A Very Punchable Face, by Colin Jost
I’m a little annoyed at myself for not writing a review for A Very Punchable Face right after I read it last summer, but I guess I was busy with other things (mom life during a pandemic! Who knew it would be busy?) and didn’t get around to it. That being said, this review won’t be very long, but what it will be is glowing.
Colin Jost, Head Writer of Saturday Night Live, has been a favourite of mine in recent years. I enjoy his banter on Weekend Update with Michael Che, and he has written some of the funniest sketches in the last decade. I was so excited when he announced he would be writing a book that I preordered it on Audible as soon as it became available to me.
A Very Punchable Face did not disappoint: Colin tells tales of his childhood, of his time as a SNL writer and everything in between. I think his surfing story with Jimmy Buffet in St. Bart’s had to be one of my favourites, and the anger in Colin’s voice on the audiobook as he describes what happened to him at the Google offices had me laughing out loud.
The most chilling, impactful story he told, however, was one that centred around his mother. Colin’s mom was the NYFD’s doctor and Colin recounts her experience on the ground the day of the 9/11 attacks. It’s a safe bet that many of us remember where we were at the time the attacks happened, and the story Colin retells is so chilling that I remember where I was while I was listening to this portion of the book: I was putting my 6-month-old baby to bed, rocking him to sleep. I hadn’t expected the serious story in the middle of the book, and ended up with tears streaming down my face, falling onto my little one. I hadn’t read a first-hand account like this in years, and it was such an important, poignant story to hear.
The 9/11 tale is the only “serious” story in the book, I would say. For those of you who were hoping Colin would dish on his romance with Scarlett Johansson, you’ll have to look elsewhere. This book is all about Colin’s hilarious life stories, and I am sure they’ll be more to come as he makes his next career move. Wherever he goes next, I will definitely be watching. (As a fan of his writing, not as a creep).