Sunday, April 8, 2018

*Review* I Know I am But What Are You? by Samantha Bee

Genre: Memoir
Published: June 1, 2010
Pages: 242

Candid, outspoken, laugh-out-loud funny essays from the much-loved Samantha Bee, the Most Senior Correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart . Critics have called her "sweet, adorable, and vicious." But there is so much more to be said about Samantha Bee. For one, she's Canadian. Whatever that means. And now, she opens up for the very first time about her checkered Canadian past. With charming candor, she admits to her Lennie from "Of Mice and Men"-style love of baby animals, her teenage crime spree as one-half of a car-thieving couple (Bonnie and Clyde in Bermuda shorts and braces), and the fact that strangers seem compelled to show her their genitals. She also details her intriguing career history, which includes stints working in a frame store, at a penis clinic, and as a Japanese anime character in a touring children's show.

Samantha delves into all these topics and many more in this thoroughly hilarious, unabashedly frank collection of personal essays. Whether detailing the creepiness that ensues when strangers assume that your mom is your lesbian lover, or recalling her girlhood crush on Jesus (who looked like Kris Kristofferson and sang like Kenny Loggins), Samantha turns the spotlight on her own imperfect yet highly entertaining life as relentlessly as she skewers hapless interview subjects on "The Daily Show." She shares her unique point of view on a variety of subjects as wide ranging as her deep affinity for old people, to her hatred of hot ham. It's all here, in irresistible prose that will leave you in stitches and eager for more.

I listened to the audiobook version of this book, which I would definitely recommend because if you're going to delve into Samantha Bee's life, you might as well have her tell it to you straight, right? And I always suspect that there is some ad-libbing going on in the audiobook versions of celebrity memoirs, especially when those celebrities are also comedians. Obviously I could be wrong about that, but let's just let me keep that dream, shall we? 

So if you do take my advice and listen to the audio version of this, I would recommend not doing so at work or around small children unless you are wearing headphones because not all of the topics discussed are exactly appropriate for a work environment, and you'll likely find yourself feeling unprepared to explain certain topics to your children after they hear them from Samantha Bee. 

I'm fairly familiar with Samantha's work on both the Daily Show and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, so I felt like I knew what to expect from her comedy, and she didn't let me down. In spite of all the times I cringed because I wasn't sure if my children were nearby while I was listening without headphones (because I was doing housework and the fashion industry doesn't believe that women need pockets for anything so my phone was just sitting on a counter as I moved around the house), I found myself laughing far more often. 

Ultimately, if you are a fan of Samantha Bee's comedy, you will probably enjoy this book. I give it 4.876746737 stars. - Katie 

Samantha Bee is a Canadian comedic actress and author best known as a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

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