Off the Shelf: Yes, Please

Yes PleaseYes Please by Amy Poehler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes, I think comedy books do better as audio books. There can be more experimentation with audio, the reader can convey more speaking than writing and the format just seems a little more fun. (Or maybe I’m predisposed to think that due to the comedy podcasts I listen to.) In any case, Yes, Please is a miscellany of essays, lists, poems and insights that I enjoyed more listening to than reading. The summary on the copy I checked out from my library described it as a cool dinner party that we all get to hang out at & I have to agree.

Yes, Please is read by Poehler herself, but has plenty of guests like Carol Burnett, Patrick Stewart, and Michael Shur dropping in to play along. Many of the biographical essays are associative like The Big Rewind: A Memoir Brought to You by Pop Culture, but Poehler ties up any narrative loose ends in a satisfying way. I particularly liked her essays on when to apologize in comedy or helping a non-profit group further their goals in Haiti. They were moving to listen to because you can hear the emotion in Poehler’s voice, driving home her insights with sincerity & poignancy.

The book is a little name-drop-y, but in a good way. You can’t totally be surprised when the author tells you upfront that stories about working hard to get what you want are boring compared to the cool stuff you get to do once you succeed. Yes, Please is fun, cool, thoughtful & compassionate & totally worth the listen.

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