You may recall hearing me say this when you read my February wrap up post, but I’m not real big on audiobooks. I don’ like how they’re narrated, even with a cast, becuase you still have the same narrator reading the other character’s lines and it wounds so weird. I realize this is a me issue.
But I love listening to memoirs/biography’s when they’re narrated by the person who wrote them because it sounds like the author is speaking right to you! I listened to Michelle Obama’s Becoming on audio, I listened to Tan France’s Naturally Tan, and now I’ve listened to A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost. Now I’ll admit, I realize that most of these physical books come with pictures inside of them so I know I’m missing out on some imagery, but I also know that sometimes the audiobooks have exclusive extras! Like in Naturally Tan, Antoni stopped by and recorded some bits with Tan, and in A Very Punchable Face, Colin let the listener in on a few more things that weren’t included in the physical book. So while there are perks to each version, it really depends on what your preference of media consumption is.
About The Book
A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost, published July 14th, 2020 by Crown Publishing Group & Audible Audio. Recommended reading age is 16+.
Trigger Warnings: Mentions of drug use, detailed descriptions of a first responder at 9/11, strong language
Official Synopsis: Colin Jost has six sets of stitches on his face alone. He’s been punched in at least four different sketches on Saturday Night Live, including once by his boss, Lorne Michaels. But if there’s one trait that makes someone well suited to comedy, it’s being able to take a punch–metaphorically and, occasionally, physically.
From growing up as an overweight kid in a family of firefighters on Staten Island to commuting three hours a day to high school and “seeing the sights” (like watching a Russian woman throw a stroller off the back of a ferry) to attending Harvard while Facebook was created (and choosing comedy instead!), Colin shares how he has navigated the world like a “slightly smarter Forrest Gump.”
You’ll also discover things about Colin that will surprise and confuse you, like how Jimmy Buffett saved his life, how Czech teenagers attacked him with potato salad, how an insect laid eggs inside his legs, and how he competed in a twenty-five-man match at Wrestlemania (and almost won). You’ll go behind the scenes at SNL (where he’s written some of the most iconic sketches and characters of the past fifteen years) and Weekend Update (where’s he’s been “the white guy next to Leslie Jones.”) And you’ll experience the life of a touring stand-up comedian–from performing in rural cafeterias at noon to opening for Dave Chappelle at Radio City Music Hall.
For every accomplishment (hosting the Emmys), there is a setback (hosting the Emmys). And for every absurd moment (watching paramedics give CPR to a raccoon), there is an honest, emotional one (recounting his mother’s experience on the scene of the Twin Towers’ collapse on 9/11.) Told with a healthy dose of self-deprecation, A Very Punchable Face reveals the brilliant mind behind some of the dumbest sketches on television and lays bare the heart and humor of a hardworking guy–with a face you can’t help but want to punch.
About The Author
Colin Jost serves as a head writer for “Saturday Night Live.” He started writing for “SNL” in 2005 and has been co-anchor of “Weekend Update” since 2014.
Jost co-hosted the special editions of “Weekend Update” that aired on MSNBC during the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions as well as the primetime “Weekend Update Summer Edition” in 2017. In 2018, Jost and co-anchor Michael Che hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards. Additionally, Jost wrote and starred in the Paramount/Netflix film “Staten Island Summer,” based on his days as a lifeguard.
He has won four Writers Guild Awards, a Peabody Award and has been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards for his writing on “SNL.”
Jost graduated from Harvard University and is from Staten Island, N.Y.
Where To Find Them
Well, it has Colin’s face on it, and it has a red background. That’s about it. Not a lot of design or illustration to it.
I think it’s fun to get an inside look into celebrities lives occasionally, and when they write books, it’s the perfect way to learn more about them. I think it feels better to learn more about them that way because they willingly told the information and stories of their lives, it wasn’t “unearthed” by the paparazzi or some other talk show host or tabloid. It feels consensual.
Colin talks about what it was like for him growing up on Staten Island as a kid, what his college and new comedian years were like, and finally what probably most people picked up the book for, stories about his time at Saturday Night Live (here on out referred to as SNL). There was his signature dash of humor and jokes thrown in, and lots of vulnerable looks into his life. He really pulled back the curtain while still being a funny guy and it didn’t even seem like he was trying to hard to be relatable.
Would you believe that while reading a book on SNL’s Weekend Update co-host Colin Jost, I cried? To be fair, I can’t imagine not many people crying at the chapter where he talks about his mother’s time as a first responder in the middle of the action when the towers fell on 9/11. It was a breath taking story, and a powerful one. The part where he paid homage to his co-star? co-worker? Pete Davidson’s dad, who lost his life as a first responder on 9/11 & the other first responders he knew who lost their lives on that day is where I really lost it. I wasn’t full on sobbing, but it was a good cry.
On a happier note, I also liked the insights into his life at SNL and when he met his now wife, Scarlett Johansson. I really laughed at the story where he throws a bike over some construction wall and Scarlett films it, and they realize it’s actually some pretty important private property so they book it back to their hotel. Need me a relationship like that.
Least Favorite Moments
Any time Colin told a story about a time he went out dancing or clubbing and embarrassed himself with or in front of a girl was tough to get through but solely because I was feeling the embarrassment second hand. That’s pretty much it.
I most likely won’t, unless it’s the physical book and I want to look at the pictures that Colin Jost kept helpfully reminding the listener of.
Colin is a pretty stand up guy with an interesting past, and I think he’s a good fit at SNL, although I was sad when he mentioned his run might be over sooner rather than later. A fun audiobook to listen to nontheless!