There’s a scene in Gilmore Girls when Lorelai makes fun of Rory (and Chris’) obsession with their new Sidekicks. REMEMBER SIDEKICKS??? Anyways, her line has always stuck out to me as quoteworthy and comical, mainly because of the nonsense questions she’s asking and at the even faster rate than normal she’s asking them in.
Now I’ve never been on a red carpet and been bombarded with a million questions by pushy reporters and photographers, but I imagine this is what it would be like, but like 50 Lorelais all at once.
About a year or so ago, there was a movement called #AskHerMore, which encouraged reporters to inquire about more than just “who are you wearing” to women on the red carpet. About a year ago, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls at the Party started their own version using the hashtag #SmartGirlsAsk. They asked followers and celebs alike to send in their questions to stars at the Emmys, and since it went swimmingly before, they did it again this past Sunday. Here are some of the best questions and the best answers from the best people in the biz.
Obvs we have to start with our boo. Remember when Amy Poehler used to provide us with infinite wisdom via her Ask Amy video blogs? I miss those. This will do.
The 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were last night and per usual, there were a lot of highlights and lowlights of the ceremony. But unexpectedly, a lot of our favorites took home the gold, and that’s why they helped make the Emmys one to remember. Here are some moments that we need to revisit today, and many days after today.
T: Handing out PB&J sandwiches on bicycles was an OK touch, but letting Gaten, Millie and Caleb take the stage to show their true talents of singing and dancing is the real win.
M: These kids are so pure and delightful I almost want to send them to 1983 to grow up there.
Hillary Clinton Wins An Emmy
T: Cue the first tears of the night. I legitimately rewound this reaction shot three times in a row right after it happened, and continue to be mesmerized by this GIF. Her speech was a tear jerker, but there was a cynical part of me that had me thinking… Kate truly deserved this for her performances this year, right? Listen, I love Kate and think she does great work on SNL, but part of me feels like Emmy voters partially gave the win to her because of Ghostbusters? Call it the Melissa McCarthy Effect. Remember when she won an Emmy the year she was in Bridesmaids? Yeah. But again, Kate is super talented and deserves all the praise she can get.
M: Kate is one of those SNL cast members who I noticed from her very first weeks and predicted that she’d be one of the great ones. She’s just that obviously good.
T: Did anybody else notice JLD didn’t seem herself when she got up to accept her award? She was shaky and looked like she wasn’t even planning a bit – then it all made sense when she talked about her dad. Out of her six acting Emmy wins, I feel like this might be her most memorable.
M: After her speech, I remembered how sad she looked at the end of Kate’s speech and it was right when Kate had mentioned her dad. I know we say this a lot, but we just love JLD.
T: In all seriousness, I am so so glad Aziz and Master of None co-creator/writer Alan Yang won for Best Writing. I wrote about the episode they won for, Parents, last year, and I’m just glad Emmy voters and viewers alike paid enough attention to a show which features so much diversity and the untold stories of first generation kids. My only gripe is that Aziz didn’t get to give his speech at all.
T: Remember how our beloved Amy finally won her very first Emmy last week? Well she did, and she’s sharing it with her color-coordinating comedy wife Tina, and we were #blessed with their presence last night. Ever more #blessed that Amy called them out for nominating her 18 times without ever giving her a legit trophy.
M: They coordinated their dresses, right? I just think it’s really cute if they coordinated their dresses.
T: There was a time when these two didn’t publicly acknowledge each other as their significant others, and here we are, living in a world where all of the Internet can swoon in jealousy over their love. Yes, Sarah was for sure the right person to win an Emmy, but another thing I know for sure – I have a new ship.
M: I think we’ve had a WCW post about Sarah Paulson in our drafts for like a year and I’m not even sure which one of us did it. I love that after years of working steadily, Sarah’s had this massive boost in her career lately.
T: You gotta give it up for Leslie Jones who continues to get back up every time assholes attempt to knock her down. And when she does get back up, she laughs it off and makes all of us laugh with her.
Bill Cosby Isn’t Here
M: Jimmy announced that Bill Cosby was coming on stage and Tina Fey was all of us:
T: I don’t watch Mr. Robot, but I did watch Rami in the one episode of Gilmore Girls, and he is great. I refer to Molly for this one.
M: Thanks, Traci. Okay here we go:
Mr. Robot is a show you should be watching if you aren’t already (I’m going to specifically recommend it to fans of Orphan Black). There’s this incredible ensemble cast but the whole thing rests on how amazing Rami Malek is. His character has a tenuous grip on reality, but he’s also broken and kind and incredibly intelligent – miles away from the “complex lonely guy” archetype. IRL, Rami just seems like a real gem of a human in addition to being good-looking and all that. His cousin was his Emmys date, he really loves his mom, and he interrupted an actor roundtable because everyone kept using male pronouns when discussing directors. He deserved to win and I’m so happy for him. PS he has a twin brother. Back to you, Traci.
T: I can barely look at any videos or pix or GIFs or tweets from her co-stars because I start to tear up. I am so proud of this talented angel of a human in a way I would be proud if one of my nearest and dearest won an award.
M: I was so used to Tatiana not even getting nominated that I didn’t think she would win (SHOULD win, yes). I almost feel like she went so long without a nomination/win because she’s so amazing: as though voters who don’t watch the show couldn’t really understand that she was playing all of these characters, and none of them a caricature.
It was such a blur after she won that I had to rewatch her speech Monday morning because I forgot what she even said.
Also, we love Canadians.
Also also, she and her boyfriend are very cute:
Unprompted: "Whoa crazy, hm, weird" – @tatianamaslany driving home from the final party. I think it's slowly beginning to sink in…
ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? THIS HOT MAMA. THE DRESS, THE HAIR, THE BUMP?! I wish to look like her any day of the week.
Kristen Bell in Zuhair Murad
It’s like if Princess Anna was a modern day TV star and nominated for Best Actress in a Limited Series.
Yara Shahidi in Clara Rotescu
I don’t watch black-ish, but I am kind of obsessed with Yara? She seems like such a poised, smart, talented young lady who is ready to become a role model to girls (and women) of all backgrounds. This dress is perfect for a 16-year-old who’s still young and playful but also an actress on the verge of being a grown-up. Also, she’s the type of stunning that makes you feel like a creep because you’ve been stalking her on Insta for too long what
Priyanka Chopra in Jason Wu
I mean, come on. I love how this plays off of the diaphanous, one-shoulder trend that’s been going on for a few awards seasons but puts it in vibrant color.
Rami Malek in Dior
White dinner jackets have made a comeback in the past few years and with the new slimmer tailoring, they’re not looking like your dad’s wedding outfit from 1975. IMO, black pants are crucial to keep it from looking like a first communion suit.
Sarah Paulson in Prada
We all have those celebs who are hit-or-miss for us on the red carpet (Kerry, Kirsten, I’m looking at you). Sarah Paulson is one of mine, but when she looks incredible she looks really incredible. I love a nice vibrant green and Sarah, Tina and Amy were looking like the queens of the Emerald City last night. There are so few times you can wear a gown embroidered in crystals and stones, you know?
Tomorrow the second season of Hulu’s Difficult People premieres which means you have 24 hours or less to catch up (or at least start the first season if you haven’t already). If you haven’t heard of it, let me introduce you to a show about the most ridiculous human beings who you love and dislike greatly at the same time.
As best friends living in New York City, Billy and Julie’s typical, irreverent behavior lands them in some very awkward situations.
It’s obviously not high concept, so it’s nothing like your Orphan Blacks or Mr. Robots. Think of it like Will & Grace meets… a less boring version of Seinfeld? But you know what else isn’t high concept? The reasons why you should start watching and catch up to ALL 8 EPISODES FROM THE FIRST SEASON (!) just in time for season two.
Queen Amy Poehler Is Responsible For This Gem
If you trust Queen Poehler’s comedic chops, then you should probably at least give this show a try. Game recognize game, ya feel me? Amy is an executive producer of the show, and had known both Billy and Julie pre-Difficult People. She obviously had known Billy from Parks and Rec, and Julie was a performer at UCB, the improv company Amy co-founded. We know Amy has already hit it out of the ballpark as an executive producer of Broad City, and while I admittedly don’t think Difficult People is as strong as Abbi & Ilana’s masterpiece, Amy still stands behind the show 100%. So I do too. She’s said of Difficult People, “I would binge-watch the shit out of this show if I weren’t involved with it.”
For A Dollar…
Billy Eichner first came into the comedy world with a Funny or Die webseries called Billy on the Street, which eventually led to his TV show on TruTV. At some point during his TV show, he got hired as the boisterous (and not too far off from his Billy on the Street character) Craig Middlebrooks on Parks and Rec. His alter ego Billy on Difficult People is somewhere in between Billy on the Street and Billy Eichner IRL, but all equally hilarious.
Hulu’s 30 Rock of Cameos
The recurring characters on the show are worth it alone – Gabourey Sidibe as a waitress at the restaurant Billy works at, Rachel Dratch as a customer at said restaurant, and the glorious Andrea Martin as Julie’s psychologist mother. Then there’s the season one guest stars who you are pleased to see come across your screen, such as a weird Seth Meyers and magician Kate McKinnon. For the second season, they got some pretty heavy hitters, including Tina Fey and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Need I say more?
Pop Culture Refs
I love a good pop culture reference. It’s 90% of my daily conversation. There are enough pop culture references in Difficult People that would rival Gilmore Girls. And Gilmore Girls had literal booklets in their DVD sets explaining what all the refs were. Julie (a Real Housewives of New York recapper – a job she really had for Vulture) and Billy (an aspiring actor) are the same, and their interactions with each other are based on their love for celebrities. At one point, Julie tells Billy at an Oscars party, “There was a small earthquake in L.A., but don’t worry: Emmy Rossum is fine.” I mean, thank GOD.
One point of contention not all people may enjoy about the show is that Billy and Julie aren’t afraid to speak their minds and ruffle some feathers. They are at times brash, a little too honest, but entirely self-aware. Is this a good thing? Who knows. Is it what you’re probably thinking inside but too afraid to say outloud? Yes.
I think the least politically charged thing I can say right now is that I won’t be voting for Donald Trump. It’s amazing: a distaste for The Donald has actually managed to unite both the political right and the political left in America. Yet somehow, Donald Trump has the highest delegate count in the Republican primaries! But maybe, just maybe, the problem isn’t that people love the Drumpf. Maybe people just aren’t excited about the alternatives. But whether you’re a Republican who isn’t on the Cruz Cruise, or a Democrat who’s not feeling the Bern, I have an alternative we can all agree on – Leslie Knope. Not convinced? Keep reading:
Leslie Knope loves America more than all of the current candidates put together:
Plus, she accidentally legalized gay penguin marriage :
Her presidential portrait would be AMAZING:
Knope didn’t back down from Eagleton; won’t back down from international aggressors either:
Would redecorate the Oval Office like the Gryffindor common room:
Has real red state/blue state cross-appeal:
Good at being yelled at, an important skill for any public figure:
And she’s not afraid to take political punches:
Finally, there would be campaign ads we’d want to see:
She’d be a blast on the campaign trail:
Can you imagine the activities at the White House Easter Egg Roll?
We’d finally see the executive branch go HAM on the Library of Congress:
But we’d also have a president who respects the people who keep America going:
She’d deliver the BEST speeches on the campaign trail:
The Knope campaign wouldn’t end until victory was won:
Would have the MRA movement shut down with a single withering glance:
Yet she’d still speak to the traditional set in terms they can understand:
Leslie Knope knows what it takes to get America on your side:
AND she knows how things really go down in Washington:
Possible fictional running mate – Tami Taylor. Just saying.
Leslie already knew she was going to be President, so we may as well get on board:
The 2016 Grammy Awards are tonight – the messy, reckless, unpredictable party of the awards season, where the actual awards take a backseat to the outfits, rivalries, and performances. It’s bound to be the highlight of our Monday nights this year, especially with the amazing slate of nominees. This playlist contains only songs by 2016 Grammy nominees, so listen to it to evaluate the potential winners and get psyched up for tonight’s awards. Then, tune in tonight to witness the awards first hand!
Nominee: Sam Hunt (Best New Artist, Best Country Album)
Song: Take Your Time
Y’all. If you are not acquainted with Sam Hunt yet – GET ON IT NOW. He’s a former college football player-turned-singer/songwriter-turned solo country singing superstar. He’s got so much working for him – he’s got a great voice, he can talk/rap (?) and make it sound cool, his songs are on fiiiire, and he is the most attractive crooning angel in country music. This song is baby makin’ music right here. If you want more, listen to the entire Montevallo album. Speakers. That’s all I’m saying.
Nominee: Disclosure (Best Dance/Electronic Album)
Song: Magnets ft. Lorde
The second I heart Latch by Disclosure & Sam Smith, I was hooked. Their Caracal album is an EDM/pop dream. In Magnets, Lorde brings her seductive/creepy tone to a dope beat that you can’t stop listening to.
Nominee: Kendrick Lamar (Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Best Dance Recording, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album, Best Music Video)
Kendrick has the most Grammy nominations this year with 11, so chances are he’s going to walk away with one. Or two. Or almost all of them. Kendrick has a way of bringing life into every single song he records, whether it be through the inspiring and moving lyrics or multi-genre-infused instrumentals that prove he’s a true artist. With Alright, this has become not just a song but an anthem for millions, and that is the mark of a music icon.
Nominee: Florence + The Machine (Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Recording Package)
Florence made us wait four long years before releasing a new album, and it was well worth it. How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful has more of an ethereal vibe to it than her previous records, but I’m not complaining. Hiding is actually a bonus track that happens to be one of my favorite tracks so here it is.
Nominee: Miguel (Best R&B Song, Best Urban Contemporary Album)
Nothing can top Miguel’s Grammy-winning song Adorn – in fact, topping his amazing 2012 album Kaleidoscope Dream is hard too, but coffee is a strong follow up. It channels the same feels from Adorn, but with a little more flair, and I’m so here for it.
Amy Poehler – Yes Please (the audiobook) because SHE’S GRAMMY NOMINEE, AMY POEHLER. I’ve only read the book and not listened to it, but based on this small clip, I want to give her all the Grammys. And because we’re still obsessed with Hamilton and excited about their performance at the show, I’ll also plug one of the many favorites off the album, Non-Stop. I mean that ending, tho.
Nominee: Hamilton (Best Musical Theatre Album)
Song: Wait For It
There’s no real best or worst tracks from the Hamilton cast recording, because it’s all very, very good. However, Helpless and Wait For It are the two songs that I think stand best on their own – if you aren’t familiar with the musical, don’t like musicals, or are just going to listen to one track instead of taking the whole two-act journey. Both remind me of the best parts of late-90s R&B.
As I write this I realize that Traci will probably pick a song from Hamilton too, but we’re basically a Hamilton blog now so I think that’s appropriate.
Nominee: Alabama Shakes ( Album Of The Year, Best Alternative Music Album, Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical )
Song: Don’t Wanna Fight
Here’s a moment you realize you’re getting older: an artist appears on Saturday Night Live and you’ve never heard any of their songs. That was me with Alabama Shakes in 2015. I love the old-school Southern rock and bluesy vocals, mixed with a modern synth sound. Not ALL of their songs are exactly my cup of tea, but you can’t deny that they deserve their place with the other nominees.
Nominee: Taylor Swift
Song: I Wish You Would
I’m probably supposed to be embarrassed about this, but I sort of like Taylor Swift. I don’t think her live performances are amazing, but she has a better grasp of how to write a really great pop song than most artists out there – in fact, she was under contract as just a songwriter as a teen. New!Taylor also knows who to partner with: I always thought I Wish You Would had sort of a Haim vibe, but it was actually produced with Jack Antonoff (fun) which works, too.
Nominee: James Bay (Best New Artist, Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song)
Song: Hold Back The River
I think James Bay is really excellent and is sort of this year’s Hozier, not that Hozier is going anywhere. I hope he sticks around for a good while and I really think he will. I have copied and pasted three different songs into this list so you really can’t go wrong with the entire album.
Nominee: Kacey Musgraves (Best Country Album)
Kacey Musgraves is the future of country, and I like it. In a lot of ways she’s a throwback to the sassy, non-P.C. country of Loretta Lynn. Heck, one of Kacey’s early songs includes the lyric “my idea of heaven is to burn one with John Prine.” Other than the release of her album, one of Musgraves’ biggest moments in 2015 was performing Follow Your Arrow at an NPR Tiny Desk Concert the day the marriage equality decision came down. I don’t think Pageant Material got as much radio play as it maybe should have on country stations, but it didn’t go overlooked at the Grammys.
If we could snap our fingers and end up in any movie moment from this holiday season, we absolutely would have gone to the world of the Ellis sisters’ teenage bedroom in the Paula Pell / Tina Fey / Amy Poehler comedy, Sisters (what, did you think we would say a Star Wars thing? We have some catching up to do before we’re ready for that).
While we’re holding our breath for an extended DVD feature with the set designers, we can’t help but wonder what was inside the sisters’ high school yearbook … which we’re sure was lurking somewhere beneath the banana clips, L.A. looks gel, and those weird circular things you used to gather long t-shirts to the side. Here’s our best guess at the characters’ senior superlatives, activities, and quotes – plus some bonus teen photos of some of our favorite funny people.
Kate Ellis (Tina Fey)
Clubs/Extracurriculars:After-Prom Committee, Ski Club*, Fashion Club (founder, first quitter), Saturday Detention Club (social liaison)
Quote: “Man, living at home is such a drag.” – Beastie Boys
Superlative: Most Casual
*This was a lie for the benefit of college applications. Florida.
Maura Ellis (Amy Poehler)
Clubs/Extracurriculars: Field Hockey, Lacrosse, French Club, Newspaper (Editor), Yearbook (Editor), Model Peace Corps (Somalia), Big Brothers/ Big Sisters, Adopt a Grandparent, Adopt a Highway, Amnesty International (Student Chairperson), Mock Arbitration
Quote:“You don’t have to be famous. You just have to make your mother and father proud of you.” – Meryl Streep
Brinda (Maya Rudolph)
Clubs/Extracurriculars:Drama Club, JV Cheerleading, Student Realtors Of America, Culture Club
Quote: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
James (Ike Barinholtz)
Clubs/Extracurriculars:Drama Club, Shop Club, Swim Team
If you’re still jonesing for more Amy and Tina after the epic SNL this weekend, go see Sisters. Or you can look back and read one of our favorite posts from our 5,000 Candles in the Wind series dedicated to Parks and Recreation before we said goodbye to it forever. Amy and the rest of the crew taught us a lot about life through the show, and we’ll be forever grateful.
We’ve come a long way since the pit. From Lil Sebastian to Champion, Rent A Swag to Entertainment 720, waffles to bacon, 2009 to 2017, there was a lot to love about Parks and Recreation. And tonight, we’ll say a goodbye that’s more sad than the Lil Sebastian farewell concert or Ann’s move to Michigan. Parks had a lot going for it: the best actors and writers in comedy, critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. But above all, it had more heart than any other sitcom on the air. The show’s outlook was overwhelmingly positive, and its protagonist was a hard worker with total loyalty to her town, her career and her friends. We learned more from Parks and Recreation than we have from any show since Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers. Dare we say? Everything we need to know we learned from Parks and Recreation.
Friends, Waffles, Work
Or waffles, friends work. No matter. In other words: priorities. Even Leslie, career-driven as she is, knows that work takes a back seat to the big things in life – your friends. And waffles, which in a broader sense you could interpret as something like “taking the time to enjoy life.” Except that I think she really does mean waffles.
Ovaries Before Brovaries
Again, file under: priorities. Parks is about the relationships between a wide net of coworkers, friends, and significant others. If Ben came along and it was The Leslie And Ben Show from that point on, there wouldn’t be much reason to watch. Leslie’s not the sort to get into a relationship and write off her friends. So, the “uteruses before duderuses” approach can be broadened into “don’t forget about your friends just because of relationship stuff.”
There’s also the great way Leslie is supportive of her lady friends, even when it’s tough. It wasn’t easy to accept Ann moving away, but Leslie encouraged her to do what was best for her family. And rather than get jealous that April was moving up in her career, Leslie helped facilitate the move. Leslie knows one of the greatest secrets in life – which is also one of our lessons from Parks and Recreation: when the members of your “team” succeed – whether it’s your friends, family, or coworkers – then that’s your success, too.
Treat Yo Self
You could say that Tom and Donna are a couple of silly geese, but no. They both work hard and play hard. The key to Treat Yo Self: it’s a once a year occurence. You don’t rack up credit card debt because you “deserve” good things, but every once in a while it’s good to enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Like Tom and Donna, it’s always nice to have a friend to back you up, so when you rationalize that you don’t really need those fine leather goods, a still small voice whispers “treat yo self.”
Say Thank You
I have a philosophy about the “sorry epidemic,” that is, the way people start or end sentences with “sorry” when they haven’t done anything wrong. My theory is that in most cases, what the person really means is either please or thank you. Rather than apologizing for being an inconvenience in advance, what they really mean to do is ask for something. And rather than apologizing for being an inconvenience in retrospect, what they mean to do is say thank you: thank you for accommodating me, or understanding, or going out of your way, or being supportive. People apologize for existing when they really want to thank other people for making their existence easier.
No show does “thank you ” better than Parks. Whether it’s the final moments before Ann leaves Pawnee, or April’s tear-inducing speech in D.C., these folks know how to thank the people who make their lives better. Next time you feel compelled to apologize when you haven’t really done something you shouldn’t, look deeper. Do you really want to say please or thank you instead?
Don’t Write The Concession Speech
In one of my classrooms growing up, there was a poster that said “Failure To Plan Is Planning To Fail.” But I also say that “Planning To Fail Is Planning To Fail.” School decor aside, it’s important to not behave as though the worst is going to happen. Ben doesn’t write a concession speech, because he doesn’t think that losing is a possible outcome.
Or maybe the better lesson is this: surround yourself with people who will think that you won’t need the concession speech. Maybe Leslie wouldn’t have won if her circle was full of people who assumed she wouldn’t succeed. Fill your life with the Bens to your Leslie: people who expect you to win, even more than you do yourself.
I Love You And I Like You
The phrase that Leslie and Ben often tell each other is quite endearing and sums up a perfect relationship. But the writers didn’t come up with it – Rashida Jones’ dad did. I believe Amy wrote the episode it first appeared in, and she revealed in an interview that when she was in Monte Carlo with Quincy Jones (as you do), he grabbed her face in his hands and said to her, “I love you and I like you.” Whether it be a significant other, family member a friend, or your daughter’s comedy wife, it’s important to not only let them know how you feel, but actually truly mean what you say. Anyone can say ‘love ya’ as a throwaway, but to add the ‘I like you’ part implies you enjoy them as a human being, enjoy their company, enjoy everything they have to offer.
Know Where Your Money Goes
Okay, on one hand, definitely treat yo self. On the other hand, don’t blow your budget on Harry Potter fantasy camp.
Of course, I would say that, I’m a Ravenclaw.
When You Love Something, You Fight For It
This speech from Leslie’s final statement as she vies for city council is the best summarization of Leslie Knope. “If you love something, you don’t threaten it. You fight for it. You take care of it. You put it first… If I seem too passionate, it’s because I care. If I come on strong, it’s because I feel strongly.” Leslie Knope is one of the strongest, if not THE strongest female character ever on TV because she doesn’t back down. She fights for what she believes in, and she stands up not only for herself, but for those around her. It doesn’t just apply to her career, it applies to her friendships. From making unnecessary holidays to going to all costs to help a friend propose, Leslie will do anything in her power to see things get done. When it came to her relationship with Ben, she was willing to give up her career just to be with him. She said, ‘Let’s just screw it,’ and it eventually paid off. When you love something, you fight for it. As Ron Swanson said, “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” Leslie can proudly say she whole-assed a whole bunch of things.
“I like to tell people get on board and buckle up, because my ride’s gonna be a big one. If you get motion sickness, put your head between your knees, because Leslie Knope’s stopping for no one.”
Time Is Money; Money Is Power; Power is Pizza; Pizza is Knowledge
This is probably my favorite thing April has ever said on the entire series. First of all, the fact that she’s running this meeting is just great character development. I love character development. But no matter how ridiculous it sounds when it comes out, she usually has a point. In Pawnee in particular, there are a lot of randoms who have nothing better to do but complain, like that woman who is always too concerned about her dog and brings up her pooch problems at town meetings. These are the folks April and co. have to deal with and they don’t have time to sit around listening to droll residents all day. Also, pizza. Pizza is always a good choice.
Have Dating Standards
Ok, this might actually be one of the biggest takeaways I’ve had from the show. When Tom said this, he spoke to my soul on a deep level. The fact that Ann didn’t know who Ginuwine was (Ginuwine – is Ginuwine) was astonishing, and honestly, I, like Tom, don’t think I could ever date someone who didn’t know who he was. Speaking of Ann, in her days of going through guy after guy, she often had a tendency to change into the people she was dating. Like Julia Roberts in Runway Bride – she didn’t even know what type of egg she liked. It’s important to have simple standards for your ideal mate, because when you figure out what you want – like Ann wanted a kid – you will most likely get what you’re looking for.
There’s Always Paris
I kind of want this in a tattoo form but not, because it’s too long. Leslie always has a lot on her plate, but somehow she manages it all. She has time to make binders on how to be a garbage woman but also finds time to make a scrapbook about her “Thoughts on Sam Waterston“. So when something extremely stressful comes her way, like being recalled from city council, it’s important to just take a break from it all. We know Leslie loves her job, but it’s important to take a break once in a while. We get so caught up in the millions of things on our to do lists each day that we don’t actually take a chance to breathe and be present and let go of whatever is bothering us. Your trip to Paris doesn’t have to be Paris. Paris can be your favorite park or cafe or a place an hour away to the middle of nowhere. If you have the ability to get away, even for just a brief moment, do it.
Be a Good Person
When Leslie realizes her job is at stake because of her romantic relationship with Ben (and the fact that they bribed the maintenance guy during Lil Sebastian’s funeral to keep quiet), Leslie thinks it’s all over for her. But Ron, in his vast font of knowledge, reminds her that despite the fact she did a frowned upon/illegal thing, it doesn’t make her a bad person. I think this show overall has taught us that there is good in this world, and you can be part of bringing that to real life. Parks never puts anyone down, it inspires and encourages us to be better. We’re human. We make mistakes. But it’s what happens after the fact that shows our true character.
Speaking of being inspirational, while Leslie Knope herself is a great inspiration to us all, she also remind us that often times, the best person to encourage you is yourself. I don’t think Leslie would be half the leader she is today if she never thought she could do it. Yeah, she has to remind herself at times she can reach her goals (“Hey Leslie. It’s Leslie. Hang in there. I love you. Bye.”) Sure, you can have people like Ben around you believing in you and not writing concession speeches, but when Leslie walked out on the stage and gave the speech (as seen above a few paragraphs), she was ultimately the one to give the impassioned statement. No one fed her lines, she went with her gut and her gut made her win.
Feminism Isn’t Just For Women
I am a goddess. a glorious female warrior, queen of all i survey. enemies of fairness and equality, hear my womanly roar. Also men’s rights is nothing.
Johnny Karate’s Rules for Success
I mean, I think that’s pretty self explanatory.
The Only Constant Is Change
Unfortunately, doppelganger Ron has a point. Returning for one of the final episodes, Eagleton Ron shows up like he usually does, out of nowhere, and gives sage advice, like a traveling Yoda who is easier to understand. As we say goodbye to the gang tonight, the gang says goodbye to each other. Ben and Leslie and Andy and April are moving to D.C., Tom’s getting married to Lucy, Donna’s enjoying married life with Joe and moving to Seattle, Ron has his construction company and family to tend to, and Chris and Ann are already off being domestic in Michigan. Oh and Garry’s the mayor (CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT). Despite the fact a lot has happened for the Parks department in the past seven/10 years, it was bound to change sometime. Leslie was always bigger than Pawnee, and while her dreams seemed far away in season one, we realize that it’s time for her to actually achieve those goals. She turned a pit into a playground and now it’s her turn to bring that same goal-oriented talent to D.C. And this show, no matter how much we love it, was bound to have its final episode whether we liked it or not. But we’ll find another show to like and love. Maybe not as much and not in the same way, but we will. We’ll move on. We’ll move up. And we’ll miss you in the saddest fashion.
We’ve written about our comedy deity numerous times on the blog before – the queens that are Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Instead of writing about how much we adore and look up to these wonderfully smart, talented, confident women before their BLOCKBUSTER movie Sisters comes out on Friday (against Star Wars – #YouCanSeeBoth), let’s talk about the person who is responsible for bringing our First Ladies back together, the writer of Sisters, Paula Pell.
totally normal, casual photo
For comedy nerds, Paula and her impressive career shouldn’t be news to you. But for those who aren’t as geeked as us, here’s a brief intro to this hilarious human. Paula’s first big break was in the mecca itself, Saturday Night Live. She started as a writer in 1995 and continued working there until 2013, but she occasionally writes a few sketches here and there (and rumor has it she might be returning this weekend when Tina & Amy double up as hosts!). But more on SNL later.
Paula’s writing has spanned into her own webseries Hudson Valley Ballers, and she was hired by Judd Apatow to tweak, or “punch-up” the scripts for Bridesmaids and This Is 40. Plus she’s a great follow on Twitter.
On screen, you might remember her as Ron Swanson’s mom, Tammy Zero, on Parks and Rec:
or Pete Hornberger’s problematic wife Paul on 30 Rock:
But back to SNL. In her nearly 20 year tenure at the show, she wrote some of the most iconic sketches in the show’s history, and you’ve probably quoted her lines at least one point in your life.
Starting with the most recent, she returned for the SNL 40th Anniversary special, joining forces with longtime SNL writer/producer & Tonight Show announcer Steve Higgins and Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake for the musical journey through SNL history in the cold open:
And Paula’s work was mentioned multiple times throughout that song, since he work is so prevalent in SNL history. Here are just some of the sketches she’s written throughout the years. If you like any of these, you’ll probably like Sisters too. #YouCanSeeThemBoth.
Bobbi and Marty Culp
I remember truly getting into SNL when I was in 6th grade, when the main players included folks like Will Ferrell, Tracy Morgan, Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon, etc. Needless to say, it was a solid time for the show. During this era was a sketch featuring The Culps, a husband and wife team of music teachers and frequent random school assembly performers. Their shtick was to cover “hip” pop tunes but still sing it in a ridiculous way, and still to this day, sketches like The Culps and a few below have special places in my heart that feel like a warm hug.
Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri’s over enthusiastic and under qualified Spartan cheerleaders are two of the most recognizable and beloved characters to come out of SNL, and Paula helped bring them to life. She and Will and Cheri would write all the sketches together, and Paula has even said their late-night sessions even led to Will taking off his shirt in delusion. Oh to be in those offices. For the genius in the making – not shirtless Will Ferrell. To be clear.
Paula helped create possibly Rachel Dratch’s most memorable role as the depressing Debbie Downer who just could not catch a break. Years later, I feel like the term “Debbie Downer” is still used in regular vocabulary to describe anyone who is just downright miserable. Which I think is ironic, seeing as how Debbie Down only brings us joy to our lives. Plus, I will still watch that classic Lindsay Lohan episode every few months.
In 2003, Justin Timberlake was coming off ‘N Sync and setting himself apart as a solo artist. But when he signed up to host SNL for the first time, he also had to prove his acting and comedic chops. Little did we know he blew us all away and went on to become a member of the prestigious Five-Timers host club. In that very first ep he hosted in ’03 when he knocked it out of the park, he did a sketch called Omeletteville, in which he dressed up as a giant omelette in order to promote a nearby breakfast restaurant. His rival? Chris Parnell, dressed as bacon and eggs and also keen on getting customers into his diner. The sketch was such a hit, that JT has gone back to do it five more times, including visits to Homlessville, Wrappinville, Veganville, Liquorville, and more.
Paula’s sketch featured the emergency room where redneck folks who got into redneck medical issues would go to be healed. I feel like this sketch was so odd and obscure and weird and off-kilter that it was brilliant.
Paula continued her streak of writing iconic characters for cast members with Gilly, A mischievous schoolgirl with an afro and questionable facial expressions played by Kristen Wiig. The initial unassumingness of Gilly, the use of repetition, and Kristen’s natural comedic talent make this such a great character, and Paula is the one to credit.
It’s been a while, but we’re back in awards show mode, and what better way to kick it off than with the ceremony where all our favorite TV stars unite! Last night, we saw some gowns to die for and gowns that should maybe just… die. Since we’re considered fashion experts (amateurs) (no one’s every called us that), we’re doing something that no one else is going today and picking our best and worst dressed celebrities from last night. Did your faves make the cut? Pun intended.
Elisabeth Moss in Oscar de la Renta
This dress is obviously super simple, but I love that it’s tailor ed to her body, which gives it that extra detail. Also, with a bright color like this (which I love), it doesn’t need much more accessory-wise. Elisabeth was styled perfectly with the hair, makeup, simple studs, and minimal jewels.
Zoe Kazan in Miu Miu
Ok, so this isn’t necessarily an “Emmy Dress”, per se, but I love it. It’s flowy and perfect for the scorching LA heat, and red, from head to toe, looks great on her.
Aubrey Plaza in Alexander Vauthier
It was kind of hard to tell in most pictures, but Aubrey’s dress is actually accented with burgundy jewels, which is why I love it. The low cut neckline and high cut slit show just enough skin. And again, she’s styled perfectly since the dress is a statement in itself, with minimal jewels and a gorge bob haircut. She’s even smiling!
Ellie Kemper in Naeem Kahn
I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but Ellie Kemper is a low key red carpet goddess. She rarely fails when it comes to picking gowns for these shows, and she didn’t fail last night. The colors in the dress are mesmerizing, and the asymmetrical lines give it just enough edge. Christina Hendricks also donned a similar Naeem Kahn dress, but Ellie edged her out just a bit.
Emma Roberts in Jenny Packham
Ok, so Emma’s face isn’t great here. However, she went for an old Hollywood look, and just nailed it. Yet again, it’s hard to tell in this photo, but the dress is more of a shimmery gold, which is on point for the occasion. The skirt flowed behind her when she walked, and was the perfect pairing with her golden curls.
First of all, love this golden brown hair color on her – more natural and complimentary to her skin tone than platinum blonde or gingery red. Amy almost always kills it on the red carpet, and I’m always a fan of formalwear that incorporates a non-tacky midriff. The bangles are fun and youthful, perfect for someone who doesn’t take this awards show thing TOO too seriously.
Tatiana Maslany In Bouchra Jarrar
It took the Emmys a VERY long time to notice Tatiana Maslany. Orphan Black may be a huge cult hit but a lot of people don’t know about it, or the actress behind the clones. I’m sure Tatiana was well aware that last night was her shot to make an impression, and this suit did just that. The looser fit was a bit of a gamble – usually on the rare occasion that a woman wears a suit on the red carpet, the pants are impeccably tailored and crisp. I’d call this one a risk that paid off.
Not only am I breaking my “suits and tuxes are too boring to be Best Dressed” rule, I’m breaking it twice. It’s just that Jon Hamm wears formal attire so well. Yes, tuxes and suits are not half as fussy or uncomfy as even the most comfortable gown, but a lot of men still manage to look sort of stiff and unnatural in them. Jon, however, looks like he has been wearing a tuxedo on the daily since he was a toddler. I’m also loving these throwback narrow lapels we’ve been seeing for the past several years – so much better than those schlubby, boxy 90s tuxedos. The tailoring is perfect here.
Kerry Washington In Marc Jacobs
Kerry Washington is one of those people who is SO gorgeous and wears clothes SO well that she often takes red carpet risks … which sometimes can fall flat or overpower her. So I was delighted to see this metallic chain mail piece that is a tad offbeat but, with the relatively simple and not too clingy cut, isn’t too over the top either. That said, the dress and shoes both must be uncomfy as hell and I can’t even imagine.
Gina Rodriguez in Lorena Sarbu
She looks like an angel. More runway-type, concept-y gowns don’t always work on the Red Carpet (see: Kerry Washington) but Gina looks like a dream and I swear we’re going to start watching Jane The Virgin. It can be very hard to wear white without looking like a bride or a girl at a really nice quince, and the mixed textures are what keeps it out of that arena. Love the pop of color with the clutch.
Honorable Mention: Teyonah Parris, wearing a great polka dot gown that would be very hard to pull off for anyone less adorable than Teyonah Parris.
Heidi Klum in Versace
It’s always disappointing and a lil second hand embarrassment when a supermodel/fashion icon fails on the red carpet. It’s like she picked a 10th place finisher’s design from Project Runway.
Sophie Turner in Galvan
Guys, I know the 90s are back and all, but I’m still not on board with velour.
Jaimie Alexander in Armani Prive
I… just don’t get it.
Joanna Newsom in Delpozo
I really, really, really think these two are super adorable to the point I want to vom, but honey sweetie. The front of this dress. Joanna’s style is usually left of center, but I can’t get on board with this. Love you two, though.
Edie Falco in Prada
90% of the time, pleats are no good. This gown is included in that percentage. Also, the rando flower embroideries are confusing, and the fit just doesn’t show off Edie’s form. She can do much better, as evidenced from Emmys past.
Kathryn Hahn in Vivienne Westwood
I think Kathryn Hahn is one of the most underrated and underappreciated actresses in the biz. That being said, what is even happening here.
Tracee Ellis Ross in Zac Posen
Tracee has great hair (I mean, she is destined for great hair), and her face and skin are wonderful too. The general silhouette of the dress is fine, although I am never into that kind of bodice and I don’t like the cutouts on the skirt. So I think what I don’t like is the combination of that sweetly pink color with the glossy fabric – all I can think is Galinda from Wicked.
Taryn Manning in Rubin Singer
Maybe this isn’t a technically bad dress, I’m just over the Angelina Jolie/ Morticia Addams/ Theda Bara thing. It’s also hard to pull off unless impeccably styled, and her hair looks like a Delia*s-era Sun In and Wet Look combo.
Alan Cumming in Vivienne Westwood
This is so silly that I actually find it delightful. He looks like an old-time jolly chimney sweep who’s gettin’ married in the morning. The tie, the chain, the umbrella, the pocket square, the giant pants — I find it so joyful and fun that I almost want to put it on best dressed, I just know that it isn’t technically “good.”
Julianne Hough In Marchesa
It almost doesn’t seem fair judging reality tv people on the red carpet, because it seems like they’re in a whole different universe. It is something I would probably LOVE on the runway, or in Swan Lake, I just don’t like if for the red carpet.
Dascha Polanco in Leanne Marshall
If you were one of the good kids in school, do you remember how you would get in trouble if you made the slightest peep in class, because the teachers had grown to expect more of you? That’s how I feel about this dress. On anyone else I would probably just think “Okay, not my favorite” and move on, but I’ve come to love Dascha’s style so much that I’m surprised I don’t like this one. I do love the sunny yellow on her, I think I just hate this new trend of the super short opaque skirt with a sheer gown over it. I think they look silly now, but I think everyone will think they look silly when they look back in a few years.
Listen up losers – today is the day we’ve been waiting for for 14 years. It’s time to finally go back to Camp Firewood, where the sexual tension fills the humid Maine air and hits you like a disgusting sticky wall of regret and the counselors could honestly not give two shits about their campers. I’m so excited.
We’re going back to 1981, but this time around, a few days before the kiddos arrive, hence, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. The new Netflix prequel of eight glorious episodes comes out today, and previously released intel reveals that it looks exactly the same (in a good way), but with even more star power than before, which seems impossible. For the prequel, co-creators David Wain and Michael Showalter recruited some of today’s hottest stars, including Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, John Slattery, Jason Schwartzman, Chris Pine, Josh Charles, etc. etc. etc. While I’m looking forward to seeing these folks at Camp Firewood, I’m also looking forward to seeing the old counselors back on campus again. Particularly because they’re playing a few days younger than what they were in the movie they filmed 15 years ago.
And 15 years ago, a lot of these cast members were still flying under the radar of fame. For Bradley Cooper, it was his first feature film, and there’s still a good chunk of the world who didn’t even know he was in it. David and Michael sure know how to pick them, and as we can see from the careers the cast has had since then, everyone’s doing just fine. But while they have had unforgettable roles they will be known for for the rest of their lives (Leslie Knope, Effie Trinket, Det. Elliot Stabler), these accomplished actors have their fair share of underrated performances. So in honor of going back to Maine, here are some of my favorite roles Camp Firewood alum have taken on since 1981/2001.
Amy Poehler as Susie
Post Camp Firewood Choice Performance: Sondra in A.C.O.D.
You love seeing Amy and Adam Scott as Leslie and Ben, but do you think you’ll love them as stepmother and stepson? The surprising answer is yes. If you’re wondering – but they’re one year apart in age, how is that possible?? That’s why it’s funny folks. Sondra is a short-tempered rich bitch who doesn’t particularly care too much about being a mother figure to Adam Scott’s character, and she brings the laughs (as always). Plus the dynamic between them is reason enough to see this movie.
Bradley Cooper as Ben
Post Camp Firewood Choice Performance: Holden Wilson in Valentine’s Day
We all know how big of a star B Coops has become since this movie. And as previously mentioned, WHAS was Bradley’s first feature film coming straight out of the Inside The Actors Studio school and oh boy what a role it was. Relatedly, Bradley was in, IMHO an underrated movie, Valentine’s Day, which follows in the style of Love Actually and He’s Just Not That Into You. He plays a soldier who meets Julia Roberts on a plane and maybe I was too engrossed in the other B-X plots but I definitely did not seeing his ending coming.
Michael Ian Black as McKinley
Post Camp Firewood Choice Performance: Phil Stubbs in Ed
Michael Ian Black is best known for his usually over-the-top comedic roles, but he toned it down a bit for dramedy Ed, a series that aired the entire four years we were in high school, and I feel like I was in a small group of teens who watched it in its entirety. MIB played one of the employees at bowling alley Stuckeybowl, which is owned by the titular Ed. MIB brings the comedy to the series as like the odd guy (out), bringing the necessary townie strangeness needed for the small town life. (PS: full eps are on youtube!!!!!)
Elizabeth Banks as Lindsay
Post Camp Firewood Choice Performance: Avery Jessup in 30 Rock
Elizabeth Banks is one of those people who is loved by all and can do pretty much anything she’s asked to play. For the record, Avery Jessup is one of the best characters she’s ever played because she’s so insane and so real that it hurts so good. However, I think it’s worth noting that Elizabeth is an exceptional dramatic actress as well. Specifically in THG: Mockingjay Part 1, she obviously doesn’t have as many scenes as Katniss but the sorrow and despair in Effie’s being is so heartbreaking, which is all Elizabeth. More dramatic roles, please!!
Paul Rudd as Andy
Post Camp Firewood Choice Performance: Mike Hannigan in Friends
It’s worth noting that no one has aged. Not one bit. Especially Paul Rudd. He’s had so many excellent roles over the years that sometimes it’s easy to forget roles that seemed fairly small compared to what else was going on in the rest of the movie/tv show. I.E. Mike, Phoebe’s hubs on Friends. It’s hard to be the outsider within the group of six, but Mike fit in so well. He was a perfect match for Pheebs and could actually tolerate her weirdness by complementing it with his own absurdities.
Christopher Meloni as Gene
Post Camp Firewood Choice Performance: Ray Whelans in Veep
Although Chris Meloni is probably best known as Elliot Stabler, Chris Meloni has done his fair share of comedies, obviously incuding Wet Hot American Summer. He uses that ridiculousness from the kitchen and brings it to roles like Veep, where he had a mini-arc as VP Selina Meyer’s Trainer Wellness Advisor, who she *spoiler alert* ends up sleeping with.
Ken Marino as Victor Kulak
Post Camp Firewood Choice Performance: Vinnie Van Lowe in Veronica Mars
I will always post this video when I get the opportunity. Ken Marino is a genius.
Joe Lo Truglio as Neil
Post Camp Firewood Choice Performance: Lonnie in I Love You, Man
Like Paul Rudd and Ken Marino, Joe has had a bunch of great roles since WHAS, but this one cracks me up every time I see it. Also, I just watched The Wedding Ringer, and it’s basically the same movie as I Love You, Man, right?
A.D. Miles as Gary
Post Camp Firewood Choice Performance: A.D. Miles in The Tonight Show/Late Show with Jimmy Fallon
A.D. was kind of the silent forgotten hero in WHAS, but A.D. IRL has gone on to become one of the best in the comedy biz. He was hired as the head writer for Jimmy’s Late Night show and currently serves as the head writer for the Tonight Show. In this recurring sketch with Justin Timberlake, A.D. goes back to his camp roots and reminds me of Ug Lee from Salute Your Shorts.
Molly Shannon as Gail von Kleinenstein
Post Camp Firewood Choice Performance: Val in Will & Grace
We all know that Molly Shannon is hilarious. This is a given. But she played such a creepy funny character on Will & Grace as the insane neighbor. Like a pop up book from hell, Val legit just shows up when you least expect it and she’s one of my favorite characters Molly’s played since Sally O’Malley.
Judah Friedlander – Ron von Kleinenstein
Post Camp Firewood Choice Performance: Brian in Sharknado 2: The Second One
Since I’m most accustomed to seeing Judah in big glasses and a trucker hat with some kind of riddle on the front, it took me a second to realize that he was fending off killer sharks in Sharknado 2: The Second One. It’s like the equivalent of Rachael Leigh cook taking out her ponytail and glasses in She’s All That. A WHOLE DIFFERENT PERSON.
Marguerite Moreau as Katie
Post Camp Firewood Choice Performance: Katie in Parenthood
I feel like this picture accurately depicts the entire arc (albeit small) Marguerite had on Parenthood. She was dating Crosby in the first few episodes and eager to have a baby, and wanted to freeze his sperm, but Crosby was all Helllll nahhh son I ain’t bout that life ::enter Jasmine and Jabbar:: Bye Katie.
Kyle Gallner – Bobby’s Buddy
Post Camp Firewood Choice Performance: Beaver Cassidy Casablancas in Veronica Mars
GUYS I HAD NO IDEA KYLE GALLNER WAS IN WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER AS THIS KID. BRAND NEW INFORMATION.