LOS ANGELES — As Amy Poehler thought back to her time in Chicago in the 1990s when launched her career in the world of improv comedy, the actress’ face visibly lit up as she remembered some favorite experiences.
“The first thing that comes to my mind is riding everywhere in Chicago on my bike. I was totally broke back then and biking was obviously the cheapest way to get around. Recently, I read an article about how Chicago is so bike-friendly. Glad to hear that! Back then, I had a number of pretty close crashes with cars and cabs. Having more bike lanes today must be great!”
For Poehler, the warm months in Chicago were a period she called “my wilding time. I love Chicago in the summer — my favorite time of year there. Everybody came out of hiding from those long winters. There was the best music at all those festivals. Plus, for me, it was such a great place to go to comedy school.”
When she heard a mention of Taste of Chicago, Poehler joked, “Because I was so broke, I would go to Taste of Chicago and steal food. Yeah. I would just go knock down vendors and in all of the confusion I’d steal food.”
Sitting with co-star Will Ferrell in a Los Angeles hotel suite to chat about their film “The House” (now in theaters), Poehler also couldn’t stay serious while comparing the approach the two comedic stars take to acting.
“It was really different. It was real awkward,” said the actress, slipping into a bit of shtick that Ferrell immediately caught. “We work so differently. Will is all method. People call him the Daniel Day-Lewis of comedy.”
“That’s right!” interjected Ferrell. “I do extreme vocal warm-ups after every take. It takes forever to do a scene.”
Poehler described her approach as “tipping over the apple cart. I like to come in having not read the script, and a little bit drunk.”
Continuing with the bit, Ferrell pointed out — clearly joking —that “when it’s time to shoot a scene, Amy walks in and points at everyone — very scary, actually — and screams, ‘I trust no one here! Let’s go!’ ”
Just another fun example of how Ferrell and Poehler can so effortlessly slip into the world of improv comedy they have long since perfected.