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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)

Named One of the Best Books of the Year by Cosmopolitan, Vulture, and Parade

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

What the critics say

"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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So funny

This book brought lightness to a very heavy time. I laughed, I cried, and I laughed some more. I’m listening a second time, and may have the book memorized by the end of this pandemic, as I try to find laughter in my days.

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Fantastic Read!

A great book. Colin is very well read. It’s filled with laughter & a few tears (911). His mother is very inspirational as well. Thanks for sharing your story!

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Amazing

Fantastic that’s all I have to say because its that good. It would leave Anyone speechless in emotion

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Funny Read

Great entertainment in tough times. One of those books where it feels like it ends too soon. Well done Colin! Oh...you should sue Google.

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Mr. Johanson's Jolly book

Lots of laughs and some heart. Colin's performance was great. Most chapters were concise and funny (brevity is the soul of wit). Moms story about 9/11 was a bit long, but clearly an emotional and impactful event in authors life. 4/5 I recommend.

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Laugh outloud Funny

Loved this audio book ! Read by Colin & he's got an easy to listen to voice. Stories shared were hilarious inside glimpse of his life & I enjoyed all of them. Such a great listen and a well received break from all the doom & gloom of living in a global pandemic

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Funny as hell!

Didn't knew him before this audio book. He was never on my radar but he's now my favorite comedian's book by a mile.

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I liked it so much - I crapped my pants!

Loved the book. Funny how you find yourself while looking at others. Would be an excellent read for those lost in their personal development. Funny where it should be. Tragic where you aren't expecting.

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yep, totally a punchable face

I only watch SNL for the Weekend Update, so getting to learn all about Colin and his climb to where he is today was a funny interesting tale.

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Great fun!

Loved it. Truly entertaining and funny. Well written and well read. I was aware of Colin Jost before this book, but I am now a big fan!

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  • Erin E. Auffrey
  • 2020-07-27

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).

40 people found this helpful

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  • Smith
  • 2020-07-31

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.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-08-01

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.

16 people found this helpful

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  • MYRA
  • 2020-09-27

Biggest hit in my 2020 library

2020’s been rough. I’ve lost family members to Covid and Cancer. My daughter was trapped in Italy , for 11 weeks as Covid raged around her. My anxiety went through the roof and I’ve really had to filter out any books that might add to it. This book was like taking a much needed vacation. I laughed out loud for the first time in months. The stories were personal but relatable and told with such honesty and emotion, I was easily drawn in and completely entertained. Colin is a master storyteller and his delivery immpecable.

14 people found this helpful

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  • K. McGinty
  • 2020-07-26

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • ABJ
  • 2020-07-30

Terrific story

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

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  • Martha R.
  • 2020-07-26

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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  • A. Elmashni
  • 2021-06-12

Read the book … don’t listen to it

I believe that if I had read this book I’d had enjoyed it much more. Colin host reading is just painful. He is monotone and cannot deliver his own punch lines - whenever he has one in this book. His voice puts me to sleep 💤.
However his stories are really good, interesting, well written, funny at some parts, relatable on others. I loved the chapter about why he loves his mom. That’s why I believe reading it would had been so much better.

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  • Lizzie Eifler
  • 2020-08-01

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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  • TigerFan
  • 2020-07-30

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.

2 people found this helpful