In her new memoir, Yes Please, Amy Poehler opens up about her childhood, her divorce from Will Arnett, and her own outstanding female anatomy. The book, which is a mix of personal stories, essays, advice, and plenty of memories from Saturday Night Live, is a hilarious yet tender look at the actress’ journey from the first time she she fell in love with improve (for the record, it was during her fourth grade performance of The Wizard of Oz) to fighting for the survival of Parks and Recreation.
Here’s what we learned about comedy’s fairy godmother:
Even Angelina Jolie would be jealous of Poehler’s… vagina.
When opening up about giving birth to her first son, Archibald, Poehler prefaced with an indisputable self-made proclamation about her anatomy. “I don’t consider myself beautiful or famous, but my vagina certainly is. Everyone knows this. I have the Angelina Jolie of vaginas.” Despite the A-list status of her vagina, Poehler was nervous about giving birth, which happened the night before Jon Hamm first hosted SNL in 2008.
Giving birth led to a number of big things for her friends.
When her water broke at 3:30 am on Saturday morning, Poehler was forced to pull out of that evening’s episode of SNL. As a result, Elisabeth Moss stepped in to replace Poehler during a Mad Men sketch and met Fred Armisen for the first time that night. A year later, the two got married. (The two eventually divorced in 2011.) Seth Meyers, Poehler’s Weekend Update co-host, delivered the Update solo for the first time. Meyers would later host the segment solo for five years following his co-star’s departure.
Harvey Korman and Tim Conway inspired the Emmy beauty pageant gag.
In her book, Poehler reveals that she was inspired by a bit Korman orchestrated when, during the list of nominees, he and his fellow Emmy nominees stood up as if they won. Ahead of the 2011 Emmys, Poehler and fellow nominee Martha Plimpton plotted a similar gag with Laura Linney, Edie Falco, Melissa McCarthy, and Tina Fey. The way Poehler describes how it all went down, it sounds like a dream:
“Rob Lowe and Sofia Vergara read my name and I just got out of my seat and pretended I had won. Standing up there, I could feel the audience’s delight and confusion, followed by pure joy when Melissa and the other women followed suit. … We all came up onstage and held hands like were in the final moments of the Miss America pageant. I felt like I might die from happiness. When Melissa won, we all genuinely screamed with joy. Standing onstage being funny with those ladies was so much better than winning.”
Watch the moment again. Right now:
Poehler was nervous about hosting the Golden Globes for the first time until she sat on George Clooney’s lap.
The actress decided to sit in the audience when the category she was nominated for was announced. Poehler opted to sit with Clooney — more accurately, in his lap. When he asked “what kind of bit” she was cooking up, she said she was going to pretend to be totally engrossed by him. “As the camera cut to me he whispered in my ear, ‘The thing about making movies is…’”
Poehler loves to snoop even if it ends up backfiring on her.
The actress admits that she is a snooper, something that started when she was a child and would rummage through her own parents’ room. While she never found anything more scandalous than some old copies of Playboy, snooping on her “male model” boyfriend didn’t end so well. “I made the mistake of snooping and reading the model’s journal.” After reading one of his entries about her, she learned that he thought she was “funny but not that pretty, which was kind of like cool, you know?” Needless to say, after some hurt feelings she ditched his sorry (hot yet boring) ass.
Yes, even Poehler has tried drugs.
In a chapter titled, Obligatory Drug Stories, or Lessons I Learned On Mushrooms, the actress recalls some of her more rebellious moments. “I tried cocaine, which I instantly loved but eventually hated. Cocaine is terrific if you want to hang out with people you don’t know very well and play Ping-Pong all night. It’s bad for almost everything else.” In addition to trying coke, Poehler admits she was a “stoner for a year” after college.
And yes, divorce “sucks.”
“Getting a divorce really sucks. Imagine spreading everything you care about on a blanket and then tossing the whole thing up in the air. The process of divorce is about loading that blanket, throwing it up, watching it all spin, and worrying what stuff will break when it lands.” Poehler and Arnett filed for divorce in April of 2014.
Yes Please (Dey Street Books) is available where ever books are sold on Tuesday, Oct. 28.