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Book Review

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Samantha Bee, I Know I Am, But What Are You?

  • 2010
  • | Publisher: Audioworks

Hilarious stories from The Daily Show’s female correspondent
Samantha Bee, best known as the first female correspondent for the boy-centric “The Daily Show,” is a natural born storyteller. That might be in large part because she was born into a family whose eccentricities were ripe material. In I Know I Am But What Are You?, Bee documents her quirky family, known for its mismatched partnerships and a dramatically high level of divorces — including her parents, who split as teens. (Says Bee, “The fact that they followed through with the pregnancy at all seemed to be their own inept form of teen rebellion.”) One of her biggest saviors was her grandmother, whose sly sense of humor she inherited; a favorite game they would play at the local mall involved following around overweight people and musing, “Do you wish I was fat like that? Would I be more jolly?”

The book, which is Bee’s first foray into the world of memoir-as-humorous-essays, is not only limited to stories of her family. Bee delves deep into self-deprecation, detailing her childhood crush on Jesus as well her myriad bad-job horror stories, including time spent as an assistant in an erectile dysfunction clinic — all read perfectly, dryly, and hilariously by Bee herself. Perhaps most charming is her depiction of her time as a the lead performer in the cast of a tacky traveling Canadian adaptation of Japanese manga series, “Sailor Moon,” where she met and married another cast member, her husband Jason Jones, also a correspondent for “The Daily Show.” Nothing brings two people together like a poorly choreographed dance routine and a mob of angry parents.

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