Amy Poehler ready for a sitcom change of pace

January 15, 2009 6:48:02 PM PST
Coming off her final and triumphant "Saturday Night Live" season, Amy Poehler says she's looking forward to switching gears in a new NBC comedy. Poehler told a meeting of the Television Critics Association that she's excited about the idea of being able to "turn the volume down a little bit and sit with a character."

In the mockumentary-style comedy, Poehler plays a mid-level bureaucrat in an Indiana city parks and recreation department who's looking to get ahead.

The still-untitled series debuts 8:30 p.m. EST April 9.

Poehler's portrayal of Hillary Rodham Clinton opposite Tina Fey's Sarah Palin on "SNL" was a highlight of the show last year.

The new series isn't intended as a satire on national politics but instead offers a comedic take on how government works in an American town, said Michael Schur, who's executive producer along with Greg Daniels (of "The Office," NBC's other mockumentary-style comedy).

Poehler's character, Leslie Knope, finds her love of the democratic process tested as she faces defensive government workers, selfish residents and real estate developers.

Poehler was asked if she has any hard feelings about the attention being lavished on Fey, both for the Palin impersonation and for "30 Rock," Fey's Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning NBC comedy.

Does Poehler ever want to say, "I'll show her"?

"Then I turn around and wake her up and we have breakfast together," Poehler responded, with a smile.

Poehler, who co-starred with Fey in last year's movie "Baby Mama," had a baby last year with husband Will Arnett - an event that earned a musical tribute from her "Saturday Night Live" castmates. Poehler called the gesture "awesome" and recalled watching it from her hospital bed the October night her son was born.

"He was conveniently born at 6 p.m. so I could watch it live," Poehler said.

Her reaction: "Uncontrollable sobbing."