CAMBRIDGE (AP) — Amy Poehler turned the tables on her roasters, poking fun at Harvard and its famed Hasty Pudding theater troupe during its annual Woman of the Year award and roast Thursday.
The actress joked at the irreverent affair that she never expected to be feted by the Ivy League school she raised a “middle finger” to growing up in nearby Burlington, Massachusetts.
“I want to thank Hasty Pudding for reminding us how hard it is to write funny jokes,” she said after the two student roasters teased her about past roles in comedies such as “Baby Mama” and “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.”
The Golden Globe-winning “Parks and Recreation” star and “Saturday Night Live” alum also poked fun at the university’s elitist reputation and pointed out the lack of female actors in her performance with the nation’s oldest undergraduate drama troupe.
“It’s unsettling that there will be no women on stage tonight,” Poehler said to applause. “You know its time for a change when the Augusta National Golf Club has lapped you.”
She then quickly quipped: “I haven’t seen so many smiling white faces since I took my top off at a mime convention.”
Later, Poehler rapped while wearing a baseball cap of her alma mater, Boston College, that her dad tossed on stage from his seat in the audience.
She also did an improv skit with an actor dressed as North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and a dance routine with male actors dressed as the popular high school girls clique from her “Mean Girls” movie.
“Wow, Amy. You can rap, act and dance. You’re a regular Mark Wahlberg,” said Jason Hellerstein, president of the student group, who roasted Poehler along with group vice president Samuel Clark.
Poehler promised to treat her award — a golden pudding pot — “with the respect any fake award deserves.”
Speaking to reporters after the roast, Poehler said being raised in the Boston-area shaped her comedy.
“I think at times I have a very blue-collared approach,” she said. “Bostonians have to go through a lot of weather and traffic. And you get pretty hardy. It certainly helped.”
Chris Pratt, Poehler’s co-star on “Parks & Recreation” who starred in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” film is Hasty Pudding’s 2015 Man of the Year. He gets his own parade and roast Feb. 6
The annual award goes to performers who have made a lasting contribution to entertainment. Last year’s winners were Helen Mirren and Neil Patrick Harris.
Poehler has a 2014 Golden Globe award and five Emmy nominations for her role as Leslie Knope on “Parks and Recreation,” an NBC comedy series. She spent seven seasons on “Saturday Night Live.”
Earlier Thursday, Poehler was paraded from Harvard Square to the theater hall with a boisterous marching band, costumed marchers and a duck boat in tow.
Students and fans who lined Massachusetts Avenue for the parade held signs declaring “Leslie Knope for president” and shouting, “We love you Amy!” as she made her way down the back seat of a convertible Bentley.
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