Amy Poehler

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Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler 2012.jpg
Poehler at the 71st Annual Peabody Awards Luncheon, 2012.
BornAmy Meredith Poehler
(1971-09-16) September 16, 1971 (age 42)[1]
Newton, Massachusetts, U.S.
EducationBoston College (BA)
OccupationActress, comedian, writer, producer, voice artist
Years active1996–present
Spouse(s)Will Arnett
(m. 2003; separated 2012)
Children2
 
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Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler 2012.jpg
Poehler at the 71st Annual Peabody Awards Luncheon, 2012.
BornAmy Meredith Poehler
(1971-09-16) September 16, 1971 (age 42)[1]
Newton, Massachusetts, U.S.
EducationBoston College (BA)
OccupationActress, comedian, writer, producer, voice artist
Years active1996–present
Spouse(s)Will Arnett
(m. 2003; separated 2012)
Children2

Amy Meredith Poehler (/ˈplər/; born September 16, 1971) is an American actress, comedian, voice artist, producer and writer. Raised in Burlington, Massachusetts, she graduated from Boston College in 1993 and moved to Chicago, Illinois, to study improv at The Second City and ImprovOlympic. In 1996, she moved to New York City after becoming part of the improvisational comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade, which later developed into an eponymous television show that aired on Comedy Central for three seasons. Poehler was also one of the founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in 1999.

Poehler was a cast member on the NBC television show Saturday Night Live (SNL) from 2001 to 2009. In 2004, she became the co-anchor of the Weekend Update sketch along with her friend and colleague Tina Fey. Poehler's work on SNL earned her two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Since 2009, she has starred as Leslie Knope in the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, and received the 2014 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Musical or Comedy Series. She is also an eight-time Emmy Award nominee.

Early life[edit]

Born in Newton, Massachusetts, to high school teachers Eileen Frances (née Milmore) and William Grinstead Poehler, Poehler grew up in nearby Burlington.[2][3] Her father is of German, Irish, Portuguese, and English ancestry, and her mother is of Irish descent.[4] Poehler was raised in the Catholic faith.[5] She graduated from Burlington High School in 1989.[6]

While attending Boston College, Poehler was a member of America's oldest collegiate improv comedy troupe, "My Mother's Fleabag".[5] Poehler graduated from Boston College with a bachelor's degree in media and communications in 1993 and moved to Chicago, where she studied improvisational theatre at Second City, with friend and future co-star Tina Fey.[2][7] Poehler also studied with Del Close at ImprovOlympic.[2]

Career[edit]

Upright Citizens Brigade[edit]

During her time at Second City and Improv Olympic in Chicago, Poehler studied under Del Close and Charna Halpern along with Matt Besser, where they were part of the original improv team called 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.[5]

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/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.[5] 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 both New York and Los Angeles.

Saturday Night Live[edit]

Poehler joined the cast of SNL during the 2001–02 season, her debut 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).[8]

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. In 2008, Poehler was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series,[9] the first SNL cast member recognized in this category. She was heavily favored to win by many critics, but ultimately lost to Jean Smart of Samantha Who?. She was nominated once again in 2009, but lost to Kristin Chenoweth of Pushing Daisies. 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!"

Web promo for 2008 web video of Palin (Fey) and Clinton (Poehler) from NBC.com.

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.[10] 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.[11] 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. She also returned to Saturday Night Live for a special Mother's Day episode on May 8, 2010, hosted by Betty White.[12]

Poehler returned to Saturday Night Live on September 25, 2010, to host the Season 36 opening episode with performer Katy Perry.[13] She returned once again for the Saturday Night Live special, "The Women of SNL". The special aired on November 1, 2010. Between the time she left and the time she hosted, she also returned several times to join Seth Meyers in their "Really!?! With Seth and Amy" segment on Weekend Update. The "Really!?!" segment has aired since with Meyers speaking doing the segment alone, although he was once accompanied by special guest Kermit the Frog. Poehler appeared as a guest in the December 18, 2011 Jimmy-Fallon-hosted episode, starring in the opening sketch and a Weekend Update joke-off with Fallon, Meyers, and Tina Fey. She appeared once again on the February 18, 2012 Maya Rudolph-hosted episode, reprising her role as Betty Caruso in the Bronx Beat sketch (with co-host Maya Rudolph), co-anchoring Weekend Update as well as a segment of "Really!?! With Seth and Amy", and appearing briefly as Hillary Clinton at the end of the "The Obama Show" sketch.

Parks and Recreation[edit]

Poehler with Parks and Recreation co-star Aubrey Plaza at the 2012 Time 100 gala

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.[14] 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.[15]

Poehler joined an ensemble cast including Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Paul Schneider, Nick Offerman, and at the end of the second season, Adam Scott, and Rob Lowe. Poehler plays Deputy Director of the Parks Department, Leslie Knope, in the fictional city of Pawnee, Indiana. After a poorly regarded first season, the show's second, third, fourth and fifth have been well received by critics, and Poehler received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her role. Poehler was featured in The Advocate for her role in the show.

Poehler has written three episodes of the series, the first being "Telethon" in season 2, which was the episode Poehler sent in as her Emmy Award submission in 2010. The second one is the episode entitled "The Fight", which aired on May 12, 2011. She both wrote and directed the 4th season episode "The Debate", for which she received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series and the Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Comedy.[16]

Poehler was again nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy in 2011. She sent the episode "Flu Season" as her submission, but lost to Melissa McCarthy of Mike & Molly. She was nominated an additional two times in 2012, for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy (having submitted the episode "Win, Lose, or Draw"), as well as Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for "The Debate". She lost the former to Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Veep, and the latter to Louis C.K. of Louie. She was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy in 2013.

Film career and other work[edit]

Tina Fey and Poehler at the premiere of Baby Mama in New York.

Poehler has appeared in the films Wet Hot American Summer, Mean Girls, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, Blades of Glory, Envy, Shrek the Third, Mr. Woodcock, and Hamlet 2. In 2008, she began producing a digital series with two of her friends, Meredith Walker and Amy Miles, Smart Girls at the Party, available through ON Networks.[17][18] The show is focused on interviews with young women who are "changing the world by being themselves".[19] The first season of Smart Girls at the Party premiered online November 17, 2008, with Mattel's Barbie signed on as the lead sponsor. Smart Girls at the Party is returning to production in 2012 as part of Google's YouTube Original Channel Initiative initiative to create new content. The new Smart Girls at the Party YouTube Channel went live on July 2, 2012, including new episodes of Smart Girls at the Party along with additional shows by Poehler, Walker, and Miles.[20]

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.[21] In 2009, Poehler earned a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Performer In An Animated Program.[22]

In 2011, Poehler was included on TIME's "100 most influential people in the world".[23] She also delivered the Class Day address to Harvard University's class of 2011.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Poehler married actor Will Arnett on August 29, 2003, and had a recurring role on the series Arrested Development as the wife of Arnett's character Gob Bluth. They 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; both did voice acting in The Secret World of Arrietty.

On October 25, 2008, Poehler gave birth to her first child, Archibald William "Archie" Emerson Arnett, just hours before a Saturday Night Live telecast.[25] She gave birth to her second son, Abel James Arnett, on August 6, 2010.[26] In September 2012, Poehler and Arnett announced that they were ending their nine-year marriage.[27]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1998Tomorrow NightWoman Sprayed with HoseFilm Debut[28]
1999Deuce Bigalow: Male GigoloRuth
2001Wet Hot American SummerSusie
2002Martin & OrloffPatty
2004Mean GirlsMrs. George
EnvyNatalie Vanderpark
2006Southland TalesVeronica Mung / Dream
Tenacious D in The Pick of DestinyTruck Stop Waitress
Man of the YearHerselfSaturday Night Live's Weekend Update with Tina Fey & Amy Poehler was featured in the movie
2007The ExCarol Lane
Blades of GloryFairchild Van Waldenberg
Shrek the ThirdSnow White (voice)
Mr. WoodcockMaggie Hoffman
Shortcut to HappinessMolly Gilchrest
Wild Girls GoneDoreenWith Matt Besser, Ian Roberts & Matt Walsh of the Upright Citizens Brigade.
2008Hamlet 2Cricket Feldstein
Horton Hears a Who!Sally O'Malley (voice)
Baby MamaAngie OstrowskiMTV Movie Award for Best WTF Moment
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
2009Spring BreakdownGayle
Monsters vs. AliensComputer (voice)
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The SqueakquelEleanor Miller (voice)
2011Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. EvilGretel (voice)
Alvin and the Chipmunks: ChipwreckedEleanor Miller (voice)
Freak DanceLillianUpright Citizens Brigade production; incl. Besser, Walsh and Roberts.
2012The Secret World of ArriettyHomily (voice)
2013A.C.O.D.Sondra
You Are HereJanice
Anchorman 2: The Legend ContinuesEntertainment Tonight anchor[29]
Free BirdsJenny (voice)
2014They Came TogetherMolly
2015Inside OutJoy (voice)

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1996–2000Late Night with Conan O'BrienStacy (Andy's little sister) / Various sketch roles
1997Apartment 2FAmy2 episodes
1998Spin CitySusanEpisode: "Single White Male"
1998–2000Upright Citizens BrigadeColby / Various Characters30 episodes
2001–2008Saturday Night LiveHerself / Various Characters142 episodes
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2008–2009)
2001–2002UndeclaredHillary / Top Floor R.A.3 episodes
2004–2005Arrested DevelopmentWife of Gob5 episodes
2005SpongeBob SquarePantsGramma (voice)Episode: "Have You Seen This Snail?"
The SimpsonsJenda (voice)Episode: "Future-Drama"
2006O'GradyWendy (voice)Episode: "Frenched"
Wonder ShowzenMiss Mary2 episodes
2008–2009Saturday Night Live Weekend Update ThursdayHerself5 episodes
2008–2011The Mighty B!Bessie Higgenbottom (voice)40 episodes; Co-creator, Executive Producer, Writer, Voice Artist
Nominated – Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer In An Animated Program (2009–2010)
2009–presentParks and RecreationLeslie KnopeMain Role
Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series (2012)
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series (Musical or Comedy)(2014)
Nominated – Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series (2011, 2013)
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series (Musical or Comedy) (2012–2013)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (2010–2013)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (2012)
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series (Musical or Comedy) (2011–2012)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series (2013)
Nominated – TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy (2011–2012)
Nominated – Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Comedy (2013)
2010Saturday Night LiveHostEpisode: "Amy Poehler/Katy Perry"
Sesame StreetHerselfEpisode: "The Camouflage Challenge"
201230 RockYoung Liz Lemon (Flashback)Episode: "Live from Studio 6H"
LouieDebbieEpisode: "New Year's Eve"
Napoleon DynamiteMisty (voice)Episode: "Thundercone"
201370th Golden Globe AwardsHostTV Special
The Greatest Event in Television HistoryJennifer HartEpisode: "Hart to Hart"
201471st Golden Globe AwardsHostTV Special

Notable characters on SNL[edit]

Impressions[edit]

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, David Spade, Mr. Six, Tonya Harding, Dennis Kucinich, Fergie, Judy Garland, J. K. Rowling, Kim Jong-il, Jenna Bush, Katie Couric, Tinker Bell, Rosie Perez and Katy Perry.

On April 5, 2008, when Christopher Walken hosted, Poehler impersonated him as a member of his family in a sketch called "Meet the Family" (also known as "Walken Family Reunion").

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardCategoryWorkResult
2005Teen Choice AwardsChoice ComedianSaturday Night LiveNominated
2006Prism AwardBest Performance in a TV Comedy SeriesNominated
2008Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy SeriesNominated
2009Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy SeriesNominated
Teen Choice AwardsChoice ComedianNominated
MTV Movie AwardBest WTF MomentBaby MamaWon
Best Comedic PerformanceNominated
People's Choice AwardFavorite On-Screen Match Up (with Tina Fey)Nominated
Daytime Emmy AwardOutstanding Performer in an Animated ProgramThe Mighty B!Nominated
2010Daytime Emmy AwardOutstanding Performer in an Animated ProgramNominated
People's Choice AwardFavorite TV Comedy ActressParks and RecreationNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy SeriesNominated
2011Critics' Choice Television AwardBest Actress in a Comedy SeriesNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Comedy SeriesNominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy SeriesNominated
Satellite AwardBest Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or MusicalNominated
Television Critics Association AwardIndividual Achievement in ComedyNominated
Variety’s Power of Comedy AwardWon
2012The Comedy AwardsBest Comedy ActressParks and RecreationWon
Critics' Choice Television AwardBest Actress in a Comedy SeriesWon
Best Comedy SeriesNominated
Golden Globe AwardBest Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or MusicalNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy SeriesNominated
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy SeriesNominated
Producers Guild of America AwardComedy SeriesNominated
Satellite AwardBest Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or MusicalNominated
Television Critics Association AwardOutstanding Individual Achievement in ComedyNominated
Women's Image Network AwardsOutstanding Actress in Comedy SeriesNominated
Writers Guild of America AwardOutstanding Comedy SeriesNominated
2013Golden Globe AwardBest Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or MusicalNominated
Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy SeriesNominated
Writers Guild of America AwardOutstanding Comedy SeriesNominated
Outstanding Episodic ComedyNominated
Gracie AwardsOutstanding Female ActorWon
Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy SeriesNominated
Critics' Choice Television AwardBest Actress in a Comedy SeriesNominated
Best Comedy SeriesNominated
2014Golden Globe AwardBest Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or MusicalWon

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1277/1278). Sep 20/27, 2013. p. 36. 
  2. ^ a b c "Amy Poehler biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Amy Poehler". biography.com. A&E Networks. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Biography for Amy Poehler". imdb. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d Stated in interview on Inside the Actors Studio, 2009
  6. ^ Cardarelli, Lindsey (November 4, 2005). "Burlington¹s Amy Poehler brings local laughs". Woburn Daily Times Chronicle. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ Fox, Jesse David (January 11, 2013). "The History of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s Best Friendship". Vulture. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Amy Poehler is Real Life Baby Mama"
  9. ^ Amy Poehler Emmy Nominated
  10. ^ Surprise! Amy Poehler Returns to SNL
  11. ^ Cameron and Casey Help Celebrate Amy's Last Night on SNL
  12. ^ STAGE TUBE: New Betty White SNL Promo! (TV Content)
  13. ^ EW Exclusive: Amy Poehler to host 'SNL' premiere
  14. ^ Schneidler, Michael (July 15, 2008). "Poehler to join post-'Office' show". Variety. Archived from the original on August 13, 2008. Retrieved August 15, 2008. 
  15. ^ "NBC wants both a Poehler show and an 'Office' spin-off". THR Feed.com. July 21, 2008. Retrieved August 15, 2008. 
  16. ^ Ryan, Maureen (February 10, 2012). "'Parks And Recreation': Season 4 Finale Scoop, Bradley Whitford Guest Stars And Campaign Heats Up". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
  17. ^ Smart Girls at the Party
  18. ^ ON Networks
  19. ^ Amy Poehler and Friends to Launch New Digital TV Show Aimed at “Smart Girls” and their Parents
  20. ^ "Amy Poehler's ‘Smart Girls’ Kicks Off With Mattel’s Barbie on Board". Tubefilter News. November 14, 2008. Retrieved November 17, 2008. 
  21. ^ Wyatt, Edward (December 12, 2006). "SpongeBob SquareProfits: Nickelodeon Swears by Cartoons". The New York Times. Retrieved June 4, 2009. 
  22. ^ Bierly, Mandi (May 14, 2009). "Daytime Emmy Awards: 'One Life to Live', 'Ellen DeGeneres' top nominations". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 4, 2009. 
  23. ^ "The 2011 TIME 100" Time magazine
  24. ^ Connected Ventures LLC. Copyright 1999-2010. (May 26, 2011). "Amy Poehler's Harvard Graduation Speech - CollegeHumor Video". Collegehumor.com. Retrieved 2012-10-28. 
  25. ^ Laudadio, Marisa (October 26, 2008). "Amy Poehler Gives Birth to Baby Boy". People. Archived from the original on October 27, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2008. 
  26. ^ Oh, Eunice (August 6, 2010). "Amy Poehler and Will Arnett Welcome Son Abel James". Celebrity Babies. Archived from the original on August 16, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Amy Poehler and Will Arnett Separate". People. September 6, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  28. ^ Lussier, Germain. "Louis C.K. Releasing His 1998 Movie Starring Steve Carell and Amy Poehler for $5". Slashfilm. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Anchorman: The Legend Continues". imdb. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon
Weekend Update Anchor
with Tina Fey 2004–2006
with Seth Meyers 2006–2008

2004–2008
Succeeded by
Seth Meyers as sole anchor