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A Very Punchable Face

A Memoir
Narrated by: Colin Jost
Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
4.9 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

Non-member price: $39.01

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller

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

“I always wanted to punch his face before I read this book. Now I just want to kick him in the balls.” (Larry David)

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 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, Jost shares how he has navigated the world like a slightly smarter Forrest Gump. 

You’ll also discover things about Jost 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 25-man match at WrestleMania (and almost won). You'll go behind the scenes at SNL and Weekend Update (where he's written some of the most memorable sketches and jokes of the past 15 years). And you’ll experience the life of a touring stand-up comedian - from performing in rural college 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.

©2020 Colin Jost (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Colin Jost is as funny as his face is punchable. Which is to say: very. He also knows a lot about Staten Island, soiling himself, internal parasites, and firemen’s pensions. He’s really the whole package. And if you care about comedy - writing it, performing it, watching it, or giving up any semblance of a normal adult life for it - so is his book." (Zadie Smith)

"Colin Jost is one of the best people I know and one hell of a writer. This book proves both to be true." (Seth Meyers)

"I was caught off guard by how much I enjoyed this book, considering how indifferent I feel about Colin as a person." (Amy Schumer)

"An inspiring story that reminds us that if you are born with looks and talent, you can still make it." (Conan O’Brien)

"I think this book is fantastic. I haven’t read a single word of it, but it’s got everything I want in a book - a front, a back, a good spine. And it’s got some heft. Whoever wrote this book knew what she was doing. Well done." (Michael Che)

What listeners say about A Very Punchable Face

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A very funny book

As a fan of SNL and Weekend Update but with little to no knowledge about the life of Colin Jost I immensely enjoyed this book. It made me laugh out loud and even managed to feel emotional as he talked about his mother. Huge plus was listening to him read his own stories. Also he must use amazing make up coz you can’t tell he’s had multiple sets of stitches on his face.

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  • Jane
  • 30-07-2020

Incredible❗️

This is just what we need to get through the Agony of Trump and Covid ❗️

11 people found this helpful

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  • Erin E. Auffrey
  • 27-07-2020

Amazing

I don’t watch SNL because I am old (38) and knew very little about Colin but heard about this book on Stern and he said it was hysterical. I laughed out loud so hard and often my husband thought something was wrong with me. Highly recommend. So, so funny. I will basically follow everything Colin does from now on because he is so funny and human at the same time. (Ps: I have never reviewed a book before even for those I loved....this was that funny and worth it).

10 people found this helpful

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  • Smith
  • 31-07-2020

Funny Book

This was an interesting listen. I enjoyed hearing about Colin’s Staten Island roots. The behind the screen stories about SNL were a real treat as well. He references photos that are featured in the text copy of the book. It would have been nice to receive a pdf with the photos.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-08-2020

Never buying a Volkswagen

Hands down one of my favorite books in recent memory. The humor and the bad luck the followed Mr. Jost was very relatable. The chapters on SNL were perfect and a good dive into how the show runs. But the chapter, “why I love my mom”, is without a doubt, the best writing. It was deeply personal and to hear about the experience and picture it through your words, made it much more emotional. Thank you, Mr. Jost for such a wonderful book during a wretched year.

4 people found this helpful

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  • ABJ
  • 30-07-2020

Terrific story

Excellent storytelling talent. Haven’t laughed this much in a long time. I like this guy.

3 people found this helpful

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  • K. McGinty
  • 26-07-2020

One of the most enjoyable memoirs I’ve ever read

As a long time fan of Colin Jost I knew I’d enjoy this book. I was pleasantly surprised that my already high hopes were blown out of the water. This book is hilarious, heart warming, and feels like you’re listening to a good friend. A perfect read for these stupid covid times.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Martha Robles
  • 26-07-2020

Okay, I’ll buy the freakin book!

Except for harassing me to buy the real “book”—audio books count, too, Colin! I enjoyed listening to Colin talk about soiled pants, misadventures and great behind the screen stuff from SNL. But I was surprise and listened tearfully to the reverence in which he wrote / spoke about his mother, Mrs. Jost, and her horrifying experiences on 911; the sincerity in his voice as he describes his father, family, and fellow comedians. Well done!!

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  • TigerFan
  • 30-07-2020

I couldn't stop laughing

I am a big fan of Colin Jost, I love SNL and I love him and Michael Che on Weekend Update. I had eagerly awaited for this book to come out ever since I first found out about it. I really like that it is read by Colin himself, it gives the book a more authentic feel. I enjoyed listening to him describe his upbringing, how is his mom is truly a hero (Thank Ms. Jost for everything you did in 9/11), and describing life at SNL. I recommend anybody interested in this book to pick the audio version as well.

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  • Lizzie Eifler
  • 01-08-2020

Absolutely loved this book!

I've always enjoyed Colin Jost on SNL, so I was anxious to read his memoir. It is cleverly written, dead funny and just a lot of fun to listen to. He referred to pictures in the hard copy so many times that I actually bought it as well. Crazy, but worth it. Highly recommend this.

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  • Edwin K. Hatler
  • 30-07-2020

Walking with Colin Jost

I really enjoyed this book. I like how the writer and reader were the same. I will recommend it, however I will not be purchasing the hard copy, sorry. :)

1 person found this helpful

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  • SaraDee
  • 14-09-2020

Why I love Colins mom

I had no idea who Colin Jost was before I downloaded this book but I'm glad I do now. A very very funny and emotional book which had me snorting with laughter then crying at others especially in his chapter Why I love my mom which was made particularly emotional from the first hand account of her experience of 9/11 and the love you hear in Colins voice when he speaks of her as he narrates. I wouldn't have been a huge fan of SNL before but it gave great insight into the show and motivated me to go and rewatch some of his recommended sketches which I'm glad I did (lobster diner!). Some of his personal experiences were just so bat sh*t crazy I have my doubts as to their veracity but it still makes for an entertaining listen. To note if you are anyway squeamish maybe don't read Chapter title Eggs in my legs. The level of detail and description in that chapter over audio was nauseating... but otherwise a great book! ;)