Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Books – I am woman, hear me laugh

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Those eminent contemporary philosophers Jerry Lewis and Christopher Hitchens have advanced the proposition that women lack a sense of humor. This notion can be shot down in two words: Tina Fey.

The former Second City improp trouper, head writer for Saturday Night Live and creator and star of her own sitcom 30 Rock, has now produced her first book, Bossypants (Little, Brown & Company, New York, 2011, 273pp).

As befits the writer of comedy sketches, the 25 chapters of her book are short and vary widely in quality. The best of them are hugely entertaining.

Born in 1970, she grew up in a Greek suburb of Philadelphia. She obeyed her mother and adored her father and would have graduated to a life of suburban normality except for joining a summer theater group that was a haven for gay kids. She is shocked when two young actors fall into an adult romance.

“I had to face the fact that I had been using my gay friends as props,” she writes. “They were always supposed to be funny and entertain me and praise me and listen to my problems, and their life was supposed to be a secret that no one wanted to hear about. I wanted them to stay in the ‘half closet’. . . [The romance] was a major and deeply embarrassing teenage revelation. It must have been how straight teenage boys feel when they realize those boobs they like have heads attached to them.”

In Tina Fey’s hands, teenage angst about her face and body – eyebrows, lips, legs, hips, and boobs – become geysers of humor. She notes: “Wide-set knockers that aren’t so big but can be hoisted up once or twice a year for parades”.

Then she is on her own as the lone Greek in a white bread college.

“Let me start off by saying that at the University of Virginia in 1990, I was Mexican. I looked Mexican, that is, next to my fifteen thousand blond and blue-eyed classmates, most of whom owned horses, or at least resembled them.”

Next stop: Chicago and The Second City troupe. To survive, she works at the front desk of a YMCA, “the epicenter of all human grimness”. At The Second City she finds that each cast must have four men and two women. No variations. “This made no sense to me, probably because I speak English and have never had a head injury.”

Things have since changed. “You might see four women and two men. You might see five men and a YouTube video of a kitten sneezing. Once we know we’re really open to all the options, we can proceed with whatever’s the funniest . . . which will probably involve farts.”

Fey treads water with a couple chapters on faux beauty tips before returning to the main trunk of the story and her 1997 interview with Lorne Michael for a writing spot on Saturday Night Live. She will rise to head writer.

“I tried to apply Lorne’s lesson when staffing 30 Rock,” she writes of her sitcom that mimics the back stage antics of Saturday Night Live. “Our current staff makeup has us as four Harvard nerds, four Performer-turned-writers, two regular nerds, and two dirtbags.”

She treads water again with a long, unfunny bit about posing for magazine covers before she hits her stride with the long rousing saga of her six-week-long Sarah Palin imitation.

She also has a great time answering the emails of fans and foes. To one poison pen writer who claims that Tina Fey doesn’t have a single funny bone in her body, she replies: “You know who does have a funny bone in her body? Your mom every night for a dollar.”

She closes her book with a typically whimsical take on motherhood: “There’s a drunk midget in my house” in which she observes: “Ah, babies! They’re more than just adorable little creatures on whom you can blame your farts.”

This leads to a self-deprecating mediation on the tug of war between family and fame. She’s happily married with a five-year-old daughter. Should she have another one? But what about the 200 people on 30 Rock who depend on her?

My advice? Stick with the show.

— James Eckardt


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand1 hour ago

“Fake news” banned, Thai media say order infringes on freedoms

Phuket1 hour ago

Precarious Phuket: open internationally, closed domestically

Best of1 hour ago

Top 5 tattoo parlours Bangkok

Sponsored1 day ago

Experience Phuket’s Islands with 5 Star Marine

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

World2 hours ago

Duterte approves lockdown measures for Manila

Best of2 hours ago

The Best Pizza in Bangkok with Delivery

Thailand2 hours ago

Thailand News Today | worker camp woes, ‘fake news’ crackdown | July 30

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Best of2 hours ago

Best Premium Hotel Buffets in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

CCSA considers extending restrictions in “dark red” zones for another 14 days

Thailand3 hours ago

Fake dead bodies used in Phuket protest, police plan real investigation

Best of3 hours ago

Top 5 adventure tours in Chiang Mai

Best of3 hours ago

Top 5 affordable hotels in Chiang Mai

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 17,345 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand4 hours ago

Prayut offers his sympathies, teases restrictions

World5 hours ago

China’s national anthem possibly booed in Hong Kong, police investigate

Best of5 hours ago

Patong Beach’s 10 most popular hotels

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8