Poehler’s book features intimate details, including an ode to her own intimates — “the Angelina Jolie of vaginas.” But the actress’s talks with Gross and Stern yielded even more insight.
Below are highlights:
Her book almost had another title.
“I was told once that I have ‘a great face
for wigs,’ which was almost the title of this book. I felt emboldened by the fact that playing
other people, and being in charge of how I looked and the characters I
got to play, helped me [to] escape what was sometimes a disappointing
face in my mind’s eye.“
She sat on George Clooney’s lap, and she wasn’t about to ask for permission.
“I’ve learned that it’s not always smart to ask before you do something, just kind of do it. When [Tina Fey and I] were [hosting] the Golden Globes, there
was a bit where I wanted to sit on George Clooney’s lap… I knew from my years of working both sides, of being on
camera and behind the camera, that it was better to ask George Clooney’s
people, ‘Would you mind if Amy sat next to George when her name was
announced?’… then I just got to the table and I was like, ‘Can I sit on your lap?’
and he was like, ‘Sure.’ So it’s a little bit easier to just ask in
person. It’s a little harder to say ‘no’ in person. That’s what any
door-to-door knife salesman will tell you.”
In a raw moment, Poehler reveals alcohol was a problem in her hometown.
“I was in a kind of lower middle class town in
Burlington, Massachusetts. We did a lot of drinking. I look back now and there was always a teenager or two
that would die in an accident.”
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Gross referenced a passage in the book where Poehler says she drank and drove in her youth and deeply regrets it. The actress’s voice sounded wistful as she said: “We would spell names [of the deceased] out on the
chain link fence near our high school, and then everyone kind of went
back to business as usual.”
One time at “SNL,” Jon Hamm saved the day:
“My OB-GYN had just passed away. I was sobbing and he just kind of came to me and he was like, ‘I need
you to pull it together — this is a big deal for me.’ And it made me
laugh so hard… I loved it. He read the room, he read me right, and it
was exactly what I needed to hear. It was kind of like a punch line,
that your OB-GYN dies the day before you give birth.”
She and ex-husband Will Arnett are making it work with the kids. And her friendship with super-dad Louie CK helps a lot.
“It’s all logistics when you’re figuring the kids out. Everybody
goes through it in their own way when relationships break up,
trying to figure it out. We’re doing a good job. I can’t imagine
people who can’t, for the sake of the kids, figure it out. Louie CK is a
very good friend of mine. He’s like a relationship sponsor for me.”
The split with Arnett was upsetting, but these days divorce fails to impress.
“I don’t think a ten year marriage constitutes a failure. [But] divorce is not that special, so people are kind of interested and then they’re not anymore. You get all the pain and none of the sympathy because [divorce is] so common.”
Being single presents new challenges.
“It was weird to be single for the first time. I remember I went to a wedding. I was single, I was at a wedding for the first time, it was like a drunken night and someone I knew came up and was kind of, like, drunkenly joking that I was hitting on her husband. Which I wasn’t!”
And the greatest challenge of all: John Stamos!
“I was at dinner with John Stamos … [He was] really the thing when [I was] a teenager — not to make him feel old, same with Rob Lowe. [I thought to myself,] ‘Maybe this is a date, I don’t know?’ We worked on a movie together, he did a little bit in a movie I did and a bunch of us hung out. He was like ‘Let’s get dinner!’ [At the dinner,] I think I was wearing a Leslie Knope shirt… a shirt from work, I wasn’t foxed up!”
Stern asked if she’s disappointed she “didn’t fuck John Stamos,” but even in the face of Jesse Katsopolis, Poehler remained zen: “I think everything ended up the way it was supposed to end up.”