cover image The World’s Worst Assistant

The World’s Worst Assistant

Sona Movsesian. Plume, $25.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-593-18551-3

Movsesian debuts with a hilarious look at the past 13 years she’s spent “not [being] great at my job” as comedian Conan O’Brien’s personal assistant. As O’Brien succinctly puts it in the book’s foreword, when the two began working together in 2009, “Sona had the capacity to be ‘terrible,’ but she needed... a boss so outrageous, childish, and nonsensical that together we could create an insane dynamic.” Oscillating between raunchy remarks and self-deprecating wit, Movsesian’s narrative brings that unique partnership to life on the page. Among entertaining tales of misadventures on golf carts, starstruck introductions to former presidents, incognito stalkings, and murder fantasies, her narrative offers a refreshing departure from the traditional assistant horror stories of pleasing a tyrant boss who, Movsesian writes, “won’t take kindly to your refusal to not eat shit.” Indeed, many of her recollections exemplify Conan’s good-natured capacity to find humor in train wreck scenarios—often caused by her knack for forgetting his requests (her mantra: “It’ll come to me eventually”). Movsesian also doesn’t hold back in disclosing embarrassing personal experiences (like the time she dated a guy “who forgot my name in the middle of the date”), acknowledging that, despite the discomfort they’ve brought her, they’ve provided great material for her boss. Brimming with heart and humor, this story of failing upward is a hoot. (July)