A playful romp through the psyche of a funny woman.
During the slump for stand-up comedians following 9/11, Retta found herself facing stiff competition for acting roles. “It was hard to stand out in the crowd,” she writes. “It felt like I was being lumped in with one group—funny black female—and the powers that be were making no effort to discern the difference between us. You’ve heard the phrase, ‘They all look alike?’ Well, apparently we all WERE alike.” She has since distinguished herself through her breakthrough role on Parks and Recreation and as queen of an exponentially expanding social media following, and this memoir offers plenty of other details to separate her from the run of the comedic mill. Her family is first-generation immigrants from Liberia. She attended Duke University on a pre-med track, planning to be a neurosurgeon, and left as a pharmaceutical rep who moonlighted at comedy clubs. The predominantly Caucasian Duke campus was where she first felt most black; she bonded with minority students, and when she started with comedy, she felt that she didn’t fit the stereotype for black stand-up. She has an addictive personality, and she considers coffee, TV, purses, and social media among her obsessions. She was once invited to live tweet an LA Kings hockey game by someone with the team who loved her on TV and knew she had a strong following, and she quickly embraced the sport and the team she had previously known nothing about. “If you follow me on social media, you may know that I am a…Kings fan,” she writes. “I’m not kuh-ray-zee, but I am definitely enthusiastic. I love me some Kaaannnngggsss. I know that meeting a black woman with a love for hockey is a bit like stumbling upon a unicorn in the woods.” Much of the book is written in a similar voice, and some of the chapters are mainly setups for a series of tweets, but the author’s life path is unquestionably interesting.
A humorous memoir that will please the author’s many fans and followers.