I’m a big fan of actress and comedian, Amy Poehler. I admire her ability to completely immerse herself into any character she played on SNL with fearless abandon. As Leslie Knope on the hit show “Parks and Recreation”, Poehler is fantastic in giving the audience a complex but likeable character who is brilliant, bossy, demanding, loyal, fiercely dedicated and very funny. With these thoughts in mind, I was looking forward to reading her debut book “Yes Please”.
Unfortunately, I am disappointed. Part of my reaction was unfairly assuming “Yes Please” would be very similar to Tina Fey’s “Bossypants”. Setting that expectation aside, I still couldn’t fall in love with this book. From the very beginning, Poehler frequently laments to the reader on how hard writing a book is—which gave me the impression her heart was not into this project. Poehler utters this complaint so frequently throughout, I couldn’t help but wonder if that’s why fellow SNL alum, Seth Meyers, and both of Poehler’s parents wrote pieces for this book.
Poehler does a nice job writing about her childhood just outside of Boston; but this section is all too brief. Her early years in show business and SNL are interesting but the author doesn’t seem willing to pull back the curtain very far and let the reader in. “Yes Please” is a hybrid of essays and memoir. For a memoir, an author needs to be willing to give more of themselves than Poehler has.
Amy Poehler shines on the television screen but her comedic talent did not translate onto the page.