She's the Boss: Tina Fey on Sarah Palin, Sexism, and More

In "Bossypants," Fey reveals that Palin once offered to babysit her daughter.

April 4, 2011, 5:53 PM

April 5, 2011 — -- She's the first lady of American comedy, and she's got an agenda.

In her memoir "Bossypants," out today, Tina Fey hits back at stereotypes in the entertainment industry and the workplace in general: A) That women can't be good bosses and B) That women aren't funny.

Having won five Emmy Awards for "30 Rock," the show she executive produces, writes and stars in, she's in a prime position to argue against both.

So she does, using sharp, laugh-out-loud anecdotes from her own life to prove her points. It's easy, it's breezy -- this isn't Gender in Society 301, it's Liz Lemon on paper.

Along the way, she explains how Tina Fey, the pale, awkward girl from Pennsylvania became Tina Fey, the pale, awkward woman from Pennsylvania who helms a critically acclaimed show, poses for magazine covers, chases after a 5-year-old and prefers sweatpants to pretty much every other article of clothing.

And yes, she also talks about Sarah Palin, who once offered to let her daughter Bristol babysit Fey's daughter, Alice. (Fey said no.)

Below, six choice excerpts from Fey's memoir:

"Why is this book called 'Bossypants?' One, because the name 'Two and a Half Men' was already taken. And two, because ever since I became an executive producer of '30 Rock,' people have asked me, 'Is it hard for you, being the boss?' and 'Is it uncomfortable for you to be the person in charge?' You know, in the same way they say, 'Gosh, Mr. Trump, is it awkward for you to be the boss of all these people?' I can't answer for Mr. Trump, but in my case it is not."

"She offered her daughter Bristol to babysit Alice during the show if need be. I thanked her, saying Alice was too little to stay for the show. She always went home with her dad after the dinner break. I can't imagine Bristol would have been too psyched to do that anyway; it was her 18th birthday, she was in New York City, and I had made a vicious joke about her a week earlier. But I appreciated the mom-ness of Mrs. Palin's offer."

"There was an assumption that I was personally attacking Sarah Palin by impersonating her on TV. No one ever said it was 'mean' when Chevy Chase played Gerald Ford falling down all the time. No one ever accused Dana Carvey or Darrell Hammond or Dan Aykroyd of 'going too far' in their political impressions. You see what I'm getting at here. I am not mean and Mrs. Palin is not fragile. To imply otherwise is a disservice to us both."

"Mrs. Palin told conservative filmmaker John Ziegler that Katie Couric and I had exploited and profited by her family. But I know better than to respond to attacks in the media. Although if I were to respond, I would probably just say, 'Nice reality show.'"

"Though we are grateful for the affection '30 Rock' has received from critics and hipsters, we were actually trying to make a hit show. We weren't trying to make a low-rated critical darling that snarled in the face of conventionality. We were trying to make 'Home Improvement' and we did it wrong."

"I have a suspicion that the definition of 'crazy' in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to f**k her anymore."

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