Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Amy Poehler: Lorne Michaels Protects Actors From Themselves

Amy Poehler has been frequenting high-toned media outlets -- NPR's Fresh Air, Charlie Rose -- promoting NBC's Parks and Recreation, a mockumentary on local government in the Age of Obama. On the subject of SNL's Weekend Update and what it meant to her, Poehler said, "When Lorne told me I was going to do Weekend Update, he said everyone's going to know you because you say your name." This instant celebrity began with Chevy Chase ("I'm Chevy Chase and you're not") and has followed all the Weekend Update anchors. That might answer why Al Franken wanted the position so badly. Franken lobbied to replace Kevin Nealon, was passed over for Norm Macdonald, and subsequently left SNL.

Saturday Night Live's executive producer Lorne Michaels, apparently, is something of an expert on the subject of celebrity and a nurturer of the not-yet-ready-for-prime-time players as they ascend the showbiz staircase. "One of the things that (Lorne) is great at," said Poehler, "he will not let you embarrass yourself. He is good at protecting actors from themselves."

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