Amy Meredith Poehler (born September 18, 1971) is an American actress and comedian. She was a cast member on the NBC television entertainment show Saturday Night Live from 2001 to 2008. In 2004, she starred in the film Mean Girls with Tina Fey, with whom she worked again in Baby Mama in 2008. She is currently the lead star of an NBC show titled Parks and Recreation and is currently doing voice-acting for the upcoming film Megamind. She has been nominated twice for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance on Saturday Night Live, and once for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance in Parks & Recreation.
Poehler was born in Newton, Massachusetts, and grew up in Burlington, Massachusetts, the daughter of Eileen and William Poehler, both teachers. A 1993 graduate of Boston College, Poehler was a member of America's oldest collegiate improv comedy troupe, "My Mother's Fleabag". After graduating from college, Poehler moved to Chicago, where she studied improv at Second City, with friend and future co-star Tina Fey. She also studied with Del Close at ImprovOlympic, going on to become part of the touring company as well as teaching classes at IO.
Upright Citizens Brigade
During her time at Second City, Poehler studied with Matt Besser, part of the Upright Citizens Brigade. While the group initially consisted of many members (including Horatio Sanz, Adam McKay, Rick Roman, and Neil Flynn), Poehler quickly became part of the group along with Matt Walsh. The two, along with Besser and Ian Roberts, performed sketch and improv around Chicago before moving to New York in 1996. Immediately after moving to New York, the group quickly scored a TV gig, appearing as sketch regulars on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
In 1998, Comedy Central debuted the group's eponymous half-hour sketch comedy series. During the show's second season, the group opened an Improv theatre and training center in New York City at 161 W. 22nd Street, occupying the space of a former strip club. The UCB theatre held shows seven nights a week in addition to offering classes in sketch comedy writing and improv.
In the summer of 2000, Comedy Central canceled the Upright Citizens Brigade program after its third season, though the UCB Theatre continues to operate. The foursome continue to work together in many projects, and frequently perform together in live improv shows at their comedy theatres in NY and LA.
Saturday Night Live
Poehler joined the cast of SNL during the 2001–2002 season, her first episode being the first one produced after the 9/11 attacks - with host Reese Witherspoon, musical guest Alicia Keys, and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as a special guest. Poehler was promoted from featured player to full cast member in her first season on the show, making her only the third person to have earned this distinction (after Harry Shearer and Eddie Murphy).
Beginning with the 2004–05 season, she co-anchored "Weekend Update" with Tina Fey, replacing the newly departed Jimmy Fallon. In a TV Guide interview, Fey said that with Poehler co-anchoring, there now is "double the sexual tension." When Fey left after the 2005-06 season to devote time to the sitcom she created, 30 Rock, Seth Meyers joined Poehler at the anchor desk. Poehler was nominated for a 2008 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Comedy Series, the first SNL cast member recognized in this category. She was heavily favored to win by many critics, but ultimately lost to Jean Smart. On September 13, 2008, the SNL season premiere opened with Fey and Poehler as Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, respectively, performing a "joint political campaign spot."
It was officially announced on September 16, 2008 that Poehler would be leaving SNL in October due to the birth of her child. On the October 25, 2008 episode, it was announced by Weekend Update co-anchor Seth Meyers, who anchored the segment alone, "Amy Poehler is not here because she is having a baby", to wild applause from the audience. At the end of Weekend Update, special guest Maya Rudolph and current cast member Kenan Thompson sang a custom rendition of "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" for Poehler, changing the words: "We love you Amy, and we just can't wait to meet your baby!" Meyers signed off: "For Weekend Update, I'm Seth Meyers - we love you Amy!"
Poehler returned to the show on November 3, 2008, during the "SNL Presidential Bash '08", "hosting" as Hillary Clinton. The Bash was pre-taped from scenes shot between September and October. Her return to SNL after her pregnancy was on December 6, 2008, where she stayed for two weeks. During "Weekend Update", on December 13, she thanked her family, friends, and fans for the continued support and announced that it would be her last show. On April 18, 2009, a Saturday Night Live special, "The Best of Amy Poehler", aired. Poehler returned for Weekend Update (signing off with "...and he's Seth Meyers") and joined the "chorus" for Will Ferrell's "Goodnight Saigon" (along with the SNL cast and Tom Hanks, Maya Rudolph, Norm Macdonald, Artie Lange, Anne Hathaway, and Green Day) on the SNL season finale on May 16, 2009.
Poehler returned to the Weekend Update desk in the fall of 2009 with Meyers, for two WU Thursday episodes, which led directly into Parks and Recreation. Poehler also returned to Saturday Night Live for a special Mother's Day episode on May 8, 2010.
Parks and Recreation
In July 2008, Variety reported that Poehler was in final negotiations to star in a series by writers Greg Daniels and Mike Schur, set to air on Thursdays before The Office, starting January 2009 on NBC. On July 21, 2008, NBC officially announced Poehler's new series, Parks and Recreation, saying the project would not be a direct spin-off of The Office, as previously speculated.
Poehler joined an ensemble cast including Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Paul Schneider and Nick Offerman. Poehler plays Deputy Director of the Parks Department, Leslie Knope, in the fictional city of Pawnee, Indiana. The show's second season has been well received by critics. On January 29, 2010, NBC announced that it had renewed Parks and Recreation for a third season, which will premiere in the fall of 2010. Poehler was featured in The Advocate for her role in the show.
Film career and other work
Poehler has appeared in the films Wet Hot American Summer, Mean Girls, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny, Blades of Glory, Envy, Shrek the Third, Mr. Woodcock, and Hamlet 2. She is[when?] producing a digital series with two of her friends, Meredith Walker and Amy Miles, called Smart Girls at the Party, available through ON Networks. The show is focused on interviews with young women who are "changing the world by being themselves". The first season of 'Smart Girls at the Party' premiered online November 17, 2008, with Mattel's Barbie signed on as the lead sponsor.
She appeared in various comedy segments on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, often playing her recurring role as Andy Richter's little sister Stacy, and as a recurring character in two episodes of the college dramedy Undeclared. She appears in the film Southland Tales, which premiered on May 21, 2006 at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. In 2008, she appeared in Horton Hears a Who!, Hamlet 2, Baby Mama, and Spring Breakdown. She has also co-created an animated series for Nickelodeon called The Mighty B!, about Bessie Higgenbottom, a "sweet, merit-badge-obsessed girl scout", to which she lends her vocal talents. In 2009, Poehler earned a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Series.
Poehler is married to Will Arnett, of the Fox comedy Arrested Development, and had a recurring role in the series as the nameless wife of Arnett's character George Oscar "G.O.B." Bluth II. Poehler and Arnett also played a quasi-incestuous brother-sister ice skating team in the 2007 film Blades of Glory, and appeared together in Horton Hears a Who!, On Broadway, Spring Breakdown, and Monsters vs. Aliens, along with Arnett having a guest appearance on Poehler's NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. On October 25, 2008, Poehler gave birth to Archibald William Emerson "Archie" Arnett, just hours before the Saturday Night Live telecast. On August 5, 2010, Poehler gave birth to son Abel James Arnett. Abel weighed in at 7 lbs., 13 oz. The family lives in New York City and has two dogs, Puzzle and Suki.
Notable characters on SNL
- Amber, a one-legged hypoglycemic reality show contestant.
- Betty Caruso, Bronx Beat co-host (opposite Maya Rudolph).
- Kaitlin, the excitable preteen titular character of Kaitlin and Rick (opposite Horatio Sanz).
- Netti Bo Dance, a frequent patient at the Appalachian Emergency Room
- Sally Needler, half of The Needlers, "the couple that should be divorced" (opposite Seth Meyers).
- Zoe Anderton, the pun loving, David Beckham-obsessed Spy Glass co-host (opposite Seth Meyers).
Poehler has impersonated Dakota Fanning, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Sharon Osbourne, Britney Spears, Paula Abdul, Rosie O'Donnell, Kelly Ripa, Ann Coulter, Madonna, Avril Lavigne, Sharon Stone, Nancy Grace, Michael Jackson, Lindsay Lohan, Christian Siriano, Peter Ostrum, Mr. Six, Tonya Harding, Dennis Kucinich, Fergie, Judy Garland, J. K. Rowling, Kim Jong-il, Jenna Bush, Katie Couric, Tinker Bell, and Rosie Perez.
Awards and Nominations
|2006||Prism Award||Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series||Saturday Night Live||Nominated|
|2008||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Saturday Night Live||Nominated|
|2009||Daytime Emmy Award||Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program||The Mighty B!||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Saturday Night Live||Nominated|
|2010||Daytime Emmy Award||Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program||The Mighty B!||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series||Parks and Recreation||Nominated|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Stated in interview on Inside the Actors Studio, 2009
- ↑ Amy Poehler News | Amy Poehler is Real Life Baby Mama
- ↑ STAGE TUBE: New Betty White SNL Promo! (TV Content)
- ↑ Schneidler, Michael (2008-07-15). "Poehler to join post-'Office' show". Variety. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
- ↑ "NBC wants both a Poehler show and an 'Office' spin-off". THR Feed.com. 2008-07-21. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
- ↑ "NBC renews Parks and Recreation". HitFix. 2010-01-29. Retrieved 2010-01-30.
- ↑ Amy Poehler and Friends to Launch New Digital TV Show Aimed at “Smart Girls” and their Parents
- ↑ "Amy Poehler’s ‘Smart Girls’ Kicks Off With Mattel’s Barbie on Board". Tubefilter News. 2008-11-14. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
- ↑ Wyatt, Edward (2006-12-12). "SpongeBob SquareProfits: Nickelodeon Swears by Cartoons". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-04.
- ↑ Bierly, Mandi (2009-05-14). "Daytime Emmy Awards: 'One Life to Live', 'Ellen DeGeneres' top nominations". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-06-04.
- ↑ Laudadio, Marisa (2008-10-26). "Amy Poehler Gives Birth to Baby Boy". people.com. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
- ↑ Oh, Eunice (2010-08-06). "Amy Poehler and Will Arnett Welcome Son Abel James". Celebrity Babies. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
- ↑ O'Neil, Tom. "Transcript: Our chat session with Will Arnett", The Los Angeles Times, 2006. Retrieved on May 7, 2007.
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- Amy Poehler named one of Men's Vogue's 2008 Visionaries
- TODAY talent are on People magazine annual list of 100, led by Applegate
Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon
with Tina Fey 2004–2006
with Seth Meyers 2006–2008
| Succeeded by|
Seth Meyers as sole anchor