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Amy Meredith Poehler (born September 16, 1971) is an Americanmarker actress and comedienne. 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 alongside Tina Fey, with whom she worked again in Baby Mama in 2008. She is currently the lead star of a new NBC show titled Parks and Recreation. 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.

Early life

Poehler was born in Newton, Massachusettsmarker, and grew up in Burlington, Massachusettsmarker, the daughter of Eileen and Bill Poehler, both teachers. A 1993 graduate of Boston Collegemarker, Poehler was a member of America's oldest collegiate improv comedy troupe, My Mother's Fleabag. Her college room mate was future improv veteran and MTV host, Kara McNamara. After graduating from college, Poehler moved to Chicagomarker, where she studied improv at Second City alongside 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.

Career

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 Yorkmarker in 1996. Immediately after moving to New Yorkmarker, 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, the announcement came that Comedy Central had 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, as well as frequently performing together in various 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 ever 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 doing a "joint political campaign spot." Poehler plays Hillary Clinton as a highly accomplished, neurotic politician obsessed with becoming President of the United States.

It was officially announced on September 16, 2008 that Poehler would be leaving 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!"

Amy returned to the show on November 3, 2008 during the "SNL Presidential Bash 08," "hosting" as Hillary Clinton. The Bash was pre-taped from bits and pieces shot between September and October. Her return to SNL after 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 a Saturday Night Live special, The Best of Amy Poehler, aired. Poehler returned for Weekend Update (signing off as: ...and he's Seth Meyers) and joined the "chorus" for Will Ferrell's "We All Went Down Together" (along with the SNL cast and Tom Hanks, Maya Rudolph, Norm McDonald, Artie Lange, Anne Hathaway, and Green Day) on the SNL season finale with Will Ferrell on May 16, 2009.

Poehler will return to the WU desk this fall with Meyers for two WU Thursday episodes, which lead directly into "Parks and Recreation".

Other work

Poehler has appeared in films such as 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 currently 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.

In the past, she often 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, and Baby Mama and will star in 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 it was announced that Poehler earned a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Series.

In July 2008, Variety reported that she was in final negotiations to star in a series by writers Greg Daniels and Mike Schur, set to air on Thursdays after The Office, starting January 2009 on NBC. On July 21, 2008, NBC officially announced Poehler's new series, Parks and Recreation, saying the project will not be a direct spin-off of The Office, as previously speculated. Poehler was featured in The Advocate for her role in the show.

Personal life

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. The couple also appeared in Horton Hears a Who!, and Monsters vs Aliens, and they will star together in the upcoming films On Broadway and Spring Breakdown. They live in New York City and have two dogs, Puzzle and Suki. In The Paz Show, she played Ping Big Penguin. She also created The Paz Show. Amy was named one of People magazine's 100 most beautiful people for 2009.

On October 25, 2008, Poehler gave birth to Archibald "Archie" William Emerson Arnett just hours before the Saturday Night Live telecast.

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1999 Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo Ruth
2001 Wet Hot American Summer Susie
2004 The Devil and Daniel Webster Molly Gilchrest
Mean Girls Mrs. George
Envy Natalie Vanderpark
2006 Southland Tales Veronica Mung / Dream
Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny Truck Stop Waitress
2007 The Ex Carol Lane
Blades of Glory Fairchild Van Waldenberg
Shrek the Third Snow White Voice
Mr. Woodcock Maggie Hoffman
2008 Hamlet 2 Cricket Feldstein
Horton Hears a Who! Sally O'Malley Voice
Baby Mama Angie Ostrowski Won Best WTF Moment in 2009 MTV Movie Awards
2009 Spring Breakdown Gayle
Monsters vs. Aliens Computer Voice
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel Eleanor Voice
2010 Hoodwinked 2: Hood vs. Evil Gretel Voice


Television

Year Title Role Notes
1996–2000 Late Night with Conan O'Brien Stacy, Andy's little sister
various sketch roles
Regular
1998–2000 Upright Citizens Brigade Colby, various characters Main Role
2001–2008 Saturday Night Live Herself, various characters Regular
2002–present The Paz Show Ping Big Penguin (voice) Co-creator of series
2005 SpongeBob SquarePants Gramma (voice) "Have You Seen This Snail?"
2005 The Simpsons Jenda (voice) "Future-Drama"
2008–present The Mighty B! Bessie Higgenbottom (voice)
Sissy Sullivan (voice)
Co-creator of series
2009–present Parks and Recreation Leslie Knope Main Role


Notable Characters on SNL



Impressions

Poehler has impersonated Dakota Fanning, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Sharon Osbourne, Britney Spears, Paula Abdul, Norah O'Donnell, Kelly Ripa, Ann Coulter, Madonna, Avril Lavigne, Sharon Stone, Nancy Grace, Michael Jackson, Christian Siriano, Peter Ostrum, Mr. Six, Tonya Harding, Dennis Kucinich, Fergie, J. K. Rowling, Kim Jong-il, Jenna Bush, Katie Couric, Tinker Bell, and Rosie Perez.

References

  1. Amy Poehler Biography - Yahoo! Movies
  2. http://www.actressarchives.com/news.php?id=10357
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weekend_Update#Seth_Meyers_and_.5BTemporarily.5D_Amy_Poehler_.282009.E2.80.93present.29
  4. Amy Poehler and Friends to Launch New Digital TV Show Aimed at “Smart Girls” and their Parents
  5. O'Neil, Tom. " Transcript: Our chat session with Will Arnett", The Los Angeles Times, 2006. Retrieved on May 7, 2007.


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