Read of the Day: Amy Poehler’s Interview with Paper
5:30 pm, December 9th | by Colette McIntyre
“UCB’s first [NYC] show was at a place called Surf Reality,” she says, pouring honey from a bear-shaped bottle into her tea. “That was ’96. At that time, there was an underground downtown movement — which I’m sure there still is, but I don’t know enough about it anymore. It was an interesting cross between performance art, sketch and music. Tom Murrin used to perform and help run that show — he was one of the nice artists we met early on.”
While talking about Murrin, Poehler recalls a memory of another New York legend who recently died. “I was just getting very nostalgic this week about Lou Reed, too,” she says. “So many of my early memories of New York are of smoking. We all smoked. I was really young, and thought I could live forever. And I remember smoking after a show one night in the late ’90s, outside Theatre 80 on St. Marks, and Lou Reed walked by. I bet a lot of people in New York have a Lou Reed sighting — he’s so iconic, and so New York. And I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I live here.’ He was like a robin in spring. He was like the guy who told you you lived in New York. I always assumed that Lou Reed just walked up and down St. Marks all day long.”
Like Lou Reed before her, Poehler has become somewhat of a New York fixture. She’s called the city home (when Parks isn’t shooting in Los Angeles) since Giuliani’s first term as mayor.
“I moved to New York in April of ’96,” she says. “I was living with my boyfriend at the time, Matt Besser, who’s a member of UCB, in an apartment on 10th Street and Bleecker, right across from a store called Condomania. It’s probably a Ralph Lauren now.”
Poehler’s come a long way since then, but she still regularly performs at ASSSSCAT 3000, the UCB Theatre’s long-running Sunday night improv show in Chelsea. “Like someone who can’t stop visiting high school after graduation,” she says. Attendance at the show is a rite of passage for comedy pilgrims in the same way that bumping into Lou Reed was for a generation of bohemian punks.
For the full interview, click here.