SNL's Amy Poehler Is Singing a Different 'Toon
Amy Poehler and her The Mighty B! animated character Bessie Higgenbottom
In addition to her gig on SNL
, Amy Poehler
serves up laughs in the new cartoon The Mighty B!
(premieres April 26 at 10:30 am/ET, Nickelodeon) and in the not-so G-rated Baby Mama
. We caught up with the funnywoman to talk about her new projects, how much fun she has mimicking Hillary and what it was like reteaming with 30 Rock
's Tina Fey.
TV Guide: In your new animated series, The Mighty B!, you voice Bessie Higgenbottom, a hyper Brownie who dreams of becoming a superhero. Were you that hyper as a kid?
Amy Poehler: She's like Animal meets Gilda Radner meets Daffy Duck meets Jimmy Stewart: energetically optimistic. And I was not too far off from that. I was a "Look at me!" kind of kid. I had really patient parents who were used to me jumping around. And I was pretty bossy, too. I organized a lot of dance contests in my neighborhood, of which I was always the judge.
TV Guide: Were they break-dancing contests?
Poehler: If only! Unfortunately in my suburban basement, it was just a lot of dancing to Michael Jackson records and K-Tel records. I would be the judge, but I would win every time. You gotta go where the talent is!
TV Guide: What cartoons did you watch growing up?
Poehler: I was never a huge Saturday-morning cartoon fan. I was the kind of kid that slept in. I'd stay up really late and build forts and do crazy things and then sleep in. I was the kind of kid you had to wake up on Christmas morning. But I used to love the trippier cartoons that we were lucky enough to have in the '70s, like H.R. Pufnstuf, though I don't even know if you'd technically consider them cartoons.
TV Guide: Are you trying to appeal to adults with the show, too?
Poehler: Yeah. What I love about SpongeBob SquarePants is that it's very watchable for an adult. But kids like it because they don't feel like they're being pandered to. That was what we were looking to do with The Mighty B! Plus, we wanted to do a show that had a strong female character who didn't have too many rainbows and unicorns.
TV Guide: What? You didn't want this to be another Strawberry Shortcake?
Poehler: This is more like "Strawberry Shortfuse."
TV Guide: Bessie is being raised by a single mom and no mention is ever made of her father. What sinister thing happened to him?
Poehler: Tune in to Episode 14! It's a very dark episode. It's all done in Lost-style flashbacks. Or maybe it's like Omar getting killed on The Wire!
TV Guide: Is your husband, Will Arnett, going to pop up in a guest role?
Poehler: I hope so. Will is a voice genius. I learned a lot from him. It's a skill to be in that booth and to figure out how not only not blow your voice out, but also how to make things come alive.
TV Guide: How is it different from performing in front of a studio audience like you do on Saturday Night Live?
Poehler: I like it because you don't have to take a shower. But it is kind of weird. By the time I leave the studio, the room is just filled with spit. I have to hose it down.
TV Guide: Speaking of SNL, do you hope Hillary Clinton wins the nomination so you can keep doing your impression?
Poehler: Even when the Clintons aren't in office, they're still in politics. Actually, I wanted Dennis Kucinich to win because he was much more fun. He's officially done, but I'd love for him to somehow come out of the ashes. I loved putting on those fake ears and that teeny-tiny suit.
TV Guide: You costar with your old SNL pal Tina Fey in the big-screen comedy Baby Mama. Do things get crazy when you two hang out?
Poehler: Yeah. Every night after filming, we'd go to a rave. We'd go to these clubs — I can't even tell you the names of them because if I tell you, they'll shut down. But they're super, super V.V.V.I.P. clubs in the backs of crazy, old, abandoned warehouses. And we'd drink these liquid-gold cocktails. It was amazing. Just like you'd picture.
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