An unforgettable Amy Poehler/Jimmy Fallon anecdote from their “Saturday Night Live” days has been recirculating on social media in the wake of Fallon being called out in a Rolling Stone article for creating a toxic workplace as host of “The Tonight Show.”
In a memorable anecdote from Poehler “SNL” bestie Tina Fey’s autobiography “Bossypants,” Fey opens a chapter praising Amy with the story of when she blasted Fallon’s gender-normative response to her comedic style. The story was shared to X (formerly known as Twitter) by The New Yorker’s Erin Overbey, who wrote, “Tina Fey had Jimmy Fallon dead to rights more than a decade ago.”
Fey was both “SNL’s” head writer and co-anchor of “Weekend Update” alongside Jimmy Fallon at the time. She set up the story, explaining, “Amy Poehler was new to ‘SNL’ and we were all crowded into the seventeenth-floor writers’ room, waiting for the Wednesday read-through to start. There were always a lot of noisy ‘comedy bits’ going on in that room.”
Poehler was joking around with castmate and Fallon’s “Late Night” replacement Seth Meyers.
“Amy was in the middle of some such nonsense with Seth Meyers across the table, and she did something vulgar as a joke,” the “30 Rock” creator wrote. “I can’t remember what it was exactly, except it was dirty and loud and ‘unladylike.'”
“Jimmy Fallon, who was arguably the star of the show at the time, turned to her and in a faux-squeamish voice said: ‘Stop that! It’s not cute! I don’t like it,'” Fey related.
That may have been a mistake. Fey continued, “Amy dropped what she was doing, went black in the eyes for a second, and wheeled around on him. ‘I don’t f–king care if you like it.’ Jimmy was visibly startled. Amy went right back to enjoying her ridiculous bit.”
Tina Fey had Jimmy Fallon dead to rights more than a decade ago in her memoir Bossypants. Will never forget this account about his exchange w/Amy Poehler in an SNL writers’ room… pic.twitter.com/j3UNaQ0VsA
— Erin Overbey (@erinoverbey) September 7, 2023
Fey published this excerpt from the book in 2011 in Slate. But at the time, the following clarification that Fey added in “Bossypants” was left out.
“(I should make it clear that Jimmy and Amy are very good friends and there was never any real beef between them. Insert penis joke here.)”
Poehler also took Fallon’s “Weekend Update” anchor chair when Fallon left “Saturday Night Live” to pursue a film career, teaming up with longtime friend Fey.
Fey shared the story of Poehler’s response to Fallon to celebrate what she called a “cosmic shift” behind the scenes of “SNL.”
“Amy made it clear that she wasn’t there to be cute,” Fey wrote. “She wasn’t there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys’ scenes. She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not f–king care if you like it.”
Fey went on to write that she remembers this Fallon/Poehler moment whenever she hears that someone’s said that “women aren’t funny.”
“It is an impressively arrogant move to conclude that just because you don’t like something, it is empirically not good,” Fey wrote. That could be read as a critique of Fallon’s response, but it comes after several other men are mentioned. She goes on to write advice for women on navigating sexism and other discrimination in the workplace, suggesting they should “ignore it and move on” if it’s not directly in between a woman and her goal, but to stay focused on their work.
Despite the momentary conflict, Poehler and Fallon appear to have remained friendly since that incident and went on to appear on both “Late Night” when Fallon was hosting that show and “The Tonight Show” since he took over as host. Poehler only briefly mentions Fallon in her book, “Yes Please,” but notes his success in absolutely crushing with the crowd when he hosted the Emmys.
You can watch both Fey and Poehler appearing together with Fallon on “The Tonight Show” here, including Fallon telling a story about being robbed by a drug dealer with a sawed-off shotgun:
The post That Time Amy Poehler Shut Down Jimmy Fallon at ‘SNL’ Table Read: ‘I Don’t F–king Care If You Like It’ appeared first on TheWrap.