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Going for Belly Laughs

Wall Street Journal - USA - Amy Poehler is proving that you don't have to leave "Saturday Night Live" to make it big outside the show. The comic has a starring role in an upcoming feature film, a producing deal on a new cartoon that she created, and roles in three other films out this year in addition to her weekly presence on the show's faux news segment "Weekend Update."

Traditionally, "SNL" players exit the show when they're hot to become movie or sitcom stars. That strategy worked nicely for ex-"SNL" cast members Tina Fey and Will Ferrell. But others, like Rachel Dratch, are still finding their footing. Ms. Poehler put to rest rumors that she might bolt from "SNL" after this season. "I'll be back in the fall," she says.

She'll be busy until then. She co-stars in the movie "Baby Mama," which opens next weekend (and which she insists is "not a chick flick"). Ms. Poehler plays Angie, a working girl from South Philly, who serves as an erratic surrogate mother to Kate (played by Ms. Fey), a successful but single businesswoman. The next morning, her new animated show, "The Mighty B!" debuts on Nickelodeon. Ms. Poehler, who is a co-creator and regular writer of the cartoon, also does the voice of its star, "Bessie," an overachieving 9-year-old Honeybee Scout who wants to become a superhero.

The comic also has roles in several other films out this year, including "Hamlet 2," the hit from Sundance in which she plays a rigid American Civil Liberties Union lawyer.

Ms. Poehler performs with an infectious enthusiasm. Whether impersonating Michael Jackson or Sharon Stone, she finds what's quirky and surprising about her chosen target -- and exposes it for laughs. Ms. Poehler's weekly impersonation of Hillary Clinton on "SNL" as a beleaguered but dogged candidate drew attention from the senator herself. Before Mrs. Clinton won the Ohio and Texas primaries last month, she appeared on "SNL" with an identically dressed Ms. Poehler, cracking jokes like "I love your outfit. But I do want the earrings back."

Ms. Poehler says she would like to expand her repertoire even more. "I'd like to branch out, take on less one-dimensional roles, maybe move away from the sketch world," she said. "In my next film, I'd like to turn down the volume." Then she cracks, "Maybe I'll whisper through my films."
Source : Originally Published Wall Street Journal - USA, Apr 19, 2008
Celebrities : Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon
Categories : Reality shows, Comedian News, Celebrity News
Posted 4/19/2008 12:04:54 AM | Permalink
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