Amy Poehler is a funny lady (and if you don’t think so, maybe this review isn’t for you). She’s smart and talented and unafraid to speak her mind or stand up for herself. And, boy, I did not know that I admired her until I started reading this book. I mean, I think that it’s tough for anyone to write an interesting memoir, let alone someone who’s not only known for being funny, but also predominantly associated with sketch comedy, a medium which encourages the performer to use more than just his or her voice. So, Poehler isn’t just funny because of what she says, she’s funny because of the way she says it, or how her body moves while she says it, or the look she gives just after she finishes saying it. And that kind of humor is so totally hard to get across in print. (So, yeah, I’m a fan.)
Although Yes Please is technically a memoir, it doesn’t really feel like one. Poehler weaves past experiences into her most recent accomplishments, telling a thematic story instead of a linear one – interpreting her life instead of just regurgitating it. Her book is divided into loose essay-ish narratives punctuated by huge two-page quotes and hilarious photos while her writing is thoughtful, and brash, and foul, and frank, and, yes, funny. I want to be Poehler’s best friend and laugh at all her crude jokes. I want to let her know that she inspires me to be bolder, more honest, and, most importantly, less critical (of both myself and of others). She gives me courage to say the truth, even when that means admitting that I’ve screwed up. Her memoir isn’t just her story so far – it’s everything she’s learned while living that story, a story I really hope means another book will pop up someday down the road, complete with even funnier pictures and even dirtier humor.
In short, remember the titular directive: be polite and ask for what you want. (Yes please indeed.)