Top 11 Comedy Heroines: Amy Poehler
03. Amy Poehler . Why Amy Poehler? Her background is similar to Fey’s – born and raised in Massachussets and a graduate of Boston College; with training at Second City and with the Upright Citizens and then a turn as a featured player on SNL for quite a few years, it would appear initially as though she’s not too different from Fey – but it’s her choices beyond that that make her a comedy idol for me.
Her imitation of Hillary Clinton on SNL is so spot-on and perfect – you feel Hillary’s passion and see her as a person, but it’s also hilarious. Her characters are always hilarious and yet real. Plus, her marriage to husband Will Arnett (one of my other comedy heroes) is sweet and seems real, and her ability to be comfortable with who she is is inspiring.
The moment I realized that I truly looked up to Amy Poehler, though, was the first episode of her show Parks and Recreation – Her character, Leslie Knope, is a woman in politics who refuses to be put down; and believes in the power of women in politics. Her naivete isn’t portrayed as stupidity, but instead as optimism – she takes her job seriously, and it’s great.
Amy Poehler Quotes
“I’ve said this before, that, when you’re in school and you’re the class clown, men are really good at making fun at other people and women are really good at making fun of themselves. I’ve directed all-female groups and I’ve been in them, and I find them really refreshing and challenging. When it comes right down to it, it’s talented people really that I like working with rather than male or female.”
“I get a bit nervous [onstage] because I just want the show to go well. I think you always have to be a little bit nervous, or else you’re a little checked-out, and that’s maybe the time when you’re not doing your best stuff, because you’re kind of just checked-out and falling back on stuff.”
“I had no idea how to get guys to notice me. I still don’t. Who cares?”