Though reasons why to love Amy Poehler are as boundless as Leslie Knope’s love for Joe Biden, as helpful as the “Ask Amy” segments, and as obvious as Mrs. George’s nipples in that tracksuit, in honor of the October 28 release of her book Yes Please, here are my four favorite things about Amy Poehler.
1. Amy’s Laugh
Amy Poehler’s laugh is the very sound of sunshine itself. I could probably cure Seasonal Affective Disorder if I could only bottle her laughter into little vials and sell them wholesale at Costco. Her raucous cackle sounds like what I imagine Ancient Greek comedy masks would make if they didn’t look so damn terrifying. Others have noticed the radiance of Amy’s laughter, too, as evidenced by Amy’s casting as the emotion Joy in the unbelievably exciting new Pixar film, Inside Out.
2. Amy’s Feminism
Whether taking down the government’s stance on birth control on Weekend Update (I wish I could get this gif tattooed on my neck), showing politicians how it’s done as Councilwoman, garbagewoman, and Pawnee Goddess as Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope, or challenging the limits of gender roles, Amy Poehler is constantly shattering the glass ceilings of the universe’s millions of Boy’s Clubs. Outside of her acting career, Amy helped found the Smart Girls at the Party web community. Amy’s Smart Girls works as a website, web series, and non-profit, promoting creativity and education as forces of social change.
2. Amy’s Advice
As part of the Smart Girls series, Amy enlightens us with advice segments. These “Ask Amy” videos aren’t high production value, scripted fakery. The clips are no-frills truth nuggets – just Amy, a webcam, and her beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful brain. She covers everything from negativity, to body image, to loving yourself. It’s the closest thing you’ll get to having Amy as the older sister at a slumber party who tells you that high school won’t be that bad and that tampons aren’t terrifying. The next closest thing was her recent Reddit AMA where she talked dinosaurs, waffles, and what Adam Scott smells like.
3. Amy’s Fearless Comedy
Amy Poehler is an example of how comedy isn’t about sticking your big toe in the pool. It’s about big, splashy cannonballs. Whatever role she plays, she commits, and does so fully. Never shying away from weirdness (such as the Justin Bieber-esque spawn of Tina Fey and Idris Elba), Amy becomes each character with frantic energy. Her level of detail in these transformations makes her performances riveting. From the Hillary Clinton laugh or the invisible gum on Bronx Beat on Saturday Night Live, to the ass-swishing walk of Mrs. George in Mean Girls, Amy leaves no improv-ed physical comedy stone unturned.
4. Amy’s Producer Picks
As if I couldn’t thank Amy enough, I must offer her my eternal gratitude for bringing the universe the obscene perfection of lady led comedy, Broad City. Besides serving as executive producer, Amy also directed an episode and had a cameo as a smack-talking chef. Amy also executive produces and occasionally acts in her brother Greg’s memoir-like culture clash comedy, Welcome to Sweden. I pray that someday I may attend a Poehler family reunion; it would be blue eyes, sunshine cackles, and positive vibes all day long.