If there's one universal truth that binds us all, it's that Amy Poehler is an amazing human being and comedy hero. "If Amy Poehler laughed at one of my jokes, I'd feel like the cool kid in school," Alison Becker says when I chatted with her and Beth Dover of Adult Swim's Newsreaders. Now heading into its second season, Newsreaders hilariously lampoons the over-the-top sensationalism of TV news magazines like 60 Minutes and 20/20. "We've created this bizarro world full of quirky idiots — and it's so fun to see what nonsense theory comes out of their mouths next," Becker tells me.
This season, Becker and Dover join special guests like Malin Akerman, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jenna Fischer, and David Hasselhoff to cover the inspiring, thought provoking news stories that matter, like motorboating dads, alien abductions, and f*** dancing.
"I've never played any role that required this many costumes, and I absolutely love it," Becker says of her role as the rainbow-haired tech reporter and resident hot girl Xandra Dent. "The make-up, hair and costume departments put together such amazing and original looks [...] from a Tron light-up suit, to a dress made out of stuffed animals. The only one that was a little hard for me was the raw meat dress. It only got a few seconds of air play, but it was super gross to put on. I showered about 17 times after that one!"
Becker, pictured right above, has an improv background and training at the Upright Citizens' Brigade, where she's now a regular player, has also landed her roles on Parks and Recreation, CollegeHumor Originals, as well as commercials for Subway and MasterCard.
Dover, who says she fell into comedy and has since played recurring roles on Burning Love and Children's Hospital, tells me her dramatic acting background serves her well when she plays characters like "hard-hitting newswoman" Sadee Deenus on Newsreaders. "You have to be as real as you possibly can be," Dover says.
Dover and Becker are a fearless, funny pair, and they're not afraid to push a few boundaries. They both agree that there's potential for humor in even the most serious or controversial topics. "I'm not easily shocked," Dover, pictured below, writes me. "Nothing we do on Newsreaders is coming from a place of hate, it's simply making fun of certain concepts, or how we freak out over certain things." Dover explains that her willingness to take risks has also benefitted her career.
"I moved to NY and then LA without having many industry connections. I remember my first few weeks in LA walking into an agents office and saying I was there for a scheduled meeting. I was totally lying but I got the meeting and that got me my first agent out here. I wouldn't necessarily recommend that method but I was very bold back then. Now, I would be horrified to do something like that."
Newsreaders doesn't take itself too seriously, though these two are seriously funny. "There are so many jokes in Newsreaders that push the envelope. I mean, there's an episode called 'F*ck Dancing!'" Becker says, "But that's what makes the show so incredible."
Newsreaders is on Thursdays at midnight on Adult Swim.
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