Queen of comedy gets a homecoming tribute from fans in interview showcase at 92nd Street Y
By Michael Shashoua / Jester Editor-In-Chief; photo: Getty Images
Young women filled the audience for comedy star Amy Poehler in an interview show at the 92nd Street Y on June 16 in which many of her answers to questions by Caryn James were greeted with ravenous applause or laughter.
James own questions to Poehler were just about a third of the 75-minute program, that opened up quickly to questions from the audience and online via Tumblr. Poehler got to create a bit of improv out of a few choice cracks at the “rabble” in the balcony of the auditorium, that she and audience members played off during the evening.
Poehler’s appearance wasn’t an in-depth behind-the-scenes of creating comedy, although a few representative clips from her career were shown, from “Parks & Recreation,” “SNL” and a new Nickelodeon cartoon, “The Mighty B!” in which she voices a character similar to Cassie from the UCB TV series and Caitlin from SNL. The audience had come to be inspired by Poehler as a role model and her success, and she gave them that, telling younger performers in the audience who sought advice “to be around people who love you and love what you do” and also to be prepared “to make no money for 10 years,” which got a big laugh.
More banter in response to question also proved crowd-pleasing, as when someone asked “What’s the easiest way to make Will Arnett [Poehler’s husband and a well-known comic actor] cry?” Poehler paused in thought for a minute, then said mischievously, “Make love to him.”
For the few comedy nerds in the audience, Poehler and James did cover some inside information on “Parks and Recreation” and SNL – in fact Poehler noted that after the program, she was scheduled for a phone call with Michael Shur, the producer, about ideas for P&R’s next season. James and some audience questioners wanted to know what next season might hold, now that her character won the city council election on the show. “It can be interested to see what it’s like when you get what you want,” Poehler said. She later added that her dream guest star for the show would be Bill Murray, and that he could definitely do something that would fit well into the world of the show.
Of her time on SNL, Poehler said some of her favorite characters were odder ones that either never made it on the air, or didn’t really catch on if they did. She also gave a bit of the backstage stories around her rap to Sarah Palin which was replayed as a clip during the program.
Overall, the program featuring Poehler struck a balance between pleasing her devoted female fans and comedy obsessives – although there appeared to be far less of those in attendance. One couldn’t really ask for much more than Poehler gave with this type of an interview show.
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