Why Amy Poehler and Tina Fey Make a Dynamic Duo
The world has seen a lot of famous comedians throughout time, and many of them are solo. A few comedians, such as Laurel and Hardy or Abbot and Costello, became great duos that are still household names decades after their heyday. Any list of the top comedy duos of all time will be either all or mostly male, with Woody Allen and Diane Keaton occasionally getting a mention. Even then, one of those two is still male, which makes one wonder why females are so few in this elite group. Luckily, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are carrying the comedy duo torch for women, and they are doing a fantastic job.
To truly understand why these two ladies work so well together, it is important to know a little bit about their history together. Both of them were struggling comediennes who were trying to hone their craft. They both lived in Chicago and, in 1993, happened to take the same class at the ImprovOlympic Theater. They hit it off instantly, with the theater’s cofounder Charna Halpern explaining that they stood up to the men in the class and did not shrink into the background like some women did when taking the class.
The two became fast friends and were bold enough to start their own improv team called Inside Vladimir. This would turn out to be the first of what would be dozens of collaborations throughout the years for the pair. Soon after forming the team, they would both get spots in the Second City Touring Company, a famous Chicago comedy troupe. By 1996, Amy decides to move to New York City with the Upright Citizens Brigade, leaving Tina alone in the Windy City.
Tina wouldn’t be alone long, however, as she moved to New York a year later to become a writer for “Saturday Night Live.” In 2001, Amy joined the cast of the erstwhile show, bringing the two friends back into the same working environment after five years of working apart. Fey would become head writer and put herself into the anchor seat on the famous “Weekend Update” segment of the show. Later, she and Poehler would share the seat, marking the first time two women would accomplish that feat in the history of the show.
When they worked together, it was obvious that they had a chemistry that can’t be taught. That is arguably the biggest reason why these two make such a dynamic comedy duo-because when they are on the screen together, they have a chemistry that can help elevate the material they are working with. Even semi-funny lines are hilarious when they are exchanging them, which is due in no small part to that chemistry.
They would go on to star in a couple of movies together, including “Mean Girls” and “Baby Mama,” proving that women could be funny and have a hand in writing and producing funny films. At the time, a widespread belief in the film industry was that women weren’t funny and couldn’t carry a film without a leading man. Poehler and Fey would not only dispel this myth but also open doors by doing so, allowing films like “Bridesmaids” to get made.
The two don’t just have chemistry on the screen; they have it in their private lives as well. They have both spoken up about women’s issues, particularly with women and girls who have body and self-esteem issues. Fey tackled the subject in her memoir “Bossypants,” while Poehler speaks at length about it in her Web video series “Ask Amy.” When they do interviews together, they always seem to be on the same page about everything they talk about, proving their friendship is one that will last.
Fey would leave “Saturday Night Live” to write and star in the comedy series “30 Rock,” which is vaguely about a show that is much like “Saturday Night Live” and all the crazy loons who work there. Poehler got married and would eventually move to Los Angeles for her NBC comedy series “Parks and Recreation.” Although both ladies were still on NBC, they were on opposite coasts, since “30 Rock” films in Manhattan.
Despite being on opposite sides of the country, the friendship has more than endured. When they were tapped to cohost the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards in January 2013, the chemistry that was so obvious on “Saturday Night Live” was back. It was as if they two never missed a beat, most likely because they never stopped being friends, even as they stopped working together. With Fey’s “30 Rock” wrapping up its final season later the same month, fans can only hope the two work on another project together. Even if they don’t work together soon, their airtight friendship and fantastic working chemistry prove they can pick up right where they left off.
Category: Movies & TV