Watch A Young Amy Poehler Rap In This Failed 20-Year-Old TV Pilot

It seems like every celebrity out there has a pre-fame project that probably shouldn’t ever see the light of day. And now we know what Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler was up to before she co-founded the still-amazing Upright Citizens Brigade theater. Take a peek below at clips from a 1995 TV pilot Poehler created (with improv genius Del Close and Matt Dwyer) called RVTV, in which she white-girl raps and does other 1995-appropriate things.

Is it just me, or does this seem like a combination of “the first time anyone used a video camera” and “bad weed?” That probably has more to do with the randomness of the assorted scenes, but I can’t imagine how they would all link together anyway. Still, this is pretty much what being 24 is like, so no harm, no foul.

The pilot title and approach are obviously a parody of MTV and its in-your-face disaffectedness, with Poehler playing an RV VJ, and the premise seems to be that the trio has taken over all of TV’s airwaves. (Remember airwaves?) That’s somewhat similar to the Upright Citizens Brigade series, where the central characters have tapped into whatever surveillance feed that lets them spy on everyone. It’s all or nothing with Poehler projects. And “all” sometimes includes jokes about masturbating to Janet Reno, and Richard Nixon chugging salad dressing.


The filter-filled video was shared by the Second City Network YouTube page, which already has a ton of awesome rarely-seen videos on it. Dwyer himself shared some info about it.

I honestly do not recall where the concept came from. I know it was written by Adam McKay and Tom Gianas, who both went on to write for SNL and of course film and TV. Tom co-directed it. We shot it for a week up in Toronto.

McKay’s name is familiar to anyone who loves Step Brothers and the Anchorman films, and Gianas was one of the brains behind Human Giant and Pretend Time. Gianas had left SNL by the time Poehler got there, but McKay was still writing at that point.

As weird and jumbled as it is, I’d like to see what RVTV would have become had someone picked it up. (Though I don’t know who would have done that, other than maybe Comedy Central.) But it would presumably have messed with the formation of the UCB, and the Bucket of Truth wouldn’t stand for that.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.