Yes Please is a great collection of personal anecdotes that not only gave me a glimpse of Amy Poehler’s personal life, but into the life of the struggles of being a woman in show business—particularly, comedy.
Yes Please is a blend of the history of Poehler’s childhood growing up in Massachusetts and her Boston-based college experiences; the struggle to become a comedy actor in Chicago, and her success in the Big Apple; advice on dating and careers; and lovable stories about the people she has worked with. It is a melting pot of Amy Poehler’s brain, and it’s crazy in there: “I love Boston, but we sound like idiots. Our mouths never close and we talk like big, lazy babies. I might get s*** for this but as a true Bostonian all I will say to that is F*** YOU, AHHSOLE, IF YOU GOT A PRAWBLEM WIT ME THEN LET’S MEET BY THE RIVAH!” Spoken like a true Bostonian, Amy.
Poehler gives an abundance of stories that detail her friendships with colleagues such as Tina Fey (“Tina Fey is my comedy wife”) and Seth Meyers (who pens an awesome letter to Amy in the book). She provides a solid amount of autobiography from her birth to her current life without boring the reader. She goes into detail about her years in Chicago as an unpaid sketch comedian in the Upright Citizens Brigade, but rushes through her years at SNL with memorable incidents. However, I have a feeling that if Poehler told you everything she remembered from SNL and Chicago, you’d be stuck with a book twice as long (andYes Please is literally a heavy book).
Amy is mostly silent on her divorce from Will Arnett, except for mentioning how proud she is to have raised their two children together. And why should she comment on their divorce? That’s what the chapter about her “books on divorce” is about. My personal favorite title: I WANT A DIVORCE! SEE YOU TOMORROW. She briefly mentions her relationship with Nick Kroll and chooses not to go into detail. Amy will acknowledge something exists without delving into the entire story. That’s her prerogative, although I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t any gossip she could give her readers. But Amy Poehler is nothing if not classy and professional, even when she’s writing a memoir.
I loved reading about her time at SNL and her years in Chicago struggling to be a comedian. If you don’t watch SNL, Yes Please doesn’t leave you feeling left out; instead it lets you into the glorious mess of the studio at 30 Rock that is helmed by the well-known executive producer, Lorne Michaels. And the stories she does save for us are amazing, such as the one when Sir Ian McKellen hosted SNL and “greeted us every day by booming out in his perfect voice, ‘Good morning, actors!’”
The best part about Yes Please is that it leaves you wanting to read more about her, even if it was another fifty pages (please). When you close the book, you’re not done with Amy Poehler. You want to know more about her, see more of her. And that’s the way she wants it; because she’s not done with us just yet either as she moves on from Parks and Recreation (this upcoming season is its last) onto bigger, and possibly better things.