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Star Spotlight: Amy Poehler

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Amy Meredith Poehlerborn September 16, 1971, is an American actress, comedian, producer and writer. Amy Poehler was was born in Newton, Massachusetts to Eileen Frances and William Grinstead Poehler, but she was raised in Burlington, Massachusetts. Her parents were both teachers so education was something that was highly stressed in her household. Surprisingly, Amy Poehler’s distant cousin is famed author Stephen King and U.S. senator Scott Brown, but only through shared New England ancestry. Amy Poehler graduated from Boston College in 1993 and while there she was a member of America’s oldest collegiate improv comedy group, “My Mother’s Fleabag.”

After graduating from Boston College Amy Poehler packed up her bags and moved to Chicago where she studied improvisational theatre at Second City, along with good friend and fellow comedian Tina Fey. Amy Poehler also studied with Del Close at ImprovOlympic while in Chicago, becoming part of the touring company as well as teaching classes at IO. While studying in the windy city Amy became a member of a improv team called the Upright Citizens Brigade, which consisted of many members that included Del Close, Charna Halpern, Matt Besser, Horatio Sanz, Adam McKay, Rick Roman, Neil Flynn, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts. Amy Poehler performed with the Upright Citizens Brigade all throughout Chicago before moving to New York City in 1996 where they scored  TV gig, appearing as sketch regulars on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

In 1998, Comedy Central contracted the Upright Citizens Brigade for a half-hour sketch comedy series that was named after the group. The show didn’t last long and in the summer of 2000 they were cancelled after lasting for three seasons. Amy Poehler then went on to join the Saturday Night Live sketch comedy show in the 2001–02 season, her debut episode being the first one produced after the 9/11 attacks, which was hosted by Reese Witherspoon, had Alicia Keys as a musical guest, and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as a special guest. Amy Poehler went from being a featured player to full cast member in her first season on the show, making her only the third person to have earned this distinction (after Harry Shearer and Eddie Murphy).

Amy Poehler married Will Arnett of the Fox comedy Arrested Development fame on August 29, 2003, and had a recurring role in the series as the wife of Arnett’s character George Oscar “G.O.B.” Bluth II. Amy Poehler and Will Arnett also played a quasi-incestuous brother-sister ice skating team in the 2007 film Blades of Glory, and appeared together in Horton Hears a Who!On BroadwaySpring Breakdown, and Monsters vs. Aliens, along with Will Arnett having a guest appearance on Amy Poehler’s NBC comedy Parks and Recreation and both did voice acting on The Secret World of Arrietty. They have two boys together, Archibald William Emerson “Archie” Arnett and Abel James Arnett. Amy Poehler would later SNL to have her first child, but she often returned to appear in numerous sketches on the show.

Amy Poehler left SNL for good to star in her own series called Parks And Recreation that had an all star cast including  Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Paul Schneider, Nick Offerman, and starting with the third season, Adam Scott, and Rob Lowe. Amy Poehler plays Deputy Director of the Parks Department, Leslie Knope, in the fictional city of Pawnee, Indiana. The show has lasted four season so far and is widely praised by critics. Amy Poehler has received an Emmy nomination for her role on the show. Amy Poehler has also appeared in the films  Wet Hot American SummerMean GirlsDeuce Bigalow: Male GigoloTenacious D: The Pick of DestinyBlades of GloryEnvyShrek the ThirdMr. WoodcockHamlet 2,  Horton Hears a Who!Hamlet 2Baby Mama, and Spring Breakdown.

Signed, Isidori Mtabo

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