Amy Poehler released her first book Yes Please on Oct. 28. The humorous memoir gives readers everything they want and more. It’s hilarious, witty and full of good advice and life lessons. Based on Amy Poehler’s previous credits, I had high expectations for her memoir. With her work starring on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” writing and performing for “Saturday Night Live” and acting in numerous comedies, Poehler is no stranger to making people laugh.
Yes Please is a mixture of essays and hilarious tales from Poehler’s past, along with some pieces of wisdom and more serious stories. But as Poehler jokingly puts it, “Let’s call this book what it really is: an obvious money grab to support my notorious online shopping addiction.”
Poehler shares stories that make her relatable to a variety of audiences ranging from college students, high schoolers, young girls––essentially anyone struggling to figure out who he or she is. Poehler occasionally uses self-deprecating humor to convey her idea that being in the background is okay. For instance, when she recalls being voted “third runner-up for ‘Most Casual’” in her high school yearbook.
Jokes aside, Poehler offers some serious insight and wisdom. One particularly prominent theme is her discussion of feminism. In the male-dominated comedy industry, Poehler has had years of experience in dealing with day-to-day oppression and offers lots of uplifting anecdotes and ideas.
Poehler’s discussion of dating in high school particularly stuck with me. “You had to be hot, but not a slut,” she wrote. “You had to be into sex but never have it, except when your boyfriend wanted it. If you had sex, you had to keep it a secret but also be very good at it, except not too good.” She follows this passage by discussing “the demon,” the voice inside every girl’s head telling her she isn’t pretty enough, good enough or interesting enough.
On top of the more serious sections, there is certainly no shortage of laughs. My two personal favorite sections of Yes Please are the “birthing plan” and one chapter written by Poehler’s long-time friend and colleague Seth Myers.
“Birthing plan” is a mock letter from Poehler and then-husband Will Arnett to their hospital doctors, describing exactly how they want the birth of their first child to go. “We plan on delivering the baby to the soundtrack of Pink Floyd’s The Wall while simultaneously watching The Wizard of Oz,” Poehler wrote. “If this kid works with us, we guarantee your minds will be blown.”
Anyone looking for a book that offers a perfect balance of hilarity and wisdom will find it in Yes Please. You will laugh, cry and get a deeper look into the mind of one of today’s most celebrated comedians.