Comedy queens chronicle 20 years in the limelight

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The Batman and Robin dynamic duo of comedy, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, have changed the way the world views women in show business and comedy in the last two decades. So, it came as no surprise that in the last several years, both Fey and Poehler have released books that detail their groundbreaking careers and the humorous details of their everyday lives.

Four years ago, Fey opened up about what it took to be a revolutionary leader for women in comedy in her book, “Bossypants.”

Fey gave the public a new way to see more of her personal comedy with a mix of reality, as well as rules on how to be a better boss. With chapters titled, “My Honeymoon, or A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again Either,” and “Amazing, Gorgeous, Not Like That,” Fey creates a roller-coaster montage of memories and anthologies.

“Bossypants” isn’t a memoir but rather a spiky blend of humor, introspection, and critical thinking for a new generation. The topics she covers are initially sporadic, but quickly transition into a more chronological format featuring some interesting pieces about her early jobs, her work with Second City theatre troupe and her experience writing for “Saturday Night Live,” and creating the hit TV show, “30 Rock.”

Interspersed within the book are stories about growing up and dating, her marriage to Jeff Richmond, her struggles to balance work and family life, as well as some candid advice for other women on how to make it in a male-dominated industry. Fey explains to readers that her humor is her defense mechanism, and even reveals behind the scenes anecdotes about her famous “30 Rock” character Liz Lemon.

In some chapters like “Dear Internet,” she fends off a few of her critics.

Courtesy of The Golden Globes’ Facebook page

“To say I’m an overrated troll, when you have never even seen me guard a bridge, is patently unfair,” she argues.

One of the book’s funniest chapters describes why photo shoots are “THE FUNNEST,” as she puts it, for a woman not used to playing glamour girl.

“Wherever it is, it’s nicer than where you had your wedding,” she writes. “The makeup artist at your photo shoot will work methodically on your eyelids with a series of tickly little brushes for a hundred minutes … at really fancy shoots, a celebrity ‘fecalist’ will study your bowel movements and adjust your humours,” jokes Fey.

Around the time Fey released her hilarious book, comedic partner in crime Amy Poehler, published a book titled, “Yes Please,” that is a reflection of her unique flair and witty approach to life. Busy starring in NBC’s TV comedy series, “Parks and Recreation,” hosting the Golden Globe Awards, and in the midst of persuading NBC to air her brother’s new half-hour comedy show with Swedish subtitles, Poehler explains in the preface of her book that she wasn’t sure it was the right time to include publishing a book on her plate.

Despite everything she had going on off-screen, her memoir was released and contains memories that are offered to readers as hard-won advice. Presented in a gentle and sincere manner, she gracefully structures her thoughts with poise and humility.

As a reflection and distinction from many of her celebrity counterparts that opted to publish a book, she writes haikus, a traditional Japanese poetry style, about plastic surgery and an annotated history of the development of “Parks and Recreation.” As an added extra, she even includes a letter from Hillary Clinton.

While the duo is best friends in real life, their books represent their own experience and are truly a reflection of the personality of each author. Fey’s work showcases her organizational skills, and her chronological structure is clearly a reflection of how she manages her personal life. Poehler’s book, however, is definitely not a conglomerate of unrelated thoughts but the lack of structure and contained messiness mirrors her free-spirited, no rules, and shameless nature.

If readers are seeking a book that will make them laugh, cry, feel happy and learn about the life through the looking-glass of comedy’s standout women, these books are the quintessential mix of reality and comedy.

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