In Yes Please, Amy Poehler Embraces Her Inner Masshole

In one story from her new book, she allows her inner Bostonian to run wild and cusses out a stranger in the airport.

Most of us like to think Amy Poehler comes off as a perfectly delightful person to interact with. She’s Leslie Knope, for goodness sakes! She literally plays the emotion of Joy in an upcoming Pixar film!

amy poehler yes please book coverBut like the rest of us, the Massachusetts native is human and slips sometimes. Poehler addresses a few of her less-ladylike moments in her upcoming book, Yes Please, a highly anticipated memoir that comes chock-full of stories about growing up in the Boston area, breaking into the industry at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Chicago, and of course, plenty of tales from Saturday Night Live. There is a chapter titled “Humping Justin Timberlake.”

“Memoir” is a generalization for Yes Please. Poehler’s book contains essays, advice, poems (haikus about plastic surgery, an acrostic dedicated to Tina Fey), and chapters written by guest stars like her BFF Seth Meyers.

Poehler writes about her sons, to whom she dedicates Yes Please. She writes about her parents, who gave her a proper upbringing in the Boston ‘burb of Burlington. She writes about her first improv moment at Wildwood Elementary School, where she starred as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. She writes about her time at Boston College. She writes:

I have the Angelina Jolie of vaginas.

Followed by:

And there is your pullquote, editors.

Followed by the pullquote:


In Yes Please, Amy Poehler shares photos like these:

amy poehler yes please 1989 photo

And she tells stories about incidents she truly regrets, like an unfortunate SNL skit that made fun of Hurricane Mary, a screenplay by Marianne Leone about a real-life girl with a disability. The skit infuriated Leone and her husband, actor Chris Cooper, who wrote to her saying so. Poehler did not immediately respond, and in short: things got awkward for a while, and Poehler was sorry.

Now, one time Amy Poehler wasn’t that sorry? When she cussed out a man in a Toronto airport after he acted like a jerk toward her.

According to Poehler, she, Tina Fey, and Ana Gasteyer were chatty during a flight. After landing, a fellow passenger tells Poehler they were too loud and shouldn’t have been in first class.

This is when Poehler lets out her inner Masshole:

All of my lower-middle-class Boston issues rose to the surface. I don’t like it when bratty, privileged old white guys speak to me like I am their mouthy niece. I got that amazing feeling you get when you know you are going to lose it in the best, most self-righteous way. I just leaned back and yelled, “FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOU.” Then I chased him as he tried to get away from me.

“You rich motherfucker! Who do you think you are? You’re not better than me. Fuck you and your fucking opinions, you piece of shit.”

And on and on. Tina was laughing. Or horrified.

Incidentally, this was a flight from New York to Canada, where the women were about to film Mean Girls.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that Poehler also writes in Yes Please that she doesn’t even like the Boston accent:

The accent is a really hard thing for me. It reminds me of my family and my childhood, but it’s one of the worst-sounding accents out there. I love Boston, but we sound like idiots. Our mouths never close and we talk like big, lazy babies. I might get shit for this but as a true Bostonian all I will say to that is FUCK YOU AHHSOLE, IF YOU GOT A PRAWBLEM WIT ME THEN LET’S MEET BY THE RIVAH!

Well Poehler, you have a point.

And let’s be honest, being from Boston is not about dialect—it’s about attitude. And the airport incident proves that you can take the girl outta Boston, but you can never take the Boston outta the girl.


Yes Please will be released October 28 by Dey Street Books.