Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Although I didn’t know much about Tina Fey before I read her book, Bossypants, what I think I know about her now is that she and I hide our insecurities behind humor. When going though the life-defining time of Junior High and High School, I was never pretty, smart or nice enough to be cheerleader, valedictorian, or most popular (my generation’s Nobel Prizes of Teenage-dom), so I fell back to baton twirler, clever gal, and class clown. Some of my classmates are probably thinking, “I don’t remember her being clever or funny!” But by gaud, no one can take my twirling medals away from me! So back to Tina Fey and her hilarious and interesting book, Bossypants.

Ever wonder where the fancy pants, smarty pants, bossy pants, linguistic formulation came from? Really? OK. Never mind. Let’s (I’ll) talk about Bossypants.

For those of you similarly unfamiliar with Tina Fey, she is (in her words), “a wide-hipped sarcastic Greek girl." She is also the former head writer for Saturday Night Live, and currently the star and executive producer of the Emmy-winning TV sitcom, "30 Rock.” Bossypants is her subtly deep book about her evolution from middle-class Pennsylvanian misfit to iconic liberal female humorist of the 2000’s. Do conservatives even have humorists?

When I first started Bossypants, I thought, well, this is funny, but it is really just a Tina Fey monologue, which is a ridiculous observation since that’s the whole point of biographies, but it felt like a stand-up comedy routine rather than your typical biography. What I soon came to realize is that Fey is really just too smart to do a straight-up story of her life. She has to weave her comedic magic by hiding her honesty, wisdom, politics and stunning intellect like Easter eggs. Granted, they were hidden like you would hide eggs from a 3-year-old, but that was the coolest part. It wasn’t in your face, but you also didn’t have to work for it. Click on Read More Below...

So here’s an abridged list of what I got (or re-got) from Bossypants:

1. Comedy is a serious craft (is that a pun?)

2. “Only in comedy does an obedient white girl from the suburbs count as diversity.” (Fey)

3. Lorne Michaels, creator and head honcho forever at “Saturday Night Live,” like Yogi, is smarter than the average bear.

4. “Everyone, everyone, everyone on a magazine cover is wearing something closed in the back by elastic and safety pins.” (Fey)

5. Talking about tit-nazis is funny.

6. Talking about working mothers (what mothers don’t work?) and the stresses they bear isn’t funny, but it is important.

7. Although a pinnacle moment for Tina Fey, her impression of Sara Palin in the SNL skits was not something she wanted to do. It seems Tina Fey shares my opinion that when men are caricatured it’s funny but meaningless, but when women are, they’re somehow damaged. I also got the impression that Fey had mixed emotions about doing the Palin piece because she believes (as I do), that woman tend to be hard on each other. We want all women to represent our gender in perfection, and that is simply not real. A women is entitled to be as stupid as a man! And that’s all I’m going to say about that! Instead, I encourage you to watch the video below. It is really funny (click on the arrow and turn up your volume).

Fey ends her book with, “But if you have an opinion, please feel free to offer it to me through the gap in the door of a public restroom. Everyone else does.” So, I’ll just say this: Hi, Tina (I’ll use her first name like I know her).  Is that you in there? I liked your book. Oh, and one more thing, by and large, Texas women are very smart gals.



  1. I loves me some Tina Fey. If there’s anything better than smart, pretty women…it’s smart, pretty, funny women.

  2. I expected funny from Bossypants, but I didn't think it would be so introspective and smart. This made me be a bigger Tina Fey fan. I loved her in SNL.