December 12, 2014

Andy Cohen, Andrea Martin, Amy Poehler...

Andy Cohen, Andrea Martin, Amy Poehler, a rabbi, and monk who has taken a vow of silence walk into a bar... 

Okay I have no idea on the punchline there, but those first three would make it funny, not to mention the rabbi and the monk would keep it interesting.

Andy Cohen, Andrea Martin and Amy Poehler... these three celebs (or two celebs and a wannabe) all have new sort-of-memoir-type books out and I have read them all.

What can I tell you? I like like my reading fast and light.

I read them, so you don't have to... here's a quick guide:

Andy Cohen, The Andy Cohen Diaries

Cohen is a TV producer of stuff like the Real Housewives series (don't watch 'em), host of a nightly cable talk show (doesn't air in Canada), and a super-gay b-list celebrity who is smart, funny, happy, and always a charming guest on talk shows... and he seems to be always on talk shows. 

I loved his first book, Most Talkative, about his growing up and coming out.

This one is the adventures in his New York celeb-gawking life, and about his love affair with his first dog, a rescue named Wacha.

I loved loved the dog parts.

This book is inspired by the infamous Andy Warhol Diaries; Cohen chronicles his chaotic crazy whirlwind work and social lives for one calendar year, naming names and being both egotistical and neurotic.

I loved the first three quarters of this one, admired his life glam life, and then it got to be a bit much... I love shallow, I embrace shallow, but this really is a shallow look at a shallow year.

That being said is still great fun to read; Cohen is a smart and charming writer, and when your best friends are Anderson Cooper, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kelly Ripa, your social life will always be an entertaining read.

Amy Poehler, Yes Please

This former SNL-er and current Parks and Recreation star, not to mention Tina Fey BFF, has always been charming and likable. 

That niceness in this book, which can be both good and bad when it comes to reading material. 

And while she doesn't tell anything too personal  (“I don’t want people to know my shit”), Poehler tells funny insider-y stories of showbiz, sweet stories of her kids, and some fun anecdotes from her semi-wild past.

Fun to discover was her close friendship with Seth Meyers -- who appears throughout the book and guest writes a chapter -- and her funny tribute to Fey in rhyme.

Poehler is wildly different than her goody-goody Parks TV character, from her drug experimentation to her love of a good curse word... Amy Poehler is surprisingly a badass. 

Complaints about Yes, Please? The book has too much filler (do we really need to hear from both her parents?), a lot of white space, and too much whining about how hard it is to write a book (I would guess that $3 million advance eased your pain).

The best parts are the SNL backstage bits (they paid to fix her teeth) and her funny bits about drugs, most of which (with the exception of pot) she scorns. “Cocaine is terrific if you want to hang out with people you don’t know very well and play Ping-Pong all night. It’s bad for almost everything else.”

If you are already a fan, which I am,  you'll like the book. Otherwise pass.

Andrea Martin, Lady Parts

Of these three I knew the least about Martin going in, and yes her career is much more wide ranging career than SCTV and My Big Fat Greek Wedding... in addition to an Emmy she has two Tonys for her work on Broadway.

Both Martin and this book are funny and very sweet and surprisingly bawdy (she considered calling the book Perky Tits)... all good stuff!

I liked her Martin before and love her now... even though discovered here she is not Canadian, though sufficiently self-effacing and apologetic.

The book is a collection of stories from her life --- her career, her childhood, her family, and a really weird country-crossing mad devotion to her hairdresser.

Martin does covers sad topics, including her own eating disorder and the AIDS death of her best friend, yet is still sunny and optimistic.

This is the best of the three.

Next up... the Martin Short book, if only for the title:  I Must Say: My Life As A Humble Comedy Legend...