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A Very Punchable Face: A Memoir by Colin…
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A Very Punchable Face: A Memoir (original 2020; edition 2020)

by Colin Jost (Author)

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11411183,982 (4.09)4
Member:KatyBee
Title:A Very Punchable Face: A Memoir
Authors:Colin Jost (Author)
Info:Crown (2020), Edition: Illustrated, 336 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:memoir

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A Very Punchable Face: A Memoir by Colin Jost (2020)

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If you’re a Saturday Night Live fan, you know that Colin Jost is one of the head writers and co-host of Weekend Update. We all know that I love celebrity memoirs and I originally picked this one up hoping for details on his relationship with his now wife, Scarlett Johansson. I’ll just tell you right up front – there is almost nothing about Johansson in here. But there’s so much other good stuff and it’s so freaking funny that I didn’t even care! A lot of memoirs written by comedians aren’t really that funny unless you listen to them reading it. It’s their delivery that makes it funny. Not so in Jost’s case. I read the print version of this book and was laughing out loud. I read passages out loud to my husband and kids and they laughed out loud too.

One of the funniest chapters is about all the times in his life that he’s pooped his pants. Like, as an adult. And while the way he tells it, it’s hilarious, as someone with Crohn’s disease, I kind of want to have a little chat with him. Pooping your pants once or twice a year is not normal!

Surprisingly, this book also made me teary. Jost’s mother is a physician and was the chief medical officer for the New York Fire Department on 9/11. Reading his account of that day was emotional. And he loves his mom so much, it’s sweet. (She’s still alive but she lost many friends that day.)

Even though he’s only 38, he has a lot of interesting stories to tell. For instance, he almost died surfing with Jimmy Buffet and he was at Harvard at the same time as Mark Zuckerberg and rowed crew with the Winklevoss twins. While there isn’t much about ScarJo included, he does dish on some of the past SNL hosts, which I appreciated. Highly recommended, especially right now when something to laugh about is needed more than ever! ( )
  mcelhra | Feb 14, 2021 |
Just wonderful. Hilarious, smart, fun, frank, and sometimes moving. There was one essay I was not wild about (the Jimmy Buffet anecdote), but the rest were absolutely 5-star events. Jost is a delight to hang out with. He perhaps lays it on too thick with the self-effacement. New rules:

- You may not reasonably harp on how unathletic you are while also talking about how you rowed crew with the Winklevii at Harvard
- You may not say you are shocked you graduated Harvard when you did nothing but work on the Lampoon when you graduated cum laude with a degree in Russian lit
-You may not discuss how undesirable you are when you have just married Scarlett Johansson (they were engaged when the book was published but the rule stands.)

All that said, it is hard to feel too intimidated by a guy who writes about shitting his pants while wearing powder blue golf shorts and it is impossible to not love the person who wrote the beautiful essay about his mother's horrifying experience of 9/11 (she was Chief Medical Officer for the FDNY.) He seems like a mensch to me, and a very very funny mensch at that. ( )
  Narshkite | Jan 6, 2021 |
A VERY PUNCHABLE FACE: A MEMOIR by Colin Jost.
Dear Colin. I loved your book. It got me through election week 2020, and for that I am eternally grateful. Your writing is self-deprecating humor at its finest; so many tidbits about SNL and its talented (and very frenzied staff); so many personal incidents revealed that are quite alarming. I would advise a lot of therapy at your earliest possible convenience. Sincerely, One of your (and SNL’s) biggest fans. P.S. I think I should get a ticket to a taping of SNL for buying your book.

Seriously. I did like the book very much. I saw Colin Jost on camera many times in SNL’s Weekend Update segment and knew he was a comedy writer. But I din’t know he did stand-up or tour with his routines. I picked up a March 16, 2020 issue of the New Yorker and read (and reread) his story “Commuting”. I really, really liked this story and it put me on the alert for more of Colin Jost’s writing. “Commuting” appeared in the book and I was glad to see it again.
Seriously. I would recommend this book, A VERY PUNCHABLE FACE, when one has to survive a horrible, stressful event like staying in a hurricane shelter or living through the 2020 election. It will keep you alive, optimistic and laughing. Five Stars ***** ( )
  diana.hauser | Nov 11, 2020 |
Very funny, but I think you have to be a fan of SNL and have some familiarity with Colin Jost's sense of humor to fully appreciate the book. He has lots of asides and he is very self-deprecating, which is refreshing in a memoir. What I learned about him: he is very injury prone - some due to bizarre circumstances, some due to bad choices and alcohol; he is very smart - he won a citywide scholarship to Regis HS and went to Harvard - my favorite line in the book: "Harvard is like a Professor X's School for mutants, except their mutant powers are playing cello, or computer programming, or being a Saudi prince." (53); he is very talented - president of Harvard Lampoon, head writer on SNL within a few seasons of joining, stand-up comedy; he is very aware of how lucky he is to be all these things. His chapter on his Mom made me cry - she is a Dr. in private practice and also the chief medical officer for the NYFD and was on the scene on Sept. 11. So many of the Jost family's Staten Island friends and relatives were killed that day - Colin was a sophomore in college. Lots of funny anecdotes about SNL cast and where they get their ideas and how hard they work, and what it is like to have to be creative on cue. Definitely worth a read if you fit the initial criteria. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Nov 3, 2020 |
Starts out amusing and touching, gets a little dicey in the middle, but finishes well. Some truly laugh-out-loud moments, and also some cringe-worthy. I enjoyed hearing his words in his own voice. He did mention some pictures in the print version that I missed with the audiobook. ( )
  elifra | Oct 21, 2020 |
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