You’re the best: Amy Poehler

Story by Eric Christenson


I’ve been more than vocal about my undying love for “Parks and Recreation.” It’s the best show on TV; that’s actually a fact. I won’t gush quite yet.


But let’s rewind a little bit. My love for Amy Poehler runs much deeper and it starts way before “Parks” does and frankly there are TOO MANY reasons why I love her, so let’s see: I have to make a chronological timeline of the reasons why…


Amy Poehler:





Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts and Amy (a.k.a. The Upright Citizen’s Brigade) come to New York from Chicago to perform their long-form improv show and start performing their unique sketches to new audiences.



– The Upright Citizen’s Brigade becomes a TV show on Comedy Central.




– The Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre opens in NYC, co-founded by Besser, Walsh, Roberts and Amy. The UCB Theatre features long-form improv and standup comedy and it’s been a huge hit, so much that they’ve opened a second theatre in L.A. The UCB Theatre is home to high quality comedic performances and is still crazy affordable by never charging more than $8 admission. It’s become one of the most respected comedy theatres in
the country.




– Amy joins the cast of “Saturday Night Live” and is one of only three people ever to be promoted from featured player to full-time cast member in her first season on the show (alongside Eddie Murphy and Harry Shearer). Amy is really versatile, able to play straitlaced Hillary Clinton with a shot of crazy, do a dead-on Rosie Perez impression and invent achingly funny characters like Kaitlin, an extremely enthusiastic and lispy preteen and Amber, a reality show contestant who is brash, cocky and rocks one leg.




– Amy guest stars in “Arrested Development” as Gob’s (her real-life husband Will Arnett) wife. In the episode called “Altar Egos,” Gob and Amy (who is nameless) get married after a series of escalating-out-of-control dares. Amy played Gob’s wife in five episodes over the three seasons “Arrested” aired.




– Amy leaves “SNL” to take care of her new baby Archie, which is an ADORABLE NAME.


– Amy stars with Tina Fey in “Baby Mama” where she plays an irresponsible, childish surrogate mother for Tina Fey’s baby. It is a very good movie!




– “Parks and Recreation” debuts on NBC. It’s first season (6 episodes) is nothing grandly special, but…


– When it comes back for it’s second season, it’s immensely better. It finds its stride and Amy’s character of Leslie Knope is markedly less Michael Scott-y and is instead extremely good at her job, goofy, smart, caring and dedicated. She’s a great role model even if she’s a little selfish. The show gets fairly widespread critical acclaim even if ratings aren’t great. The show is almost criminally funny and heartfelt. I fall in love.




– This time, Will Arnett guest stars on “Parks and Recreation” as a MRI doctor that Leslie gets set up with on a date. The date goes well and then we find out that Arnett’s character is quite a loon and he’s extremely passionate about MRIs. He’s so passionate that he takes Leslie to the hospital to give her a free scan and then sends her a bill for $2000 for it when Leslie ends the date early. I cry with laughter.




– Amy gets completely snubbed at the Emmy’s for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (for “Parks”) for Melissa McCarthy. I drown my sorrows in J.J.’s Diner waffles (Leslie Knope’s snack of choice).


New York Magazine runs a retrospective for the 15th anniversary of the Upright Citizen’s Brigade with a photo slideshow of “Poehler-oids”, which are 30 polaroids of Amy in different makeup and costume at the UCB theater, in sketch performances and on the TV show. They are great!


So that’s a lot! She is literally the funniest person on the planet and I want her to succeed even more than she has, and I hope that you do now, too!