Amy Poehler's 'Yes Please' Needs to be a TV Show, and Here's How it Could Happen
This week, Amy Poehler becomes the next in a very long line of funny women to publish books filled with stories, advice, and general ruminations on life, love, careers, and, occasionally, mushrooms. Yes Please instantly earns its place on the shelf next to Tina Fey's Bossypants, Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), and Lena Dunham's Not That Kind Of Girl . But while I enjoyed reading Poehler's hysterical truth-bombs, behind-the-scenes anecdotes and too-real sex advice, the ever-nearing end of my beloved Parks And Recreation hung over every word... until I realized I was literally holding the solution in the palms of my hands.
Yes Please needs to be the next project that Poehler tackles. How does one adapt a loose collection of memories and essays, you ask? Simple: by focusing on the author's formative childhood years. The chapters focusing on young Amy Poehler could easily serve as the inspiration for a new TV series about a girl growing up in Massachusetts with big dreams and an even bigger funny bone.
Still not convinced? Here are just a few reasons Yes Please would make the next great comedy:
It wouldn't be the first TV show based off a comedian's childhood
Believe it or not, but a television adaptation of Yes Please wouldn't be the first time a series existed about the childhood exploits of a popular comedian. Poehler's hypothetical show is preceded by UPN/The CW's Everybody Hates Chris, created by Chris Rock, which told the story of the stand-up's teenage years growing up in Brooklyn.
Chris lasted for four seasons, was nominated for a plethora of awards, including a Golden Globe for Best Television Series, and was listed by the American Film Institute as one of the 10 best programs of 2007 (alongside such modern classics as 30 Rock, Dexter, Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, and The Sopranos).
With Rock having paved the way, there's no reason to believe that a series created by Poehler about her own childhood wouldn't be just as successful... if not even more so. Hot off the success of Parks And Recreation, the publication of her first book, and her one-two punch of both hosting and winning Best Actress in a Comedy at the 2014 Golden Globes, people will be clamoring for just about anything Poehler puts out next.
It would be hilarious
I mean, that goes without saying, doesn't it? But just imagine the hilarity that would ensue from some of the following anecdotes that Poehler tells in Yes Please.
- The time she felt compelled to suddenly improvise her part as Dorothy in her fourth-grade production of The Wizard Of Oz
- Her memories of her mom's R-rated 30th birthday party, complete with penis pasta, bad sex jokes, and a pinup calendar of various relatives in funny underwear
- Her summers waging wars against imaginary Russians whenever she wasn't scooping ice cream at the local diner, Chadwick's
- When she and her brother Greg spent an entire road trip pretending to be deaf and speaking in sign language to elicit pity from passing motorists
- The time she and her best friend Keri handcuffed themselves together for attention and then promptly lost the key
But it would also be poignant
Yes Please isn't all sunshine and rainbows and hilarious stories. Poehler's authentic writing is just as proficient at tugging heartstrings as it is at provoking laughter. Take the chronicle of her best friend's mother's struggle with cancer:
All of my practice chasing bad guys did not add up to much. Cancer was too scary and too real, and I wanted the whole thing to go away. I was in high school when Ginny died, and I didn't do a very good job of being there for my friend. I had little experience with death and did that classic thing of thinking I should just leave everyone alone.
And then there's the brutally honest chapter about the "demon" that every "plain girl" carries around inside of her:
This very patient and determined demon shows up in your bedroom one day and refuses to leave. You are six or twelve or fifteen and you look in the mirror and you hear a voice so awful and mean that it takes your breath away. It tells you that you are fat and ugly and you don't deserve love. And the scary part is the demon is your own voice.
It would absolutely have to star Amy Poehler...
...as her own mother, of course. Just picture it: our favorite funnywoman co-starring on a TV version of her own life in which she gets to portray her own mom. What could be better?
Poehler describes Eileen Frances Milmore, a special ed teacher, as "kind, chatty, and she writes beautiful poetry." She dispenses such wisdom as, "Your boobs won't be as big as mine but you will be happy about that as you get older" and, "Be a light sleeper, and every time your kid wakes you up, scream like you are being attacked." I'd love to hear those words coming out of Poehler's mouth.
Just in case she sounds a little bit crazy, Poehler also describes her mother as saying, "Your female friends will outlast every man in your life" and, "Love your kids and hope they do better than you did." Again: hilarious and poignant... the perfect combination for Poehler's next role.
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