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'Bossy Pants,' Tina Fey 

Yes, Ms. Fey, we know how great you are.

click to enlarge Tina Fey
  • Tina Fey

This collection of essays from 30 Rock star and former Saturday Night Live writer Tina Fey offers an inside account of her rise to acting and writing fame, including sweaty palm-inducing moments, like when she first met Lorne Michaels and Alec Baldwin.

She starts by telling funny stories, then segueing into a greater moral. There was an uncomfortable moment between Amy Poehler and Jimmy Fallon at an SNL meeting that ended in a triumphant discussion of women’s place in comedy. Fey explains why she thinks women can be just as funny as men, using first-hand experiences like this one.

People might not think that timing is as great factor in comedic writing, but Fey shows that you need to hit the right moment in print just as you do on-screen or on-stage. She has an extensive background in improv from her time with Second City in Chicago (where many of the SNL cast got their start), and she carries that sense of comedic style into this collection. A misplaced period could ruin a joke, Fey knows, and she nails the nuances here.

But there are also moments when she seems to step back and say, “Man, look how great I am. I made it to the top of the ladder in a man’s world.” But who is she trying to convince? Anyone reading Bossy Pants is probably already a fan and likely already agrees with her greatness.

Still, this is a funny and enjoyable read from a writer who has earned her spot in the comedic hall of fame. Just read right past the back-patting, because after she talks about how funny she is, she’ll come out and prove it all over again.

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