With numerous roles in television and film, as well as producing, writing, and directing credits, Amy Poehler is one of the most famous comedians to come out of The Second City and the Chicago improv scene. Poehler later moved to New York to star in an Upright Citizens Brigade program, eventually landing a spot on Saturday Night Live. She starred in the critically acclaimed show, Parks and Recreation, as Leslie Knope, and produced Parks and Recreation, Broad City, Difficult People, and more. Poehler’s film roles range from Wet Hot American Summer to Sisters, alongside Tina Fey.
Poehler began performing improvisational comedy during college, performing in the troupe My Mother’s Fleabag. After graduation, she moved to Chicago to immerse herself in the Chicago improv scene, including The Second City. While studying improv, she met Tina Fey, who became one of her main comedy partners. They both auditioned for The Second City Touring Company the same day, and toured together, later performing a two-woman show for one night only. Poehler also teamed up with Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh to create the Upright Citizens Brigade, and in 1996, the group moved to New York.
UCB found their footing in New York, eventually debuting as a series on Comedy Central that ended in 2000, and opening a theater and training center in both New York and Los Angeles. Early members included fellow Second City alum Adam McKay, Horatio Sanz, and Neil Flynn. Poehler joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2001, where she became a comedic force, particularly when co-anchoring Weekend Update with Tina Fey. In 2015, Rolling Stone named her the eighth most influential cast member to date. She left the show in 2008, and in 2009, Parks and Recreation premiered.
As a producer, writer, and actor on Parks and Recreation, Poehler has been nominated for nine Emmy Awards and four Golden Globes, winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy in 2014. The show also won a Peabody Award in 2011, and has been continuously praised by critics. In addition to her work on Parks and Recreation, she is an executive producer on Broad City, Difficult People, and The UCB Show. In 2008, she co-created Smart Girls at the Party, a web series aimed at female empowerment and encouraging young girls to be creative and hone their talents. Alongside Tina Fey, she hosted the Golden Globe awards from 2013-2015, with their performances and writing being highly praised. Poehler continues to act, produce, write, perform improv, and more.