We Asked Amy Poehler How To Be More Joyful (Even On A Crap Day)

Guaranteed to make you laugh...


'What's your favourite joke?' The world's funniest woman has just asked me to make her laugh. Yes, Amy Poehler wants me to tell her a gag.


Oh god. We're in the SoHo Hotel to chat about Inside Out, which opened in theaters last weekend. And if there really are little characters in our head controlling our brain, like the movie's premise, mine have all passed out under the stress. My mind is blank.

Eventually, I tentatively reply, 'Erm, what's brown and sticky?' 

I'll let you Google the tag line, but needless to say it won't be featuring on Saturday Night Live any time soon. 


I should have never tried. Amy is the funny one. And has been for years — making me nearly wee on my sofa during an episode of Emmy-nominated Parks and Recreation, being the best bit of the Golden Globes, hanging out with her equally brilliant best mate Tina Fey, and authoring my favourite book of 2014, Yes Please.

In case you've been hiding under a rock, Inside Out is Pixar's latest animation about the emotions inside an 11-year-old girl's head. In it, Amy plays Joy, a spritely Tinkerbell-esque character who is in charge of keeping Riley happy.  Film critics love its smart humor, while feminists are gushing over its nuanced depiction of girlhood. Overall, it's heart swelling, thought-provoking stuff. ‘I love the comedy that comes out of the UK. I love the people so I’m really excited for the UK to see the film,’ she tells me.

So that's the backstory. And considering Amy's brilliant turn as Joy, I'm here to find out her thoughts on the secret to being, happy, funny and, well joyful. How can we start the day on the up? Amy's answer is deadpan: ‘Go back to sleep. If you wake up in a bad mood re-set your mood by going back to sleep, sleeping another hard 8 and waking up naturally again. That’s what I would advise but usually my advice is not usually good nor sound.’ 


Well, which women make her laugh then?  

‘I have so many great women in my life, so many wonderful friends and women of all ages that I look up to and aspire to be and listen to and feel love from. I’m really lucky and am surrounded by the best, most interesting, beautiful, hilarious women.'

In the film, one of our favourite characters is Riley's imaginary friend Bing Bong. I wonder what Amy's dream imaginary friend would look like? ‘A masseuse. An imaginary masseuse with real hands, who isn’t very chatty.’

And there you have it. You want to be full of joy? Find a good, silent, masseuse; embrace your emotions; oh, and learn a good gag or two,  so you're ready just in case the world's funniest woman asks. 


Inside Out is in cinemas nationwide now

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