Amy Poehler was born in Newton, Massachusetts and was raised in nearby Burlington, Massachusetts.

Amy Poehler is Catholic, or she was Catholic. It’s tough to say. She mentioned that she was an adherent to the church very briefly in one interview that I found thanks to one of our diligent readers,1 but most of my research doesn’t paint a portrait of the model Catholic.

There’s the Saturday Night Live clip from a “Weekend Update” segment where she made fun of Catholic politicians for trying to restrict the use of birth control.2 Regarding Republican Mike Huckabee’s statement that “We’re all Catholic now,” Poehler said,

Really? You know who is not all Catholic now? All Catholics now. 98% of Catholic women say they’ve used birth control, and the other 2% are the ones always trying to get their church to start a softball team! Really! Don’t tell me what to do!3

Okay, so it looks like she’s not into church politics. She also didn’t seem to be too worried about a comment from Taylor Swift after she poked fun at the singer’s love life at the Golden Globes. After Swift said there was a “special place in hell” for her, Poehler responded,

Aw, I feel bad if she was upset. I am a feminist and she is a young and talented girl. That being said, I do agree I am going to hell. But for other reasons. Mostly boring tax stuff.4

So as far as I can tell, Poehler isn’t too religious these days regardless of how she was raised. She might dabble in a bit of Buddhist literature,5 but for the most part, it looks like comedy is her religion. If we’re to believe one of her former improv students, she passed a note out to her class one day that read:

Treat the stage with respect. Treat it with total and complete reverence. The stage is my church. There is no place that I feel more alive, more myself, more truthful, more satisfied and happy. Some people go to church to feel in touch with that creative force that some people call God. Well, I get that on stage. . . . So if the stage is my church, improv is my religion.6

The Smart Woman at the Party

As you can tell from her religion section, Poehler is completely politically opinionated, and she lands on the left side of the debate. Her interest is apparent in the roles she plays, from Hillary Clinton on Saturday Night Live to a government employee running for local political office on her sitcom Parks and Recreation.

That being said, it can be hard to find straight answers in many of her interviews. Like when a reporter from the political website The Hill asked her what her top issue would be if she were a politician, she responded,

Free healthcare for gay married couples who grow their own medical marijuana.7

So do you think that means she supports Obamacare, gay marriage, and legalizing medical marijuana? Probably. After all, she endorsed Obama in 2012,8 wrote a fundraising letter in support of Planned Parenthood,9 and joined a celebrity PSA in favor of gun control.10 So it’s safe to say that she’s solidly on the liberal/Democrat side of things.

But Poehler seems most strongly dedicated to women’s rights and empowerment. Sometimes it’s subtle, like how she dodges questions about her appearance,11 and other superficial topics. When Seventeen magazine asked her what she did to get guys to notice her, she responded,

I had no idea how to get guys to notice me. I still don’t. Who cares?12

She also started a YouTube channel called “Smart Girls” where she works to inspire girls to be themselves and pursue their interests.13 Regardless of whether or not you agree with her politics, it’s hard to argue with that mission.

  1. WTF Episode 202 with Amy Poehler. PRX. []
  2. Saturday Night Live – Really? with Seth and Amy: Birth Control. NBC. []
  3. Saturday Night Live – Really? with Seth and Amy: Birth Control. NBC. []
  4. Taylor Swift slams Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for mocking her love life at Golden Globes. Daily Mail. []
  5. Amy Poehler: ‘Parks and Recreation’ Star On The Big Fear She Conquered. Huffington Post. []
  6. Amy Poehler. Improvoker. []
  7. 20 Questions with Amy Poehler. The Hill. []
  8. Obama celebrity endorsements. Entertainment Weekly. []
  9. Amy Poehler: ‘Planned Parenthood Is Awesome.’ Huffington Post. []
  10. Beyonce, Jon Hamm, Steve Carell lend voices to PSA for gun control. Entertainment Weekly. []
  11. 20 Questions with Amy Poehler. The Hill. []
  12. Amy Poehler Interview. Seventeen. []
  13. About. Smart Girls at the Party. []