Updated on May 24, 2015
13. ‘Bossypants’ by Tina Fey
You can’t read Yes Please by Amy Poehler without also reading Bossypants by Amy’s best friend Tina Fey. These two funny women worked together for years on SNL and, more recently, they presented the Golden Globes as a duo. Suffice it to say, they’re both hilarious.
Tina’s book came first and it is a mixture of autobiography, observational humour and tips for succeeding in the world of improv comedy. I particularly loved reading the rules of improvising on stage:
1. Say ‘yes’ – if your stage partner starts something, go with it.
2. Say ‘yes and’ – whatever your partner has started, offer something extra to get it going.
As long as you do those things, you won’t end up with any awkward back-tracking or conflict, and you’ll end up gloriously bouncing off each other.
The autobiographical elements are also fascinating. She talks about growing up and discovering the pressures that are put on women, particularly when it comes to continuously improving and sculpting our bodies. Fey also writes about her own personal failings and isn’t afraid to admit when she made mistakes or, frankly, was a bit of an idiot. When it comes to her 30 Rock years, reading about the show’s backstage world is endlessly entertaining. Fey had a baby just as the show was picked up, so the 30 Rock writing team worked in her home so she could look after her child at the same time; she loved it because: “everything I cared about was within 10 feet of me”.
This is a funny book, filled with hilarious observations and spot on feminist thought. It won’t take you long to read – just one sunny afternoon in the garden – but you’ll be very glad you did.
“That must be what I look like to anyone with a real problem… A little tiny person with nothing to worry about running in circles, worried out of her mind.”
Want to read this? You can buy the book here.