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Pardon This Winsterruption: Guest Post by Laura Knepper

Lizz Free or Die by Lizz Winstead

Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of reviews of TV-related books. If you're interested in guest reviewing a book written by a TV star, writer, director, etc. contact Chris and Qualler at chrisandqualler@gmail.com. Big thanks to Laura for contributing again!

Okay, so I am a geek for memoirs. Plus a geek for comedy memoirs…but comedian and Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead has authored a book, in glorious detail some times, about herself that reveals the human side of us all in a most humbling, hilarious, and earnest way. To say, “I laughed…I cried…” is an understatement—while laughing or crying with Lizz, the reader’s own world dances with hers and leaves you wondering if that story was your memory or hers. This book shows how an ordinary Minnesotan girl through self-reliance, self-discovery, hard work, strong family ties, and with a big ol’ comfy chair can become someone worth reading a book about. If you don’t feel a little part of yourself in Lizz Winstead, you’re not reading this book right.

Winstead’s “messays”, as she calls her not-entirely-chronological life stories, read part narrative, part self-made dictionary, and part list of comedians and musicians from the 90’s (disclaimer: I LOVED the 90’s). Most chapters go somewhere to the “Taboondocks” including manipulative Catholic scare-tactic home décor, dogs eating dog feces, down-under wardrobe malfunctions, a full cavity spa treatment, and opening for a Frankie Valli concert (Baby Boomers can boo too you know). It’s the steel trestles of a really good self-accusing comedy hour with life-lesson buttresses.

Between the one-liners funny enough to break your ribs, there’s always an underlying current of wild emotion and passion. She reminds us of why parents, although nagging, deaf and theft-prone, are the best thing to happen to any of us—they’re people we watch Jeopardy! with and the people who leave ridiculous voicemail messages for us and the people who bring our siblings together even at the most dire of times. She reminds of how your career path, especially at the beginning, can seem crooked or misguided, but with dedication, a shitty side job, and a lingering lack of sleep, you can often get to where you want to go. She reminds us of how people deal with ridiculous bosses, get non-TV-famous-teen-pregnant, and attend bad blind dates. It’s all very real and relatable.

So there’s a catch. Now that Lizz Winstead is your hilarious best friend (jealous, Sarah Silverman?), she leaves you for show business. Turns out she had the talent for not just biting political stand-up and working on The Daily Show, but also production for Air America Radio and a political activist for Planned Parenthood. A true down-to-earth celebrity inspiration for all (or at least for you crazy Bill Maher loving liberals out there). Don’t worry though…she’ll still invite you over for Sunday dinners. Cause, when it comes down to it, she’s still Minnesota Nice.

Laura Knepper is a friend of The Blogulator as well as the founder of LKc Style, an affordable personal shopping company exclusively for men's clothing. Click the link to find out more.

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