This 20-Year-Old Amy Poehler Pilot Is the Stuff of Comedy Nerd Dreams
Welcome to The Second City Archives, in which we post an exclusive clip each week of some of comedy’s biggest superstars performing early in their careers on the legendary Chicago stage. Second City has generously given us a glimpse into their extensive archive of live performances, and over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing some rare and retro comedy never before seen on the web.
If you’re mourning the end of Parks and Recreation today, Second City dug up an extra special clip for us this week that will help ease your sadness — a compilation of Amy Poehler scenes from a never-before-seen pilot from 1995 she starred in with Matt Dwyer and legendary Second City improv guru Del Close called RVTV. Not a whole lot is known about RVTV, so we reached out to Dwyer for some details:
I honestly do not recall where the concept came from. I know it was written by Adam McKay and Tom Gianas, who both went on to write for SNL and of course film and TV. Tom co-directed it. We shot it for a week up in Toronto.
Also, Del improvised constantly and was throwing in tributes to old greats like his Ken Nordine. I think Amy and I may have improvised less, but as with any group of improvisors working together, improvisation is going to happen. Del was constantly throwing in references to Lenny Bruce and the others of that era. The target audience for that show probably would have no idea who he was talking about, but I personally loved it. It was a a great deal of fun and I remember both Amy and I were thrilled to be working with Del. Del was an icon to all of us.
Dwyer says that despite not knowing why the pilot didn’t move forward, “the one thing that was great and important to Adam, Tom, Amy, and myself was that we all got to work closely with Del, who shaped everything we did and everything to follow.” This particular RVTV compilation includes some trademark Poehler freestyling, spot-on YouTube and Internet Age prophecies, and perhaps most importantly, a scene of Poehler getting Close to admit that he masturbates to Janet Reno whenever she’s on television. Enjoy.