The new Netflix holiday special that dropped Friday, A Very Murray Christmas, is chock full of comedians and performers that all seem to enjoy the time they are spending with one another, despite the dreary circumstances of the film. When did Amy Poehler and Bill Murray become friends? In the Netflix holiday special, Poehler plays one of Murray's producers for the live holiday show that he is supposed to be making, despite the many obstacles. The two Saturday Night Live veterans have worked together before, but it was a bit of a journey.
Honestly, I don't know if Amy Poehler and Bill Murray are buddies in real life, I don't know them. I am only aware of one group text in Amy Poehler's phone, and that already makes it seem like I know too much. That said, my understanding of their impending friendship began in 2011 with this interview that Poehler did on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, in which she essentially offers Murray the generous sum (it's not) of $250 to be a guest star on Parks and Recreation. She explains in the video that while she doesn't know Bill Murray and has only politely met him a few times at Saturday Night Live, she thinks he would be perfect for the role of Pawnee's unseen Mayor Gunderson. However, he is very difficult to contact, so she took to this public forum, in true Leslie Knope fashion.
Earlier that month, Poehler stated this desire at the 2011 PaleyFest panel. So this was a well-known dream casting amongst devout Parks and Recreation fans. Years later, for the final season, they got their wish! According to an interview Mike Schur did with Entertainment Weekly, it was Aubrey Plaza who may have been the most instrumental in making it happen. “There was no attempt really to lure him—we just kept saying it loud, Aubrey [Plaza] met him somewhere and said, ‘You should be the mayor on our show,’ and he was like, ‘What are you talking about?’" When the show planned to kill off Mayor Gunderson, Plaza and Poehler made their last plea, resulting in Schur getting a voicemail that simple said: “Hey, this is Bill Murray. I hear you might have some dead work for me.”
So, presumably they were more formally introduced between 2011 and 2014 when that episode was filmed. There are also these photos, in while Bill Murray and a bunch of other comedians (who all starred or appeared on Parks — Murray is the odd one out here) are holding the actress upside down at the Vanity Fair Oscar after party in 2014? Were they doing keg stands without a keg? Did she just drop her phone? We may never know.
Images: Ali Goldstein/Netflix; NBC (2)