Thursday, April 30, 2020

Review: A Very Punchable Face

A Very Punchable Face A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started reading this when the publication date was still listed as April, but now it has been pushed to July. (I think this is going to happen a lot while so much is shut down.)

If you know Colin Jost from Saturday Night Live, then you are familiar with the tone of this book - in fact we've seen a few of the SNL from Home episodes and if you've watched that version of Weekend Update, the funny without the laughter, just kind of sent out into the universe - that's how this book feels to me.

The last few chapters are about what it's like to be a writer or Weekend Update co-host on SNL, but the majority of the book is about his life before that, including childhood. It's like a mixture of Rescue Me (Staten Island version) and... male Gilmore Girls maybe? Small town smart kid has to go to the big city and ends up at Harvard, only to turn towards career paths like small town newspapers, stand-up, and writing for television. Colin Gilmore.

But I enjoyed it. Honestly if Rescue Me hadn't already done it, I think his family's story is compelling enough for its own book or tv series (especially his mother, who has the most holy shit story of the entire book) - and when I thought Colin had leishmaniasis I started swearing so I'm glad he threw some of those tangent chapters in. His description of the Staten Island Ferry is probably award worthy. He humble-brag downplays some of his accomplishments in the way a white Catholic-raised male has to these days, but they really are quite significant. His descriptions of speech & debate tournaments are spot on (but then you realize he went to freaking nationals, hello.) He is comfortable making fun of himself, a brand that he has carried with him into SNL.

Now this comes out in July, the 14th last I saw, so keep your eyes out!

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