Book Review: Lizz Free or Die

Lizz Free or Die

By Lizz Winstead


In 1991, while watching CNN’s coverage of the first night of Desert Storm on a bad blind date at a sports bar, political satirist Lizz Winstead had an epiphany: “Are they reporting on a war, or are they trying to sell me a war?” Thus began her obsession with “breaking down the media breakdown” that led her to cocreate The Daily Show in 1996. In this charming essay collection, Winstead traces her evolution from the “unladylike” baby daughter of a large Catholic family in Minnesota to a comedian who found “a way to use humor to speak truth to power.” She tells of getting an abortion after being knocked up by her hockey player boyfriend in high school, spending a fortune on her dogs’ waste problems, and saying goodbye to her dying father—all with insight and understated humor.