Exclusive audio excerpt: Tina Fey reads ‘Bossypants’


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Near the end of Tina Fey’s audio recording of her book “Bossypants,” the actress, writer and comedian discusses the last six weeks of the 2008 election when she regularly portrayed Sarah Palin on “Saturday Night Live.” The second time she appeared as Palin on the show, she was slated to do the scene ‘in one,’ which means by herself, talking straight into the camera. Instead, she requested that her friend Amy Poehler be included in the scene as Katie Couric.

‘ background is improvisation not stand-up,’ Fey explains. ‘I really prefer the buddy system on stage.’


And this is why listening to Fey read her memoir might not be as hilarious as one expects. The ability to humorously, incisively spill your guts into a microphone, the quality that unites the greatest stand-ups, is not her strength, and she never pretends it is.

Still, there are reasons to hear Fey rather than read her -- especially for what it’s like to be a normal looking person at a fashion magazine photoshoot (listen to our exclusive clip, below) or for her Palin impression.

Audio clip: Click here to hear Fey on being photographed for fancy magazines

Fey includes the whole audio of the first sketch she ever did as Palin, when she stood alongside Poehler who portrayed Hillary Rodham Clinton. As she talks about this time in her life she switches back and forth between her own voice and Palin’s distinctive accent.

This audio book also includes a moment when Fey makes a pretend phone call away from the microphone, and another when her voice is altered to sound like it’s coming over a loudspeaker. Aside from these, however, Fey makes little use of the audio format, which is too bad. Instead, imagine Liz Lemon reading from a memoir: It’s funny, sure, but probably not as funny as one might hope.

Audio clip: Click here to hear Tina Fey on meeting Lorne Michaels


-- Deborah Netburn