Many fans may have been hoping for a surprise appearance by Tina Fey. But comedian and jill-of-all performing arts trades Amy Poehler used her hour-long, headlining set at Clusterfest on Friday to raise the profile of a couple of LGBTQ comics.
It's been a persistent and intriguing question ever since Poehler was announced as a headliner of the third annual comedy and music festival: who would the "friends" be in "Amy Poehler & Friends"?
Ever the champion of women and girls and staunch ally of the LGBTQ community (Sidebar: Remember when Leslie Knope accidentally became an ally on Parks & Rec?), Poehler chose to share her high-profile Friday set with Oakland-based, trans female comedian Nori Reed, and good friend Janine Brito — who recently became engaged to Poehler's longtime friend and Wine Country co-star, former SNL writer Paula Pell. For the final portion of her set, Poehler brought out Pell and Brito together for some funny banter.
The opening act of the show featured Oakland-based, all-female, mixed-race dance troupe Mix'd Ingrdnts, who were awesome.
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We got the absolute worst seats to see Amy Poehler and Friends, but she talked about love languages and enneagram and being an introvert and then brought out all trans and queer comedians so I felt very seen 💖🌈 #amypoehler #clusterfest #paulapell #janinebrito #norireed #pride #queers
In her own, brief bit of standup at the top of the show, Poehler talked about the dilemma of being an introvert at heart who always presented as an extravert. "How many people here are wishing they were home right now?" she asked. "Me too." She also talked about love languages (hers is "words of affirmation"), and how San Francisco has always been a little too open for her taste. (She said she came to a party in SF once where a woman was being introduced to her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend, who said something like, "I was his lover before, and I look forward to a time when you and I can be the best of friends," to which Poehler just thought, "Fuck off, San Francisco.")
In an hour-long on-stage conversation with Fred Armisen earlier in the evening at Bill Graham, Poehler said she's spending the summer in New York working on the script for Moxie, an adaption of a young-adult novel by Jennifer Matthieu that she's directing for Netflix in the fall.
Below, watch Nori Reed performing a similar set to the one she performed last night, several months ago at SF Sketchfest. Also below, Janine Brito's recent appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers.