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Amy Poehler's soft spot for sports stars

Published 10/06/2015

Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler was always better at sports “chatter” than actually playing.

The funnywoman was part of the famous comedy show from 2001 to 2008. During her time she saw many famous faces take on the role of host and she particularly enjoyed it when sports stars took to the stage.

“I haven’t gone into their minds, I’ve gone into their dressing rooms and harassed them,” she laughed during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s chat show. “And touched their shoulders and looked at how their shoulders go into their forearms and stuff like that.”

Amy has worked alongside sports heavyweights like NBA player LeBron James, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and NFL’s Tom Brady. And the 43-year-old admits athletes are easier to work with than singers and actors.

“Yes [they’re good hosts] because unlike actors, you [don’t] have to pretend to make it feel like it’s their idea, like you have to go up and go, ‘Before we keep going, what if this character is a little like, funnier in this?’” she giggled. “With an athlete you just say, ‘Don’t say it like that, just stand over there’ and they’re like, ‘OK!’ They just want to know what the play is. And they’re athletes so there’s no stress about, ‘Am I going to do well?’ All of this is great.”

Amy used to do her best to relate to the sports stars that graced the show, having played a bit of softball and basketball herself while growing up. But she admits she wasn’t exactly the star player, and that her skills lay elsewhere.

“I was fine until that high school moment when you realise, ‘Oh I’m not that good’” she added. “But I was really good with chatter. I always knew where the play was. I loved to tell everybody where the play was. I was like, ‘Where we going after the game guys?’ organising the after party. I was a student of the game without actually having any skill.”

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