Oh do I have a good one for you.
For my non-fiction book of the month, I chose Tina Fey’s autobiography, Bossypants.
If you guys are not familiar with Tina Fey she is, as Wikipedia claims her to be:
“Elizabeth Stamatina “Tina” Fey is an American actress, comedian, writer, producer, and playwright. She is best known for her work on the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live and for creating the acclaimed comedy series 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tina_Fey).
Not only did I not know her real name was Elizabeth (did I read the book thoroughly?) , I did not know that I admired her as much as I do now. As a child, it was always my dream to be on SNL. It still is, but further out of reach unfortunately on the basis that I am not funny.
Tina Fey’s writing style this entire book is so funny and witty that I literally read the thing in 2 days.
Tina starts off talking about her childhood growing up looking like a boy and not having any sexual experience except with the boy who would pick her up at night and makeout with her while he talked about other girls. She mentions her father, Don Fey, who according to her looked like Clint Eastwood. Don Fey was the polar opposite of Tina and was a pretty strict and stern man. She talks about a story where Don Fey buys a carpet shampooer to figure out that it is indeed broken and needed to be returned. Long story short he ends up leaving Tina at the store because he will not cough up $3.
Tina picks up a job at the Young Men’s Christian Association in another chapter, where she works the desk. Tina works with her co-worker Donna who works the phones. Donna was one to complain, but you could NEVER complain to Donna. Tina writes about how the certain rich members felt entitled to pass the line and go in front of people waiting to sign in.
Rich entitled male trying to skip the line: “Don’t you know who I am?”
Tina: “Don’t you know who I AM? Then how could I know who YOU are? We don’t know each other!”
Long story short Tina ends up stealing the new office position from Donna on the phones because she wouldn’t settle for being the underdog of any situation.
My favorite portion of the book was her focus on women in the workplace. She goes on to say how Amy Poehler would make a joke and the men on set would say how women aren’t funny. In which they would respond “We don’t fucking care”.
“It is an impressively arrogant move to conclude that just because you don’t like something, it is empirically not good…”
She talks about Chinese food and how just because she doesn’t like Chinese food doesn’t mean she is going to sit down and write articles about how she doesn’t like Chinese food.
“Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions. Go “Over! Under! Through!” and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss…”
She talks about sexism in the media and how men commonly wont like a show because they don’t want to “f*ck the cast”. Women are seen as objects in media, television, and the workplace!
My favorite quote and takeaway from the entire book is this right here:
“So my unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people hat way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.”
30 Rock was a show I never watched, and apparently not a lot of people did either. Tina talks about how 30 Rock only took off because of Alec Baldwin and the cast and crew and producers were ready for it to end at any minute.
In the words of Tina Fey:
“We were not a hit”.
This show did not take off, and honestly what I had heard about it when it came out, I never even wanted to watch it. After reading this book I will 100% be watching this show because I believe it will apply to my humor now that I am older. How she talks about her own show, her own idea, and her own cast and crew is absolutely hilarious to me and I respect her honesty like no other. This show was basically nothing, it was waiting to be canceled after the pilot. But then!!!!!! It received the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in September.
Nobody saw that coming.
The show proceeded to win 7 more Emmys and is really Tina’s showboat for the American Dream.
I also did not know Donald Glover was a writer for 30 Rock, fun fact.
And here it is, Saturday Night Live. My dream, my passion, my extremely out of reach goal that I will probably never reach considering I am pursuing a career in nursing.
Tina talks about how she was never really asked to be in sketches because all of her co-workers had faces that could create other characters while she just looked like herself in a wig, or her brother.
Except when she looked like Sarah Palin.
She literally was casted for this part because she had brown hair, glasses, and slightly resembled the politician. She wasn’t even working for SNL when she got offered this. So what did she have to lose really?
One of my favorite sketches she did as Sarah Palin was with Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton. If you are not familiar with that sketch, PLEASE proceed to watch the video below before continuing on.
Now that you have experienced the pure humor and brilliance these two share in this sketch. The subtle feminism focus is what I loved about this as well. They really focus on sexism in that campaign and how these women experienced different sides of the “sexism coin”. Hillary wasn’t liked and called a ballbuster, while Palin wasn’t liked and called Caribou Barbie. They were marginalized based on their gender. She talks about how this was a big feminism ploy but you couldn’t even tell because of all the jokes.
I never really thought I would ever want to read this book nor would I go out of my way to buy it. I picked it up at a thrift store for $.50 (Sorry Tina). I am SO glad that I did.
This was one of the most enjoyable autobiographies I have ever read and I truly did not want to put it down. I have already recommended this book to like 3 of my friends (my only friends) and will recommend it to all of you.
I never realized how big of a Fey fan I was until I read this book and it is making me go watch 30 Rock because I feel bad.
What a girl BOSS.
If you are interested in the book you can purchase it here.
If anyone knows Tina Fey and has some gross connection please send her this blog post in hopes of completing my dream of being on SNL or even meeting someone who has been on SNL (I guess she is pretty cool for other things too).
If you guys have book recommendations please comment them below!
Confidence is 10% hard work and 90% delusion. – Tina Fey