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GQ's interview with Amy Poehler

Mar 7, 2015

An Interview with Amy Poehler 

Pint sized. Adorable. Unspeakably foul-mouthed. All reasons why Amy Poehler gets the GQ Stamp of Approval. But she also had the stones to sign up for the strangest project of the spring--a mysterious non-spinoff spinoff of The Office set in small-town Indiana. The 37-year-old Massachusetts native sat down to chat about what the six-episode run will look like, the finer points of the comic battle rap and the meaning of the word "flurge".

Talk to me about the new show. Since none knows anything about it except that you're--ya know--in it.
I know. I know. People are confused. I play Leslie Knope, the head of the parks department in a small town--and her dream is to build a new park. When Obama says, "Okay America, let's get to work!" Leslie is the one who responds, "Great! I have all these big ideas!" Government shows are usually about people making huge decisions super quickly--ya know, those big walk-and-talk shots down the halls of the White House. We wanted to explore the small ways in which people try to make a difference and fail--in a mockumentary style, like The Office.

Sounds like you're making an effort to speak to the Obama moment.
Well, there's something to be said for banging up against an administration keeping you down, but it's about how "hope" translates into actual change. Mike Schur and Greg Daniels did research for the show and met with some city planners. To me, there's a lot of interesting stuff to be mined, character-wise, from the people that get in the way of that, or don't want to change, or talk a lot about it but have no idea how. So I think the plan is to have the show on for 18 years and then at the very end we build a park. That would be amazing.

But it's not a spinoff.
Right. It has nothing to do with The Office other than style. Our world seems a lot bigger to me than theirs, actually. But that could just be because I'm shorter than Carell.

Since your Sarah Palin throw-down on Weekend Update, it has been widely acknowledged that you're a master of the comic battle rap. Any tips for the youngsters out there?
It's more about attitude then content. Always. And I'm the perfect example of how you don't have to have size to intimidate your opponent. You should rest up, work on your hard looks. You might wanna spit on the ground when you come into the arena. And it doesn't hurt to be pregnant when you step to someone, because no one can really fuck with you. What was Palin gonna do? Hit me?

You also called our new Secretary of State a "flurge."
I love how many people were like that... is... INSULTING. We just made that word up!

But if anyone doubts the power of comedy, just look what you guys did during that election. I mean, take Palin. Katie Couric did half the job but...
...poor Katie Couric. I want to publically apologize to playing her while I was so unbelievably huge. I want her to know that I did not at any point think I looked anything like her. But the minute you start using words like "important" and "powerful" when it comes to comedy you're doomed. I'll say is that it was really amazing how plugged in we were and how many people were paying attention. But we couldn't start thinking about that or it would get really self-righteous really quickly.

Your husband Will Arnett has a show (Sit Down, Shut Up) premiering in April too. Wanna test out your trash talk?
In this economy? Dude, we're happy to both be working.

You cofounded one of the most influential comedy theaters in the country -- The Upright Citizens Brigade -- you did seven seasons on SNL. Next is this show. Can you be stopped?
Rachel Dratch is working on it. We were talking about Malcolm Gladwell and how he says you have to do something for 10,000 hours to be considered an expert. And I was like, 'I guess I'm an expert in improv then...' Huge mistake. Rachel said she plans to introduce me as "the expert of improv" from now on, so I'd be guaranteed to have a fucking hideous show. Every. Single. Time.
LA General

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"In The Motherhood" starring UCBT performers Jessica St. Clair & Horatio Sanz debuts Thursday, March

Mar 7, 2015

'In The Motherhood' Shows The Funny Side Of Raising Kids

Webisodes meet the tube when ABC premieres the TV version of In the Motherhood on Thursday night -- and ET is behind the scenes.

Cheryl Hines, Megan Mullally and Jessica St. Clair headline the comedy about juggling motherhood, work and love while raising kids that was adapted from the popular Internet series by the same name.

"A lot of the Webisodes were inspired by users' experiences, and we have also used those and been inspired by those. And we had to add more story arcs, emotion, things like that, because they're very short. But they were absolutely inspirational to us and, tonally, I think, have a lot in common," executive producer Jennifer Konner says.

Cheryl is the only cast member who actually has a child, so the others sometimes turn to her for advice -- and her best real-life advice for moms?

"I would say don't take yourselves too seriously," she says. "And when you do really screw up, which we all do probably, you have to let it go and move on, because your kid's probably not sitting around, thinking about it as much as you are." In the Motherhood also introduces the latest trend in mother's helpers: a manny. After all, since Britney Spears had one, others were soon to follow.

"I'm sure people will see how great I am at being a nanny," says Horatio Sanz, who plays Horatio, the manny. "It's really fun for me to do it, because, you know, I have all the benefits of having a baby except making it. I didn't make these babies. But I get to play with them. They're very cute. And then, a baby wrangler comes and grabs them when they start crying or if they poop themselves."

What makes the Internet series so successful is its relatability, and that is what the cast expects will make the TV version a hit, too.

"I think what's great about this show is that it's showing that underbelly that nobody talks about, things you'd only say to your best friend about what you did," Jessica adds. "I don't have a child, but I have friends who have these newborns. And they'll call me from, like, a linen closet, 'I don't know what I'm doing. And this thing's crying, and I guess I'm supposed to do something about it. But maybe I made a mistake.' And you just wouldn't want to ever share that with anyone, but it's nice to feel like you're not alone."
In the Motherhood premieres Thursday night at 8 p.m. on ABC, taking over the Ugly Betty timeslot for six weeks.
LA General

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VH1's "Free Radio" starring UCBT alums Brian Huskey & Anna Vocino returns Thursday, April 2 at 11pm

Mar 7, 2015

VH1's Free Radio Returns!

Season 2 premieres Thursday April 2nd @ 11pm! Starring UCBT alums Brian Huskey and Anna Vocino!

'Free Radio' chronicles the story of Lance, a radio show intern (played by comedian Lance Krall of 'The Joe Schmo Show' and 'The Lance Krall Show') who answers his call to greatness by filling the role of host of the popular L.A. morning show, 'Moron in the Morning,' after the original host defects to satellite radio. Lance's effort is so spectacularly awful that ratings skyrocket -- the only reason for his continuing employment at the station.

Season 2 follows the dysfunctional staff at KBOM as they continue to adjust to life with their new unlikely star. Whether it's the harried co-host Anna (played by Anna Vocino), the frustrated station manager, James (played by Brian Huskey), or the receptionist known simply as 'Emo Sarah' (played by Sarah Baker), the station's staff all tolerate Lance for the sake of ratings.
LA General

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