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Tina Fey opens up about her yearslong relationship with ‘work wife’ Amy Poehler

“We really just have such an ease and shorthand working with each other.”
/ Source: TODAY

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have been friends for more than 30 years.

The two have worked together on numerous movies, including 2004's "Mean Girls," 2015's "Sisters" and 2008's "Baby Mama," where Poehler acted as a surrogate for Fey's character.

After taking on so many roles together, Fey, who is married to composer and producer Jeff Richmond, jokingly refers to Poehler as her "wife."

"We really just have such an ease and shorthand working with each other," Fey told Willie Geist on the Jan. 14 edition of Sunday Sitdown.

It was a chemistry that developed over time. Fey noted that she realized their unique rhythm while hosting the Golden Globe Awards. The two hosted the ceremony for three years, from 2013 to 2015, and again in 2021.

Now, the two are on the road together for their "Restless Leg" comedy tour. Hearing about their new endeavor, Geist said it sounds like they're rock stars.

“We’re just out and about. We’re just impregnating people everywhere we go,” Fey joked.

"But, it is such a paid mom’s weekend, ‘cause we go there and we’re like, 'Where should we — I heard there’s interesting vintage shopping,'" she joked. "And whatever city we go to, we have, like, a nice lunch just like (Chris) Rock and (Dave) Chappelle. And then we do our show, and if it’s a Saturday, we go to our room, and we watch 'SNL' from the hotel room. It's a dream."

Even if they aren't physically together, they stay connected.

"We’ll, like, live text during it," Fey said.

Read on to for everything to know about Fey and Poehler's friendship.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler meet at an improv theater

On Sunday Sitdown, Fey recalled how her friendship with Poehler began. They met in Chicago in 1993 when Fey moved there with dreams of pursuing comedy, she said.

"I went there to try to take classes at The Second City and at a place called Improv Olympic," she said. "And that’s where I met my wife, Amy Poehler. We were on a team together. It’s where I met my friend Rachel Dratch."

Poehler also recalled their first encounter when she presented the Mark Twain Prize to Fey in 2010.

"Tina and I met while we were taking improv classes in Chicago at Improv Olympic and Second City. It was 1993 and our dreams were as big and unshaped as our eyebrows," Poehler joked. "In the early '90s, in Chicago, only two things were clear. We wanted to write and perform comedy, and we knew we would look better in our 40s than we did in our 20s."

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler collaborate on 'Saturday Night Live'In 1997, Fey was hired as a writer on “SNL” after she landed an interview with creator and producer Lorne Michaels.

While speaking with Geist, Fey recalled how nerve-wracking the interview was due to a piece of advice someone had given her about Michaels. “Whatever you do, don’t finish his sentences,” she recalled.

“So I went into the office and I was, like, out of my body,” she said. “He was like, ‘So you’re from?’ And at the same time, I was like, ‘Philadelphia.’ He was like, ‘Chicago.’ I was like, ‘Or Chicago.’ And I had this thought, like, just floated outta my body, just turned into a puff of smoke.”

“You somehow gave the wrong answer to your hometown,” Geist laughed.

“I gave the wrong answer to my hometown,” Fey said. “But, no, I was right.”

Two years after landing the job, Fey was promoted to head writer. Then, in 2001, Poehler was hired as a cast member on “SNL."

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler during the "Weekend Update" skit on February 4, 2006.Dana Edelso / Getty Images

Fey later became a cast member and performed behind the "Weekend Update" anchor desk. She was eventually joined by Poehler, establishing the skit's first female duo in "SNL" history.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler co-star in their first movie

In 2002, Fey and Poehler co-starred in the comedy “Martin & Orloff.” After that, they appeared in Fey's 2004 hit film "Mean Girls," before they joined forced again for 2008's "Baby Mama" (and many more flicks).

Amy Poehler presents an award to Tina Fey

In 2010, Fey won the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American humor, and at the event, Poehler presented her with the award.

In her speech, Poehler called Fey a "dynamite woman, a first-class lady, an upstanding broad and a straight up dame."

"Tina, I am so honored to attend your comedy bar mitzvah tonight," she joked.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host the Golden Globes together

In 2013, the pair hosted their first Golden Globes show together.

After hitting it out of the park, the pair later returned to host the awards show again in 2014, 2015 and 2021.

Amy Poehler makes her directorial debut in 'Wine Country' starring Tina Fey

In 2019, Poehler made her film directorial debut in the Netflix comedy "Wine Country."

The movie — starring Fey and a few other "SNL" veterans, including Maya Rudolph and Rachel Dratch — follows a group of longtime friends who reunite and decide to take a trip to Napa Valley.

In an April 2019 interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Poehler shared what it was like to work with everyone on set.

“A lot of my work (as a director) was slowing everybody down, reminding them that they didn’t have to come in and score. Because these ladies are assassins,” she said. “They parachute in to other people’s movies and they’re the funniest part of the movie. They just kill. But many of them have not necessarily been in the entirety of a movie, with a continuing arc that we’re going to stick with.”

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hit the road together

In February 2023, Fey and Poehler announced that they were going on their first live comedy tour together, titled the "Restless Leg Tour."

"It's going to be an evening of comedy, conversation, improv, maybe a little slow dancing between us, we don't know yet. But it's going to be awesome," Fey said in a promo video they shared on Instagram.

Due to high demand, in September 2023, Fey and Poehler announced they were adding nine new shows to extend the tour into February 2024.