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Do the Bossy Girl Rock

Courtney Eckerle | Thursday, April 14, 2011

Don’t take Tina Fey’s memoir “Bossypants” to class or the library, because laughing out loud is a guarantee. With the tagline, “Once in a generation a woman comes along who changes everything. Tina Fey is not that woman, but she met that woman once and acted weird around her,” you can get a taste of Fey’s special brand of self-deprecating humor, which permeates the whole book.

Fey’s writing style makes you feel like you’re having one really long conversation with your sarcastic, sassy best friend. The book begins “Welcome Friend,” which would definitely be creepy coming from anyone but a real amigo, or rather freund, as the German Fey would say.

Fey seems almost indistinguishable from her character Liz Lemon on NBC’s comedy “30 Rock,” but how alike are they in reality? Turns out exactly as much, if not more, than you thought. Fey explores these similarities in her memoirs and more. Much more.

She gives … well, let’s just call it her own special point of view on being the boss lady, tales of awkward encounters with the opposite sex from her teenage and adult years, and everything she knows about womanhood. How to lay out with tanning oil instead of sunscreen and how to listen to “General Hospital” on the radio by turning the radio dial way down — it’s all in this book. There’s a brief foray into her hijinks working the front desk at a Chicago YMCA, her death-defying honeymoon and her entrance on the “Saturday Night Live” stage, which serves as the inspiration for some of the weirder plots on “30 Rock.”

Although the book reads like a random series of articles (considering two excerpts have been printed in the “The New Yorker” it kind of is) anyone with a sense of humor can find the fun in Fey’s tales of a woman unintentionally shaking things up in the male-dominated comedy world, i.e. pitching skits like “Kotex Classic.” So fair warning to any hapless male who might pick the book up — it is definitely not for those who want women to remain flawless, goddess-y mysteries (men still think that about women, right?). Life gets real when you’re dealing with Fey. No awkward, absurd moment is left untold.

Shaking up “SNL” with sassy and downright weird fellow female cast members might not have been easy, but her and bestie Amy Poehler’s response to the hilarious (hint: sarcasm) quip that “women aren’t funny” is simply, “We don’t [expletive] care if you like it.”

In fact, Fey said in her book, “My hat goes off to them. It is an impressively arrogant move to conclude that just because you don’t like something, it is empirically not good. I don’t like Chinese food, but I don’t write articles trying to prove it doesn’t exist.”

This is one comedian who can walk the walk and talk the talk, so women out there, take her advice. Do your thing and don’t care who likes it.