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Noted not-therapist Amy Poehler analyzes Desus and Mero with dirty pictures

Amy Poehler, Desus Nice, The Kid Mero
Screenshot: Desus & Mero

Before she was America’s weirdo-patriotic TV sweetheart on Parks And Recreation, or America’s just plain weirdo on Saturday Night Live, Amy Poehler was (and remains) one of the world’s best improvisers. (Now is a good time to revisit the Upright Citizens Brigade sketch show for just a little taste of what some unfiltered Poehler is like.) So when the Bodega Boys invited Poehler onto their Showtime show on Monday, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero gave room for the Wine Country director-star to do a little conceptual comedy improv in their segment “Diagnosis Poehler.”

And while the Desus & Mero stars might have some legitimate needs regarding their adjustment to pay cable stardom, perhaps laughs more than sage wisdom were what they wound up getting from their illustrious guest and in no way qualified therapist. Admitting upfront that she is “not licensed in any way” and not possessed of “great instincts,” Poehler yet pressed forward with her enthusiastic patients since, as she also noted, she is rich and famous, which means everything she says is correct.

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Peppered with questions both professional and personal from her hosts/guinea pigs, Pohler—sorry, Dr. Poehler* (*not a doctor)—never wavered in her advice. How to deal with fame? One of those sandwich sign-spinners will keep everyone abreast. Marital spats about parenting? Duh, you’re rich now—two houses. Desus keeps waking up with his hands attempting to strangle him in his sleep? Just Hollywood stuff, don’t sweat it. Still, some deeper delving was necessary for Dr. Poehler*, so she also brought along some suspiciously homemade-looking ink blots for the guys to interpret. They did pretty well, considering, “yes, and”-ing their way through descriptions ranging from the sexual to the disturbingly, overtly sexual. As the old joke goes about the psychiatrist (Amy Poehler is not a psychiatrist) who diagnoses his Rorschach-interpreting patient with sexual obsession, “Hey, you’re the one showing me the dirty pictures.” Of what is clearly “a sexy rotisserie chicken that committed suicide by blowing its head off,” as Desus claims at one point. It’s science. The guys (in an extended scene) also asked their guest/physician to analyze what the hell’s up with their beloved Knicks, but, famous or not, Celtic fan Poehler isn’t touching that hot mess.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.