Amy Poehler has been played hundreds of different characters since joining “Saturday Night Live” in 2001 and now she’s content to settle for just one.
“I was excited about the idea of turning the volume down a little bit and sit with a character,” said Poehler in shifting her sensibilities from latenight to primetime in the new untitled Greg Daniels sitcom set to launch on April 9.
Daniels, creator of “The Office,” and co-creator/exec producer Michael Schur, says the show will be similar to the Steve Carell starrer in that it will offer the make fun of the mundane. Skein centers around Poehler’s character, Leslie Knope, a midlevel bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation department of Pawnee, Ind.
“It’s based on Santa Monica city council meetings,” he explained. “That kid of world. We intend to populate it with fun personalities and the conflicts that occur. It’s about decisionmaking on a local level.”
In coming up with ideas, Daniels said he was looking to stay in the comfort zone of “The Office,” and not populate a world of flash and substance.
“We would sit and think of shows and say, ‘No that’s too glamorous.’ We wanted something more boring.”
Even though this mockumentary is up and running, that doesn’t mean a spinoff to “The Office” is out of the question. He won’t be able to participate on a day-to-day basis, but he’s still interested in the concept.
“I am talking to people at ‘The Office’ for another idea and to Stephen Merchant (creative partner of Ricky Gervais),” Daniels explained. “I think it would be cool to produce it without me giving my blood.”
As for Poehler, this will certainly keep her busy as well, and she doesn’t anticipate returning to the sketch comedy show that made her a star. And she was certainly appreciative of the musical sendoff the folks at “SNL” gave her at the end of that night’s Weekend Update.
“I watched it from my hospital bed with my son,” she recalled. He was born at 6 p.m. and I watched it at 11:30. I was uncontrollably sobbing. You really become a family and to have been there during an amazing season and for my friends to do such a tribute was very emotional and beautiful.”
– Stuart Levine