I freakin’ LOVED Yes Please. In fact, I was talking to my Dad about it ages ago and he responded “Oh yeah I bought Yes Please and I am going to read it soon”. As I picked my jaw up off the floor, I then asked him to ring me as soon as he’d finished it.
A couple of weeks later, I was chatting with him and he bursts out in the middle of our unrelated conversation with, “Oh you know that Amy Poehler, she is hilariously filthy. Especially when she talks about being in bed with a guy and….” I had to scream down the end of the phone to stop him from finishing that sentence.
However, the fact that my non-cursing highly respectable father had just read the same book as me and was wanting to share his thoughts was quite amazing. If a book can speak to both a 60 year old man and a 28 year old woman, then it is a damn good book indeed.
Yes Please is Amy Poehler’s debut memoir. She followed in the footsteps of her best friend Tina Fey and it did anything but disappoint. I must confess that I bought the audiobook for two reasons. First of all, I’m quite lazy and second, I heard that Amy asked special guests to help her read it. And man-oh-man just wait for Kathleen Turner to start reading out loud, it is beyond.
Amongst the witty chapters about being a successful woman in comedy, there are other chapters that harbour some incredibly painful times for Amy. She tells the story about how she accidentally offended actor Chris Cooper and his wife with one of her sketches on Saturday Night Live.
She inadvertently and mistakenly made fun of a foundation in support of people with cerebral palsy. After receiving a letter from Chris Cooper’s wife, whose son died from cerebral palsy, Amy was defensive at first but then succumbed to her profound regret and sadness about the whole situation. I even wrote down her quote and glued it to my desk,
“anger and embarrassment are often neighbours”.
She described everyone’s worst fear. That moment when you accidentally offend someone you love and respect and your apology doesn’t sit well and they still kind of think you’re a jerk.
It was something that sat and stewed with Amy for years and I think that her experience is so relatable. Haven’t we all said or done something that we immensely regret and it comes back to embarrass us and makes us feel sick? Like a hangover or thinking Donald Trump was harmless?
That feeling of “longing for someone to like us” doesn’t discriminate against famous people. It was because she shared these little relatable stories that made her a real person to me, instead of that funny lady off Parks and Recreation.
When “reading” Yes please it was hard not to compare it to Bossy Pants by Tina Fey. Amy and Tina are best friends so it makes sense that their stories would be similar and coloured with their hilarious personalities. In saying that, they were written and published three years apart and in that time Tina had another baby and Amy went through a divorce. So Amy’s book is just a little more up to date, but they are both equally funny and delightful.
Yes please is witty, engaging and truly authentic. And next time you answer “yes” to anything, I beg you follow it with a “please”. Because if there is one thing that I learned from this book it is that sometimes laughter can hurt people, but politeness never can.