Read Bossypants Online

Authors: Tina Fey

Tags: #Humor, #Women comedians, #Form, #Entertainment & Performing Arts, #General, #United States, #Women television personalities, #American wit and humor, #Biography & Autobiography, #Essays, #Biography


BOOK: Bossypants


I would like to gratefully thank: Kay Cannon, Richard Dean, Eric Gurian, John Riggi, and Tracy Wigfield for their eyes and ears. Dave Miner for making me do this. Reagan Arthur for teaching me how to do this. Katie Miervaldis for her dedicated service and Latvian demeanor. Tom Ceraulo for his mad computer skills. Michael Donaghy for two years of Sundays.

Jeff and Alice Richmond for their constant loving encouragement and their constant loving interruption, respectively.

Thank you to Lorne Michaels, Marc Graboff, and NBC for allowing us to reprint material.


Front Cover Image


Origin Story

Growing Up and Liking It

All Girls Must Be Everything

Delaware County Summer Showtime!

That’s Don Fey

Climbing Old Rag Mountain

Young Men’s Christian Association

The Windy City, Full of Meat

My Honeymoon, or A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again Either The Secrets of Mommy’s Beauty

Remembrances of Being Very Very Skinny

Remembrances of Being a Little Bit Fat

A Childhood Dream, Realized

Peeing in Jars with Boys

I Don’t Care If You Like It

Amazing, Gorgeous, Not Like That

Dear Internet

30 Rock: An Experiment to Confuse Your Grandparents

Sarah, Oprah, and Captain Hook, or How to Succeed by Sort of Looking Like Someone There’s a Drunk Midget in My House

A Celebrity’s Guide to Celebrating the Birth of Jesus

Juggle This

The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter

What Turning Forty Means to Me

What Should I Do with My Last Five Minutes?



* Or it would be the biggest understatement since Warren Buffett said, “I can pay for dinner tonight.” Or it would be the biggest understatement since Charlie Sheen said, “I’m gonna have fun this weekend.” So, you have options.

* Improv will not reduce belly fat.

* If you get this reference to David Foster Wallace’s 1997 collection of essays, consider yourself a member of the cultural elite. Why do you hate your country and flag so much?!

* The Viennese do not enjoy American sketch comedy.

* This is a paid endorsement from the Saucony Corporation.

* I say Harvard “Boys” because they are almost always male—but not exclusively; rock on, Amy Ozols!—and because they are usually under twenty-five and have never done physical labor with their arms or legs. I love them very much.

* When I asked Steve Higgins if he remembered the Weekend Update piss jar he said, “Yes, and be sure you mention the booger that had been wiped on the wall and painted over.” So I’m mentioning it.

* Is there such a thing as an all-jerk workplace? Yes. I would flat-out avoid working with Wall Street traders or the women who run the changing rooms at Filene’s Basement.

* Nose thinned. Glasses made less awesome. Grimace inverted. Digital wig swap. Teeth added.

Neckline artificially lowered, no cleavage found. Lawn chair removed and sold at yard sale.

* Not the 102nd most popular television show of all time. The 102nd most popular television show
of 2006.

* Actually, that only happened to me once that I know about. A coworker at
dropped an angry C-bomb on me and I had the weirdest reaction. To my surprise, I blurted, “No. You don’t get to call me that. My parents love me; I’m not some Adult Child of an Alcoholic that’s going to take that shit.”

And it never happened again… that I know of.

* Although good news gives me angina, I am impervious to bad news. I should be in one of those Oliver Sacks books, because surely I have a rare head injury.

* This is not something I would normally do, but I wanted everything to be perfect for Miss Oprah. Jon Hamm, if you come back, I will not be pre-inspecting your toilet. I may inspect it afterward to make sure you didn’t steal anything.

* See if you can guess what I changed his name to in that chapter.

* It wasn’t the last time, apparently. Also, I am available for parties and corporate events.

* Except for several very satisfying work-related things.

* Apparently Margaret Thatcher is alive and says of course she would have told the nanny directly about the problem and she thinks I am a complete chickenshit.

* I know it’s bullshit that I say “babysitter” instead of nanny. What I have is a full-time nanny, and I should be roundly punished for trying to make it seem like the teenager next door comes over one night a week. But I don’t like the word “nanny.” It gives me class anxiety and race anxiety. And that is why I will henceforth refer to our nanny as our Coordinator of Toddlery.

* These moments include: cleaning poop out of a one-piece bathing suit, getting kicked in the tits by someone who doesn’t want to put on her shoes,
Dora the Explorer


Copyright © 2011 by Little Stranger, Inc.

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown and Company

Hachette Book Group

237 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Visit our website at

First eBook Edition: April 2011

Reagan Arthur Books is an imprint of Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. The Reagan Arthur Books name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

The publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content) that are not owned by the publisher.

Portions of this book have appeared, in slightly different form, in
The New Yorker
(“What Should I Do with My Last Five Minutes?,” “A Childhood Dream, Realized,” “Peeing in Jars with Boys,” and “I Don’t Care If You Like It”).

The author is grateful for permission to use material from the following: Script excerpts and photographs from
30 Rock
courtesy of NBCUniversal.
30 Rock
© 2011 NBC Studios, Inc. and ™

Rockefeller Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Script excerpts and photographs from
Saturday Night Live
courtesy of Broadway Video Enterprises and NBC Studios, Inc. © 2011 NBC Studios, Inc. Distributed by Broadway Video Enterprises.

Photography Credits: pages 6 (top) and 160 (left) © 2008/Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC; pages 6

(bottom) and 229, Alethea McElroy; page 159, Ramona Rosales, courtesy of
Magazine; page 160

(right), Ferguson & Katzman Photography/Halo Images; pages 178 and 191 from
30 Rock
courtesy of NBCUniversal; page 199 (left) © 2010/Dana Edelson/NBC; page 199 (middle and right) © 2005/Dana Edelson/NBC; pages 208, 218, 220, and 226 © 2008/Dana Edelson/NBC; page 233, Jake Chessum/Time

& Life Pictures/Getty Images.

Baileyd @

ISBN: 978-0-3161-7586-9

Table of Contents

Copyright Page

For Jeanne Fey:

Happy Mother’s Day. I made this out of macaroni for you.


Welcome Friend,

Congratulations on your purchase of this American-made genuine book. Each component of this book was selected to provide you with maximum book performance, whatever your reading needs may be.

If you are a woman and you bought this book for practical tips on how to make it in a male-dominated workplace, here they are. No pigtails, no tube tops. Cry sparingly. (Some people say

“Never let them see you cry.” I say, if you’re so mad you could just cry, then cry. It terrifies everyone.) When choosing sexual partners, remember: Talent is not sexually transmittable. Also, don’t eat diet foods in meetings.

Perhaps you’re a parent and you bought this book to learn how to raise an achievement-oriented, drug-free, adult virgin. You’ll find that, too. The essential ingredients, I can tell you up front, are a strong father figure, bad skin, and a child-sized colonial-lady outfit.

Maybe you bought this book because you love Sarah Palin and you want to find reasons to hate me. We’ve got that! I use all kinds of elitist words like “impervious” and “torpor,” and I think gay people are just as good at watching their kids play hockey as straight people.

Maybe it’s seventy years in the future and you found this book in a stack of junk being used to block the entrance of an abandoned Starbucks that is now a feeding station for the alien militia. If that’s the case, I have some questions for
. Such as: “Did we really ruin the environment as much as we thought?” and “Is
still a thing?”

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