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Review: A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost

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In these hilarious essays, the Saturday Night Live head writer and Weekend Update co-anchor learns how to take a beating.

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


A Very Punchable Face is by far and away, totally different from my normal day to day reads. I am a romance reader who loves nothing more than a happy ending. So, for me to pick up a Non-Fiction book is a pretty big deal. When I stumbled upon A Very Punchable Face, my first thought was “Hey, look! Colin Jost wrote a book”. After reading the synopsis, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. I mean, this book just sounded absolutely amazing. So, I put my reservations aside and decided to read a book outside my norm, and I have to tell you, I am so glad I did.

From the moment I picked up this book, I was hooked. I didn’t want to put it down. It was so well written and entertaining. From the titles of the chapters to the content within the pages, I just couldn’t get enough. I loved reading about Colin’s life and his journey to SNL. Colin had a lot of personal struggles early on and it was fascinating to see how he became the Colin that makes us laugh weekly on SNL. I loved learning about his family and getting to see a side of him that we wouldn’t normally see. I loved how Colin owned the mistakes he made in his life and was able to make fun himself in the most embarrassing moments.

A Very Punchable Face is genuine, yet funny at the same time. His story is easy to relate to and gave the humor that I was hoping and looking for. For someone who rarely reads this genre, I can tell you that I had the absolute best time reading A Very Punchable Face. I laughed. I cringed. I had a smile on my face the entire time. All in all, a fantastic read from beginning to end. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys humor and loves to laugh.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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