Nov 092011
Authors: Allison Sylte

I think we can all agree that Tina Fey is kind of awesome. She’s the star of “30 Rock,” she single-handedly brought back librarian glasses (thank God!) and she showed America how much of a genius Sarah Palin is.

These accomplishments pretty much make her someone who ought to write a memoir. And it’s these high expectations that made her autobiography “Bossypants” pretty underwhelming.

“Bossypants” is told in a series of short stories, ranging from Fey’s awkward teen years as a theater nerd, to her stint in Second City, to her tenure on SNL and finally to her current job on “30 Rock.”

The first half of the book occasionally offers interesting insights into Fey’s young life, including her time spent in a mostly gay theater camp and her employment at an inner city YMCA, told in a fast, tongue-in-cheek tone that even the most casual fan of Fey’s work could easily recognize.

But aside from these funny anecdotes, it’s mainly one-note. I’m all for being self-deprecating, but there are only so many times where you can say that you were nerdy, awkward and lonely before it gets old, and Fey exceeded that quota in the first chapter.

The second half of the book, beginning when Fey begins her career in comedy, is where Fey hits her stride. It’s interesting to read about her comedy philosophy, and it’s nice to hear her actually admit that she’s pretty damn funny, especially after spending the first half of the book listening to her rant about her flaws.

My personal favorite part was a chapter where she went through the lessons she learned from Lorne Michaels, where she combined clever quotes from the legendary producer with ridiculous experiences she had on Saturday Night Live.

And as a fan of “30 Rock,” the chapter where she went through her favorite “30 Rock” lines just couldn’t be beat.

Fey, who reveals herself to be a staunch feminist, intersperses these funny bits with barbs at the male comedy community, discussing how difficult it was for her to make a name for herself in the comedy world.

“Bossypants” is definitely an interesting read, and it offers very cool looks into Tina Fey’s life. But, at the end of the day, I just wish that Fey gave herself a little bit more credit.

Content Managing Editor Allison Sylte can be reached at

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