Sarah Colonna Blows It On Her Own
Sarah Colonna brings the laughs every week on After Lately and Chelsea Lately, and now she's making like her small screen boss and longtime friend, Chelsea Handler, by releasing a book that mines major comedy from the experiences she's lived through over the last few decades.
Titled Life As I Blow It, the tome may share some DNA with Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, but Sarah forged the path to publication entirely on her own! I caught up with the comedian to find out how this book came into being, what surprised her along the way and what's next!
Insider.com: Which came first: the book or the title?
Sarah Colonna: The book [laughs]. Originally it was You Can't Always Want What You Get, which is a big theme in the book, but Random House had a good point, which was it's not the catchiest title [laughs] and is also a bit confusing. Eventually they asked me to come up with a different title, so I did.
Insider: Chelsea wrote the forward to your book and it seems like she has really gone a long way towards fostering a sisterhood in a section of the industry that isn't always female-friendly. Is that fair to say?
Sarah: It's so true. And it's really nice because when I first started doing stand-up, I encountered lots of other women who only saw me as competition. My theory is there's room for everybody, it doesn't have to be like that. It's such a gross feeling. Luckily, neither she nor I were like that, which is why we became friends right away – in addition to the vodka love. Thank God I met her, because if I only met competitive people, I don't know that I would have lasted. Chelsea isn't worried about anyone else being more successful than her, she's not threatened by other women, which I think you sense the instant you step into her atmosphere.
Insider: You've been pounding the pavement for a while. With all the Lately-related success, do you feel like, "About time?"
Sarah: I do feel a little bit like, "F***in' finally," but there was a moment when I was writing the book, doing Chelsea Lately and After Lately where I just felt like I was too busy. But then I remember the days when I worked 8 catering jobs or any of those other terrible jobs I write about in the book. Remembering that keeps me in check. I think if I had been this successful when I was younger, I might not have handled it right. I think the more you have to work for it, the better off you are when you get there.
Insider. Was it harder or easier than you thought to write the book?
Sarah: There were a lot of moments where I said to myself, "What the f*** am I thinking? I have a nice job, I don't need to write a book too!" But I really enjoyed it and doing the book tour has been fun. At this book signing in New Jersey, this girl had her parents drive her from Connecticut just to watch me read half a chapter and sign her book. That's kind of amazing.
Insider: What role did Chelsea play in this process for you?
Sarah: I definitely got her advice – even it was just her ear in times of stress. She was great in that sense. As far as writing that book, I consciously went with a different publisher because I didn't want to put my friend in the position of feeling like she had to get me a book deal [laughs] – plus, I wanted to know that I did it on my own.
Insider: Is there anything in the book you didn't initially plan on revealing?
Sarah: A lot of things, actually. A lot of stories that I didn't originally pitch made it in there, while a lot of what I thought it would be about got cut out. Writing about my friend that I got the cat from who passed away ... I wasn't quite sure if it was my story to tell. But the more I wrote about it and realized what that taught me, made me realize what an important story it was to include.