The delightful Amy Poehler stars in NBC's 'Parks and Recreation,' a mockumentary that pokes fun at local government, specifically the earnest folks of Pawnee, Ind. The brilliant comedian, an alum of 'Upright Citizens Brigade' and 'SNL,' is married to the equally brilliant Will Arnett and is the mother to Archie and Abel. She spoke to PopEater about the "chaos" in her boy-filled household, dealing with annoying paparazzi and what she and Will watch on TV -- she doesn't say '30 Rock.'
Your character on 'Parks and Rec' (Leslie Knope) really thinks her job is important, even though it's not.
What I like about her is how she has really big dreams and a very small amount of power. I think that's always really fun to play. At the end of the day the show is just a character comedy. She's really fun to play because she's a well intentioned lunatic. She's clueless but smart. She's ambitious, but she doesn't really know how to play the game to get ahead.
You've had a very successful career, so I assume you know how to play the game.
(Laughs) Well, I do think I have a little more street smarts than Leslie, I will say that. Sometimes I'd like to be as optimistic as her. I tend to be pretty optimistic, but I think a character like Leslie likes to swing big. She moves before she thinks and that can sometimes work out and sometimes it can really bite you.
Did you lose it when you got cast on 'SNL?'
Well, I didn't burst out crying, but I was so excited. It certainly was a huge moment. It was 2001, I was just about to turn 30, and I had been living and working in New York for five or six years, so it was a big moment for sure.
Do you remember the first meal you splurged on?
No, but the great thing about New York is you walk down the street and you look into fancy apartments and think, "OK, one day I'm going to live there," and then you get to live there. And now I close the curtains on those dirty street urchins who are trying to look in on my fancy jewels.
You have two kids very close in age. (Archie, 2 ½, and Abel, 6 months).
It's the way it kind of happened. There's a certain chaos that is kind of fun. Like when you already have one kid in diapers and all that stuff you might as well just keep it going. I feel very blessed and very lucky to even have kids. I kind of count each one as a straight up blessing. But yes, it's total madness. You really, really learn the lesson of just living in the moment because you just can't plan anything. Kids just really teach you to just enjoy this now because five minutes from now, you could be losing it.
Are you like the Kardashians -- giving your kids names starting with same letter?
(Laughs) It's funny, we call them our double A batteries. We didn't plan it; it just came out that way.
You're married to Will Arnett. Are you two "on" at home?
Oh, God no. We watch 'The Wire' and very serious medical dramas and listen to NPR. What's fun about being with a funny partner is you do have to have a sense of humor when you have young kids, and you certainly have to have a sense of humor when you're in this business; you can't take yourself too seriously because you have to deal with rejection too much; having that person in the same profession as you, to have someone who speaks the same language is really great.
Do you watch bad sitcoms and mock them?
I barely watch any comedies, that's not my idea of fun. I'm not joking. It's not a vacation to watch comedy on TV. It's probably the opposite of what happens to people who work on really dramatic shows. After a really long day of super comedy time with my friends, I just want to watch a show about hoarders or something.
Do you watch 'Hoarders'?
No, I can't because I find most times the hoarders are so unlikable. I need my crazy, reality TV people to be people I can root for. I find the hoarders are so unappreciative of the people cleaning up their stuff that it makes me angry.
What's a reality show you're embarrassed that you watch?
I don't like to say I'm embarrassed to watch anything because I hate when people say that. I don't even like the term guilty pleasure because if you like a show you like it. This idea that people watch stuff ironically, I don't believe that's true. If you sit down and watch something for half an hour and then another half-hour you're officially watching it.
So what do you watch on Bravo?
Oh yeah, I watch all of them. Andy Cohen is a genius. That guy programs everything I want to see.
Favorite junk food?
I just straight up love Doritos, with nothing else, with just my mouth and hands. It's by far my worst junk food. It just feels like, come on, you know you can't eat Doritos, but I love them so much. Unfortunately I'm also a Diet Coke person, and when you live out in LA where everybody's going on hikes and drinking green juices and going on cleanses, Diet Coke doesn't really flow.
I see a lot of paparazzi photos of you and your kids. Must be weird.
It's a bummer; it's just not great to get your picture taken. If you're just hanging out with your kid at a park, your kid can get a little scared, and that's kind of stressful. I don't like that thing of dressing up my kids and parading them around, so it's not great, I don't love it. In LA, the photographers just stand outside of a park. If it was New York, they'd get chased out. For some reason California puts up with it; it's very strange.
So no Archie and Abel fashion line?
No, we are not going to see that.
Parks and Rec will be back on March 17th.