Yes to "Yes Please" by Amy Poehler

Monday, December 29, 2014


Clayton surprising me with a hardback copy of Amy Poehler's Yes Please this fall was really special to me. First of all, it's thoughtful as heck and secondly, I eat up the memoirs of funny ladies like candy.

I also have a strong interest in Saturday Night Live. I don't even watch the show regularly, but I've seen, owned or rented countless "Best of ..." specials and have an affinity for the Gilda Radner era.

More than anything, I just like smart, funny women. Especially if those women have written for TV or movies.

I admittedly didn't get through Yes Please as quickly as I wanted (it took me 2 months because I walked away from it for about 5 weeks altogether because ... life), but I read the last 150 pages last night on the couch while Clayton watched football.

And I was sad when it was over.

Because I have a fever and the only prescription is more Amy Poehler.

I'm telling you, Tina Fey, Amy and I could be great friends. We'd brunch. It would be awesome.

My overall takeaway from Yes Please:

Pros

  • The hardback version of Yes Please offers glossy, full-color pages that smell absolutely wonderful. (I smell books.)
  • Amy keeps pretty mum about her relationship with her now ex-husband, Will Arnett. I respect and appreciate that she has enough respect for their marriage not to address it in detail. Divorce sucks and it was devastating to her and that's all anyone needs to know.
  • I practically salivated over the chapter about Parks and Recreation
  • Her love and adoration of her children shines through the pages. 
  • She's brazenly honest about herself and I loved that. She's very cool with who she is and that's inspiring as hell.
  • Everyone needs to read her chapter about how "ambivalence is key". 

Cons

  • Amy laments a lot about how difficult it is to write a book and how much she hated the process. The statement was endearing the first time, but reading about it over and over again kind of make me feel guilty for reading the book in the first place. Like I somehow made a massive chore for her. 
  • The book skips around too much for me to keep the timeline straight. Like Tina Fey's Bossypants, Amy shares stories from her improv past and trying to make a living in Chicago, but she wrote about those experiences in spurts and I'm not entirely sure what happened when. 
  • Like a maniacal fan, I wanted more behind-the-scenes details of her time with SNL. Amy shared tidbits, but they were more or less sentence fragments about just a handful of hosts. I mean, I'll take any scraps I can get, but still. 
  • I'm kind of disappointed that she and Seth Meyers have yet to make cute comedy babies together. This really isn't a criticism of Amy's writing, but more of my own personal beef with the universe. 

My favorite quotes:
  • "You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look."
  • "Stop whining about getting old. It's a privilege. A lot of people who are dead wish they were still alive."
  • “Telling me to relax or smile when I’m angry is like bringing a birthday cake into an ape sanctuary. You’re just asking to get your nose and genitals bitten off.” 
  • “Decide what your currency is early. Let go of what you will never have. People who do this are happier and sexier.” 
  • “It’s very hard to have ideas. It’s very hard to put yourself out there, it’s very hard to be vulnerable, but those people who do that are the dreamers, the thinkers and the creators. They are the magic people of the world.” 
  • “It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for.”
  • “If you can dance and be free and not embarrassed you can rule the world.” 
  • “The only way we will survive is by being kind. The only way we can get by in this world is through the help we receive from others. No one can do it alone, no matter how great the machines are.” 

Also, I feel like there needs to be a comma after "Yes" in the title. Is that just me? It's driving me nuts.

Would you like some more cake? Yes, please.

Would you like any herpes? No, thank you.

Have you read Amy's book? What did you think?
C

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1 comments

  1. And here I thought it was just me! The fact that there's no comma in the title MAKES ME CRAZY. I mean, I'm no pro at English grammar (to be honest, I learned the bulk of my English grammar through learning advanced Spanish grammar in college...thank you public school education where the last grammar lesson I remember having was in 6th grade where we had to memorize all the prepositions...after that, it was all about how to properly analyze Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Medea, and The Once and Future King, among other classics...), but I know that that needs a comma. That was a really long parenthetical aside....my apologies.

    I haven't read her book yet, but have been meaning to. I was wondering if maybe she was pressured into it, since Tina Fey wrote one, and since they're the Dynamic Duo of female comics, I bet the powers that be made her write a book, too. Maybe that's why she was lamenting all the way through it about how hard it is to write a book?

    I will read this at some point, though. I also need to read Bossypants, and a million other books stacked in my bookshelves that I haven't made time for. Maybe that should be my NY resolution - read more!

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