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January 20, 2014

Women We Love: Amy Poehler

By Curtis John

amy-poehlerphoto by Peter Yang

During the past few years America has seen a true resurgence of funny ladies. These comedians and comic actors, channeling the legacies of Carol Burnett and Gracie Allen, are bold and unapologetic in their performances.  In the upper tier of these is Amy Poehler, the star and producer of the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, which recently wrapped up its fifth season.  The Newton, Massachusetts raised Poehler got the lead in Parks after seven plus years as a cast member of Saturday Night Live, where she quickly established herself as a go-to player with her impressions of Ann Coulter, Michael Jackson and most famously Hilary Clinton.  She would eventually co-anchor the “Weekend Update,” a coveted spot, until her departure from the show in 2008.

As prominent as it is to be a star featured player on SNL, being the lead on Parks and Rec is what has made Amy Poehler a household name.  The workplace comedy centers on Poehler as Leslie Knope, an overachieving Deputy Director of the Parks Department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana.  Knope’s city government loving, refined-sugar slugging, staunch feminist has an idealism that’s infectious amongst her co-workers and friends in the Parks Department, who despite their indifference to doing any real work will always (eventually) help Leslie accomplish her goals – including ascending to the ranks of the City Council in Season Four.  Poehler plays the highly original character of Leslie with a genuineness that has only made it possible to distinguish the character from the woman when she is ribald, as Poehler was in her co-hosting of this year’s 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards with her old friend and other upper tier funny lady Tina Fey.  She is next set to appear in You Are Here, the feature film directorial debut of Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner.

posted by: Curtis John
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