Comedian, actress and treasured human being Amy Poehler released her first book on Tuesday, a collection of essays titled Yes Please. In it she shares stories from her childhood, her time at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Chicago and, of course, her memorable Saturday Night Live career. In this candid, thoughtful and poignant new memoir, Poehler reveals a lot about herself. Here are five things we learned from Yes Please.
Among other interesting tidbits, Poehler gives us a glimpse into the creation of Leslie Knope, in particular, her name. Yes Please contains a brainstorm list offering a number of names Leslie could have had instead, but thankfully did not. Possibilities included “Leslie Knaint,” “Leslie Kany,” “Leslie Knbross,” “Leslie Knute,” “Leslie Krap!” and “Leslie Knotonmywatch.” The world would be a different place if Leslie Knope had been named Leslie Krap!
Yes Please is filled with love and admiration for people in comedy—including the book’s author. There is a chapter dedicated to her friend and writing partner Tina Fey, a chapter for her Parks and Recreation cast mates and, in a surprisingly turn, a chapter written by Seth Meyers about Poehler herself. The nameless section reads like a letter to a friend. In it, “Coco” (Poehler’s nickname for Meyers) shares a sweet story about the night Poehler’s water broke, sending her into delivery. That, in turn, became the first time Meyers anchored Weekend Update by himself and Poehler sent him a text promising he would do fine, even though she was the one who probably needed some reassurance.
While incredibly famous and almost ubiquitous on television, when it comes to her personal life, there’s a lot the world doesn’t know about Amy Poehler. Poehler begins the chapter “My Books on Divorce” by discussing her split from Will Arnett. Though she doesn’t go into much detail, she does share more than enough for fans mourning comedy’s biggest power couple. Poehler admits that it was a difficult, sad and painful time for her, but friend Louis C.K. offered this comforting observation: “Divorce is always good news because no good marriage ever ended in divorce”
In the chapter “My Boys”, Poehler opens her heart about her love for her sons Archie and Abel. The section is wrought with emotion and you can almost feel her love. She also provides some simple but solid wisdom here, writing, “I believe that every boy needs his mom to love him and that every girl needs her dad to pay attention to her”
“People text and drive and die. People check their e-mails and get hit by trucks. People fall into shopping mall fountains while texting and the security footage is passed around on the Internet and that person dies of embarrassment.”