This week, as you might expect, Flavorwire is devoting extensive coverage to the biggest and most anticipated movie of the year: Sisters, the new big-screen comedy starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler! Follow our coverage here.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler knew each other well before they appeared together on the small screen and have continued to collaborate long after. But TV was where Fey and Poehler established themselves, both as individual performers and a comedy dream team.
The two officially began working together in television at SNL in 2001, where Fey was head writer and co-anchor of Weekend Update and Poehler became a cast member. Since then, each has gone on to work on her own beloved show, pen a bestselling memoir, and cap it off with a three year co-hosting stint at the Golden Globes. Here’s a highlight reel of Tina and Amy’s decade and a half of collaborating on television thus far.
The Bush Twins
Sisters won’t be the first time Fey and Poehler have played, well, sisters. Their Bush-era political comedy was overshadowed by both Will Ferrell’s iconic Dubya and their own later, better-known impressions, but their Barbara and Jenna tag team holds up. Envisioning the First Daughters as ditzy twenty-somethings who still sleep with stuffed animals in twin beds and speak in a “top secret twin language” that stumps their dad, Fey and Poehler took the opportunity to bust out their version of a Texas twang.
“Bitches Get Stuff Done!”
Fey and Poehler then went on to become the first all-female Weekend Update team, and to this date the only one, in SNL‘s 40-year history. No moment from their all-too-brief tenure behind the desk (Fey would leave the show to create 30 Rock just two years later, giving her seat up to Seth Meyers) was more GIF’ed than this one, in which the two defend Hillary Clinton as a “bitch.” Remember: you might hate those nuns from Catholic school, but now you know the capital of Vermont!
Hillary and Sarah
And then there’s this masterpiece, in which Fey may or may not have derailed an entire presidential campaign and Poehler beat Kate McKinnon to the “understandably entitled Hillary” punch. (Both Poehler and McKinnon also had the honor of impersonating Hillary next to Hillary.) SNL has a time-honored tradition of calling back the heavyweights — Darrell Hammond, Will Ferrell — when it’s called for, and there’s no better occasion than Fey’s uncanny resemblance to a certain vice presidential hopeful from Wasilla.
Amy as Liz Lemon
30 Rock and Parks and Recreation are mostly separate entities, and separate chapters in Fey and Poehler’s careers. But 30 Rock‘s live episodes were a special occasion, allowing an armada of guest stars (Julia Louis Dreyfus! Jon Hamm!) and even more meta jokes than usual. Poehler’s small cameo as a young, blatantly unrealistic Liz is the best of both.
The 2014 Golden Globes Monologue
Trying to pick one’s favorite Fey and Poehler Golden Globes moment is like trying to pick a favorite child, but here’s my best shot. All of their monologues showcase the comedians at their most blatantly feminist — reaching the top of the industry has its perks! — but this one has two of my favorite potshots, directed at Matthew McConaughey’s Dallas Buyers’ Club weight loss and George Clooney’s Gravity role. Watch it and weep.
Tina and Her “Secret Teenage Son”
Even as their monologues threw back to their Update days, Fey and Poehler also filled their Ricky Gervais interregnum with bits that were more in the sketch tradition, chief among them this silly interlude starring Poehler as Tina’s moody teenage son. The guyliner is a nice, if incidental, touch.
The SNL Victory Lap
Was SNL 40 a self-congratulatory spectacle that essentially boiled down to three hours of live back-patting? Yes. Was it total catnip to comedy nerds like me who’ve read Live from New York cover to cover? Also yes. And the highlight was its mini-Update, starring Fey, Poehler, and the only other female anchor the fake news broadcast’s ever had (hi there, Lorne), and also one of its first: Jane “You Ignorant Slut” Curtin. The whole thing’s nostalgic in an endearing way rather than nostalgic in a self-indulgent way, a line not all of SNL 40 managed to stay on the right side of.