Amy Poehler is an American actor, writer, director, and producer. She is known for her appearance as a featured regular in the hit TV show ‘Saturday Night Live.’ She is also known for her appearance in the series ‘Parks and Recreation.’ Having dreamt of carving a niche for herself in the field of comedy and acting, she joined a number of comedy theaters, such as ‘ImprovOlympics,’ ‘Upright Citizens Brigade,’ and ‘Second City.’ She then went on to make a name for herself with her rib-tickling performances on television shows that aired on ‘Comedy Central.’ She has received a number of honorable awards and nominations for her works in the field of comedy, and has made an indelible impression as a comedian. She is of Irish, Portuguese, and English ancestry, and believes that her motley background was instrumental in her success as a comedian. She has also starred in a number of films and shows, including ‘Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,’ ‘Mean Girls,’ ‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Sesame Street,’ ‘Shortcut to Happiness,’ ‘Shrek the Third,’ ‘Horton Hears a Who!,’ ‘Megamind,’ and ‘30 Rock.’
Childhood & Early Life
Amy Meredith Poehler was born on 16 September 1971, in Newton, Massachusetts, USA, to William Grinstead Poehler and Eileen Frances. Both her parents were school teachers in Newton, Massachusetts. She was raised in Burlington, and graduated from ‘Burlington High School’ in 1989.
She studied at ‘Boston College,’ where she became a member of the improvisation troupe, ‘My Mother’s Fleabag.’ She graduated from the university in 1993, with a bachelor’s degree in media and communications.
She then moved to Chicago city, where she joined ‘Second City’ and the ‘ImprovOlympic’ group. She became friends with Ian Roberts and Matt Besser with whom she performed improv. Later, they moved to New York City in 1996.
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Together with Ian Roberts and Matt Besser, she scored regular gigs on the popular show ‘Late Night with Conan O’ Brien.’ In 1998, the trio debuted in ‘Comedy Central’ with half-hour sketch comedies.
Poehler was taken aboard the ‘Saturday Night Live’ crew during the 2001-2002 season. Subsequently, she started gaining popularity and became part of the main cast during her first season itself.
In 2004, she appeared in the film ‘Mean Girls,’ playing the role of Rachel McAdams’ on-screen mother. Interestingly, Rachel McAdams is only a few years younger to Poehler.
During the 2004-2005 season, she co-anchored ‘Weekend Update’ along with her friend, Tina Fey. When Fey left the show, Poehler co-hosted the show along with Seth Meyers.
She appeared with her husband Will Arnett in the series ‘Arrested Development.’ They then appeared as a brother-sister skating duo in the 2007 film, ‘Blades of Glory.’
In 2008, she once again appeared with Tina Fey in ‘Baby Mama’ where she played the role of a surrogate mother who carries the child of Tina Fey’s character. After a brief hiatus from ‘Saturday Night Live,’ she returned to the show in November 2008.
She announced that she would star in a new series called ‘Parks and Recreation.’ Premiering on April 9, 2009, the first season received tepid reviews from the audience. However, the successive seasons were given rave reviews by audiences and the critics.
From 2009 to 2010, she often appeared as a guest on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and ‘Weekend Update’ in a number of episodes, such as ‘Really!?! With Seth and Amy’ and ‘The Women of SNL’ specials.
From 2010 to 2013, she voiced many characters in films and television series, including ‘Megamind,’ ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.’ She also made appearances in projects like ‘30 Rock,’ ‘Louie,’ ‘The Greatest Event in Television History,’ and the comedy sequel ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.’
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In 2015, Poehler starred in the blockbuster hit animated movie ‘Inside Out,’ voicing the character of ‘Joy.’ Apart from voicing the character, she was also credited for adding her own dialogues to the character. She voiced the same character in the short film ‘Riley’s First Date?’ which was set in the world of ‘Inside Out.’
She collaborated with her friend Tina Fey for the movie ‘Sisters,’ which released in 2015. She also starred in the film ‘The House’ (2017) alongside Will Ferrell.
The year 2019 marked her directorial debut as she directed the comedy film ‘Wine Country.’ With an ensemble cast of Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, Paula Pell, and Tina Fey among others, the film premiered on ‘Netflix.’ Loosely based on a trip to the Napa Valley, the film received positive reviews.
From 2015 to 2019, she guest-starred in a number of shows, including ‘Maya & Marty,’ ‘Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe,’ and ‘Difficult People.’ She also hosted an episode of ‘Saturday Night Live.’
She appeared as a full member of the hit NBC show, ‘Saturday Night Live’ from 2001 to 2008. Through the seasons, she has played notable characters on the show including ‘Amber’, a hypoglycemic reality show opponent, her spoof on the presidential elections as ‘Hilary Clinton’ and ‘Zoe Anderton’, a Spy Glass co-host, who is palpably in love with David Beckham. Her wry humor combined with her on-stage gimmicks has made her one of the most popular personalities on Saturday Night Live in her 138 shows.
Awards & Achievements
She won a ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series’ for ‘Saturday Night Live.’
In 2009, she won the ‘MTV Movie Award’ under the ‘Best WTF Moment’ category for her performance in the romantic comedy film ‘Baby Mama.’
She was presented with ‘The Comedy Award’ under the ‘Best Comedy Actress’ category for ‘Parks and Recreation’ in 2012.
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She won the ‘Gracie Award’ for ‘Outstanding Female Actor’ for ‘Parks and Recreation’ in 2013. In 2014, she won the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy’ for ‘Parks and Recreation.’
In 2016, she was honored with the ‘Best Virtual Performance’ award for the movie ‘Inside Out.’
Personal Life & Legacy
On August 29, 2003, she married Will Arnett with whom she starred in ‘Arrested Development,’ ‘Monsters vs. Aliens,’ and ‘Blades of Glory.’ They were blessed with their first child in 2008.
In 2010, she gave birth to their second child. Just two years later, the couple announced that they were going to split. Eventually, they got divorced in July 2016.
She is a staunch feminist, which is clearly evident in her humor.
She loves mimicking other artists and has impersonated several artists, including Jenna Bush, Ann Coulter, Paula Abdul, Fergie, Madonna, Sharon Osbourne, Dakota Fanning, and Britney Spears.
Two of her movies, ‘Mean Girls’ and ‘Envy,’ were released on the same day.