Yes Please

Yes Please

eBook - 2014
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In a perfect world . . .We'd get to hang out with Amy Poehler, watching dumb movies, listening to music, and swapping tales about our coworkers and difficult childhoods. Because in a perfect world, we'd all be friends with Amy—someone who seems so fun, is full of interesting stories, tells great jokes, and offers plenty of advice and wisdom (the useful kind, not the annoying kind you didn't ask for, anyway). Unfortunately, between her Golden Globe-winning role on Parks and Recreation, work as a producer and director, place as one of the most beloved SNL alumni and cofounder of the Upright Citizens' Brigade, involvement with the website Smart Girls at the Party, frequent turns as acting double for Meryl Streep, and her other gig as the mom of two young sons, she's not available for movie night.Luckily we have the next best thing: Yes Please, Amy's hilarious and candid book. A collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and haikus from the mind of one of...
Publisher: 2014
ISBN: 9780062268372

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Jun 22, 2020

This is not a comedy book.
I mean, it's funny. Amy Poehler can't write a book and not be funny, because she's Amy Poehler. But (and this is not the first time I'm going to compare the two memoirs) where Tina Fey's Bossypants contained humorous essays written specifically for the purpose of being funny, Poehler's does not. Everything is presented in a straightforward, matter-of-fact, fashion, and although a lot of the book is very, very funny, it never seems like this was the specific goal behind the essays.

This is also not a book about comedy.
Although Amy Poehler discusses her time on improv groups in Chicago and New York, Saturday Night Live, and Parks and Recreation, she never gets more in-depth than "then we moved to New York and started working at this theater." Her time on SNL is reduced to a chapter of brief (but fantastic) anecdotes. Amy Poehler is renowned for her ability to play vastly different characters - somewhere on the internet is a photo gallery of all her Second City characters - but she never discusses what goes into each character. The closest we get is this description of her preparing her Hillary Clinton imitation and finally getting a bead on the character by playing her as someone who is tired of always being the smartest person in the room.

Okay, so it's not a comedy book, and it's not a book about comedy, and it's really not even much of a memoir.

The parts that left the greatest impressions on me are the ones where she is demonstrating how to be a good person. The title itself references this - Poehler spends some time discussing how the improv rule of always replying with "yes, and..." is also a good rule for life, and how she tacks "please" onto that . But lest you think she's some kind of pushover, rest assured that Amy Poehler is also a badass who gets what she wants, and if you pay attention, she can teach you how to do that:

"When someone is being rude, abusing their power, or not respecting you, just call them out in a really obvious way. Say, 'I can't understand why you are being rude because you are the concierge and this is the part of the evening where the concierge helps me.' Act like they are an actor who has forgotten what part they are playing. It brings the attention back to them and gives you a minute to calm down so you don't do something silly like burst into tears or break their stupid glasses."

She also teaches you how to be good at what you do, in a very good essay called "Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend":

"Now, before I extend this metaphor, let me make a distinction between career and creativity. Creativity is connected to your passion, that light inside you that drives you. That joy that comes when you do something you love. That small voice that tells you, 'I like this. Do this again. You are good at it. Keep going.' That is the juicy stuff that lubricates our lives and helps us feel less alone in the world. Your creativity is not a bad boyfriend.
...You have to care about your work but not about the result. You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look."

I don't want to imply that this is all heavy, here's-how-to-be-a-successful-person stuff. There's lightness in this book, and like I said, it's funny and fluffy, but there's a solid gold center deep within this seemingly light read that makes it stand out from other comedy memoirs.

JCLHeatherM Jun 10, 2020

Such a fun read; I could listen or watch Amy Poehler all day. She shines in her audiobook as she recalls her childhood (Dorthy in the Wizard of Oz!!), years on SNL, and how she manages to just get by

Sep 30, 2019

I did not find her book very funny and you would have to be a super-fan or be constantly googling to understand her myriad of references and name drops. Also the fact that she is a white woman who went to Haiti on a humanitarian trip to recover from her divorce (as described in an essay in her book) screams 'white saviour'. Also she has not spoken out against Louis C.K and sings his praises in her book, multiple times - tells me she either knew about his behaviour and didn't care or didn't believe the rumours. For these reasons, I cannot get behind her book.

Jul 31, 2019

I listened to the audio book and I have to say this is likely the best way to "read" the book due to her reading it and the well known guest commentary that she has as well. Funny and especially some relevant to women. It is also interesting to hear of all the work she had to do in this business as she crafted her career. I didn't know how many different areas of the business she worked through to get to where she is. We only see the glamorous person after they became famous on SNL but she obviously has talent and works hard at her career.

May 17, 2019

Fans of Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph will definitely want to read Joy Press's "What a Trip!" in Vanity Fair (April 2019). A story of powerful women, amazing friends, and great wine (more or less).

Mar 19, 2019

I took this out cause I was going camping, and wanted something light to listen too....WOW. WHAT A FIND! Highly recommend the Audiobook, there's many cameo voices and tidbits that just wouldn't be as good in a book. I laughed out loud on the bus so many times....

Feb 11, 2019

You HAVE to do the audio book. She has so many guests. Amy is my girl and this book had me completely broken out in giggles the entire time.

Dec 11, 2018

I found this book to be thoughtful, hilarious, and inspiring. Poehler's take on motherhood especially was really beautiful and actually made me cry. Since everyone is comparing it to Tina Fey's book, I'll join in and say I preferred this one, though both are excellent. The audio version is SO awesome, especially if you're a fan of Poehler and other SNL alumni.

Aug 27, 2018

I tried to read this 2x and it was just not entertaining to me. There was too much discussion of her children, and too many "essays" that weren't at all engaging. This book is only for an Amy Poehler superfan, of which I'm sure there are many.

Aug 15, 2018

I thought Tina Fey’s Bossypants was funnier but also enjoyed this.

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Add a Quote
ArapahoeMaryA Dec 22, 2016

"When you are pregnant you can get away with a lot of s@%*. Women really are at their most dangerous during this time. Your hormones are telling you that you are strong and sexy, everyone is scared of you, and you have a built-in sidekick who might come out at any minute."

Jun 28, 2016

"Strangers should be a little strange."


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Jun 28, 2016

Amy Poehler, author, director, and jack-of-all trades in the world of comedy, narrates her memoir, Yes Please. Wildly funny, down-to-earth and to-the-point Amy shows all aspects of herself to her audience of readers and listeners. Yes Please is a finalist for the Prose Bowl. I liked this book and learned more about Amy who really is a new find for me.


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