Amy Poehler's Career About to Enter a New Stratosphere

Photo Credit: NBCUniversal Media
October 31st, 2012

Amy Poehler's Career About to Enter a New Stratosphere

-- Amy Poehler has always had name recognition in comedy circles, especially for fans of the long-running series "Saturday Night Live," where she spent six years. However, with recent announcements, she is set to have her name recognized by a whole new segment of the population who perhaps never watched her on "Saturday Night Live" and have yet to view her superb NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation."

During her tenure at "Saturday Night Live," Poehler became quick friends with then-head writer Tina Fey, who would go on to star in her own NBC sitcom "30 Rock," for which she has won multiple Emmys as an actress, writer, and producer. That friendship would extend far beyond television, especially as Fey began to be courted for her writing skills in film. Poehler had a small part as an overly permissive mother in "Mean Girls" and took the lead along with Fey in "Baby Mama" in 2008. In October 2012, it was announced that the ladies would come together again to host the Golden Globe Awards the following January.

The news of the co-hosting gig was met with excitement by fans of both women since the Golden Globe Awards are seen by millions of people in hundreds of countries across the globe. It will bring more exposure to them both, especially for Poehler, whose film career is not yet as big as Fey's. This will be the second time that the pair have teamed up on television, having co-hosted the "Weekend Update" segments on "Saturday Night Live" before Fey left for "30 Rock."

The good news couldn't have come at a better time for Poehler, who is facing a divorce from husband Will Arnett after nine years of marriage. They have two children together and were thought to have one of the more solid marriages in Hollywood, which is why news of their separation in September 2012 was met with shock by her fans. A big gig like hosting the Golden Globes means that the personal hardship hasn't rocked her professional life, which is a good thing for Poehler's fans.

Besides comedy and sitcom fans, Poehler's fan base has been growing exponentially since she started her website The Smart Girls at the Party. One of the best features of the growing site is a series of videos called "Ask Amy" that she films on her own in her home. Instead of a script or an impersonation, Poehler gets serious and answers questions from fans who send them in, mostly preteen and teen girls. The letters cover everything from body issues to friendship problems, with Poehler answering them with honest, heartfelt answers. Each time a segment is released, it receives thousands of views both on the website and on YouTube, with each subsequent installment earning her more viewers. Her answers are so good, in fact, that ABC News named her its Person of the Week, in part because of her website and videos.

In addition to the Golden Globes gig, Poehler continues to work on her critically acclaimed series "Parks and Recreation," which earned a fifth season even as the rest of NBC's comedy block is undergoing some changes. Both Fey's "30 Rock" and stalwart "The Office" are in their final seasons, which makes "Parks and Recreation" the real anchor show of the night. It is a big honor in a long tradition of great Thursday comedies for the network, where such classics as "Seinfeld" and "Friends" aired. Poehler is a big reason why the show can finally bask in that success. Her take on small-town city councilwoman Leslie Knope is nothing short of hilarious and has earned her three Emmy nominations in the Outstanding Lead Actress category.

Poehler's film career is just starting to rev up as well. She has two films coming out in 2013 and one in 2014 that are all already in post-production. They include "A.C.O.D." with Jessica Alba of the "Fantastic Four" movies and her "Parks and Recreation" co-star Adam Scott, who plays her love interest in the show. There is also "You Are Here," where she teams up with Melissa Rauch of "The Big Bang Theory" fame and Zach Galifianakis of "The Hangover." Finally, there is "They Came Together," whose cast list reads like a laundry list of comedy all-stars. In addition to Poehler, there is Ed Helms from "The Office," Paul Rudd from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," and Cobie Smulders from "How I Met Your Mother." Poehler either takes the lead or has a big supporting role in each film, which is no surprise considering how her career is beginning to really take off.