InPrint: Very Funny Lady. Not so funny memoir
She is hilarious, bright and a talented comedian. She impersonated Hillary Clinton, co-anchored “Weekend Update” with Seth Meyers in “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) and climbed to fame alongside her friend and colleague Tina Fey. Who doesn’t love Amy Poehler?
Come to think of it, I’m not sure I know someone who doesn’t like her. I mean, you can’t watch her perform in an SNL skit without laughing out loud. Her dramatic facial expressions alone are impossible to ignore, not to mention her clumsy dance moves.
So, naturally, when I started seeing her vibrant-colored book cover flashing the title “Yes Please” in neon pink nearly everywhere, I had to pick it up.
Amy Poehler shares (sometimes over shares) her likes, dislikes, opinions and major life experiences in her title “Yes Please.” She primarily focuses on her career, giving readers insight into what goes on behind the scenes of a SNL production. Contrary to what many of us want to believe, it’s no easy life for most television stars. Sure they have money, which pays for drivers, babysitters and anything else that will make life a little easier; but it’s interesting to learn about the many hours involved in writing and running lines, with very little sleep in between.
Poehler by no means tries to make readers feel sorry for her, she’s simply open and honest. She even discusses the joys and trials of her marriage and the tough events leading to divorce. It’s refreshing to see a “famous” person remain transparent with readers and viewers, providing life events with little fluff (the stuff we want to hear, which makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside), and essentially preserving her candid demeanor often seen when the cameras are rolling, which America has grown to love.
In a particular SNL skit, she deeply offends a specific family. Unaware that her actions could potentially have this much power, she ignored the offense for years until she decided it was time to admit she was wrong. She apologized. She’s human, and she admits it.
Poehler provides a great deal of embarrassing moments, which are funny, but not as funny as her performances. The book includes several photographs and typography, breaking up the typical novel format, giving readers a more personal connection to the author.
While “Yes Please” was a perceptive and pleasant read, it did fall short of my expectations regarding its humor. I expected it to be funny. I was looking for a good laugh. With the exception of her few shared embarrassing moments, it wasn’t. Personally, I believe she spent too much time talking about how hard it is to write a book, filling up unnecessary space to push her page number past 250.
I’d prefer quality over quantity any day, but apparently the publisher did not.
I do think if I had listened to the audio book, which is actually read by Poehler, I would have enjoyed it much more. Unlike Tina Fey’s “Bossypants,” it’s difficult to hear Poehler’s tone in the text.
Catching and understanding the rhythm and tone are important aspects to a solid memoir. In fact, it’s hard to talk about “Yes Please” without comparing it to “Bossypants,” which was the laugh-out-loud funny I initially wanted.
Fey set the bar high, and Poehler was left with a hard act to follow.
For those who are looking to laugh, you might want to put this one aside, and for others who are easily offended, don’t read it. Ever. She’s offensive and isn’t sorry about it… well, except for that one time. To everyone else, this book is pretty much Poehler’s heart, and it’s definitely worth reading.