Mighty Life List
Feb 13 2012

Bossypants by Tina Fey

The best parts of Bossypants by Tina Fey:

As an improviser, I always find it jarring when I meet someone in real life whose first answer is no. “No, we can’t do that.” “No, that’s not in the budget.” “No, I will not hold your hand for a dollar.” What kind of way is that to live?

Gay people don’t actually try to convert people. That’s Jehovah’s Witnesses you’re thinking of.

I had to take eleventh-grade health in twelfth grade. I had postponed it the year before so I could take choir and Encore Singers — it was kind of a big deal to be in both, whatever. I was alto 1, but sometimes they had me sing second soprano. I had a solo in “O Holy Night” in a performance at the mall. In downtown Philadelphia. Enough! Stop asking me about it!

Don’t hire anyone you wouldn’t want to run into in the hallway at three in the morning.

A coworker at SNL dropped an angry C-bomb on me and I had the weirdest reaction. To my surprise, I blurted, “No. You don’t get to call me that. My parents love me; I’m not some Adult Child of an Alcoholic that’s going to take that shit.”

Of course I know now that no one can “steal” boyfriends against their will, not even Angelina Jolie itself.

The house is cozy warm from the wood-burning heater. There are hugs and kisses and pies and soup and ham and biscuits and a continuous flow of Maxwell House coffee with nondairy creamer.

From “A Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter:”
And when one day she turns 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.

Amy… did something vulgar as a joke. I can’t remember what it was exactly, except it was dirty and loud and “unladylike.”
Jimmy Fallon, who was arguably the star of the show at the time, turned to her and in a faux-squeamish voice said, “Stop that! It’s not cute! I don’t like it!”
Amy dropped what she was doing, went black in the eyes for a second, and wheeled around on him. “I don’t fucking care if you don’t like it.” Jimmy was visibly startled. Amy went right back to enjoying her ridiculous bit…
With that exchange, a cosmic shift took place. Amy made it clear that she wasn’t there to be cute. She wasn’t there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys’ scenes. She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not fucking care if you like it.
I was so happy. Weirdly, I remember thinking, “My friend is here! My friend is here!” Even though things had been going great for me at the show, with Amy there, I felt less alone.

21 Responses to “Bossypants by Tina Fey”

  • Midnight Cowgirl Says:

    This makes me want to read the book even more!

  • Lauren Says:

    It is an excellent book! The world is a much, much better place for Tina Fey sharing her comedic genius. :)

  • Lisa B. Says:

    look! you picked all the awesome parts! (and luckily, there are even more of them.)

    (p.s., Mindy Kaling’s book is also amazing.)

  • Rebecca Says:

    That bit about Amy Poehler was my favourite part of the book. (Canadian spelling on “favourite” ftw.)

  • JenW Says:

    I have the audio book and have already listened twice. I cannot recommend it highly enough. You really need to hear her deliver those words herself. Great book.

  • one soul Says:

    I loved this book SO MUCH.

  • Kizz Says:

    I thought of you as I read this, wondering what “best bits” I would choose. By the 3rd page I knew I wasn’t cut out for editing this hard core. I chose every other sentence!

  • Maureen Says:

    I really want to read this book, but the cover has always completely creeped me out. I’ll have to just get over it.

  • Michael Says:

    loved this book. love tina fey.

  • Alexandra Says:

    I also devoured this book when it came out – so witty and wise–I also loved the Amy Poehler anecdote. A good reminder that women need not show their humor and strength. Funny how you would expect certain men of a certain age not to react like Fallon did, but those male/female roles can run deep.

  • Alexandra Says:

    Ooops mean – reminder that women “need not *fail* to show their humor and strength”

  • Amy Says:

    Oh the audiobook!!!!! Hearing Tina Fey’s voice and dry inflection makes it even better. Love her, and really loved the book.

  • Tana Says:

    I loved that story about Amy Poehler and Jimmy Fallon. My favourite part of the book. Half because Poehler is awesome and half because of Fey’s response “My friend is here! My friend is here!”

  • Liz @ Bella Vita Says:

    I’ve been in serious need of a funny read. Ordering it now.

  • Heather Says:

    Forget about reading it, people. You have got to LISTEN to it on AUDIOBOOK because Tina Fey reads it, and just trust me and do it and that’s it. Even if you have to sit in your driveway for 20 minutes because you are happy and content to listen to her stories of life love and the pursuit of happiness…and common sense.

  • sugarleg Says:

    echoing the many sentiments about Amy Poehler’s strength and power AND yes, audio book on this all the way. for the week that I was listening to Tina Fey read to me, I felt like we were best pals, telling old stories and cheering each other on.

    also, just read in Vanity Fair in the “My Stuff” column that Sofia Coppola’s fave part of the book was Amy Poehler’s exclamation too. GO WOMEN!!

  • Megan Says:

    Thank you to everyone who recommended the audiobook. Just put on hold at the library (Three cheers for free downloadable media for all!)

  • Alyson Says:

    My favorite part is the other Amy Poehler part where she’s talking about how the whole Sarah Palin set of sketches were really weird and interesting. She mentions that people thought she made a feminist statement on behalf of Hillary Clinton when she and Amy did that sketch that ended with ‘Bitch is the new black.’ she goes on to say that the real feminist statement of the campaign is when Amy is nine months pregnant and joyously rapping behind Sarah Palin during a Weekend Update bit. I just love how supportive and happy Tina is for Amy. Those two are the best.

  • Amy Says:

    Tiny Fey makes me happy. So does Amy Poehler. I used to work with her aunt and it was so fun to watch Amy’s rise to stardom alongside her adoring family. I met her once and she was so lovely. (It was at a funeral, though, so obviously not the happiest of occasions!)

  • jean kowalsky Says:

    TINA[Ha] afterall the looking around on my crazy computer,what did I want to say[I have 10 pages left] I’m sure this will never reach u but anyway since i did not graduate from Yale,I thought id try. want to say the Photo shop cover is hysterical…it is photoshoped? and Ya HOO for being The Bossy Pants,esp breaking into a mans world!!! I will now watch the show because I love ur life. Also you’re husband will never leave you…. You,Tina found him the pills! You ,tina are much cuter tan her.. Good luck ,jean machine in Steamboat Springs,co

  • jean kowalsky Says:

    see #20