution have to be the only jobs where inexperience is considered a virtue. In what other profession would you brag about not knowing stuff? “I’m not one of those fancy Harvard heart surgeons. I’m just an unlicensed plumber with a dream and I’d like to cut your chest open.” The crowd cheers.
…as is her prayer to her child, for when she grows up (formatting sadly removed):
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, That I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.
“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes. Amen
All in all: recommendable, funny and a really quick read. I liked it, but some day I hope she’ll release her memoirs, edited by somebody who’s not a TV-writer.