Amy Poehler’s Thanksgiving Invite to Conan O’Brien Descends Into Madness
Family Thanksgiving gatherings at the Andy Richter house are a lot like yours and mine — assuming that yours start with heartfelt gratitude before descending into high-volume threats and vigilante violence. That’s par for the course whenever Andy’s little sister Stacy is involved.
Stacy was a recurring Conan character played by pre-Saturday Night Live Amy Poehler wearing a small fortune in orthodontic hardware. While struggling to make a living as an improviser in the early days of the Upright Citizens Brigade, “we supported ourselves with odd jobs and writing gigs,” she writes in her memoir, Yes Please. “Conan O’Brien’s show was speaking to a massive and young audience, and he would put us in weekly bits on Late Night. If you said more than six lines on air you made $600.”
It was Conan writer Brian Stack who came up with Richter’s lovestruck little sister. “Her name was Stacy, and she wore headgear and was obsessed with Conan,” Poehler remembers. “I would sit in my tiny dressing room and memorize long monologues that often ended with my tackling Conan at his desk. It was another character to add to my repertoire of adolescent, lisping maniacs.”
Stacy’s Thanksgiving appearance follows the template to a T. Andy welcomes Stacy back to the show, then extends an invitation from his sister to Conan to join the family for a holiday meal. She’s been rehearsing for the event, getting ready to serve Conan some pumpkin pie…
Designing a Conan-themed float…
And constructing a Little Conan out of Native American squash, using her own hair dyed in carrot juice to complete the doll…
But it’s all for naught as Conan has already committed to spending the day with his girlfriend’s family. That bit of holiday news doesn’t go over well with Stacy. “You listen up, Conan! Your words are cruel, and they feel like shrapnel piercing my already broken heart. But deep within my heart lies an army, an elegant and fiercely brave infantry of hate. And although this army has rejection buzzing by its head like bullets, it will beat upon the drums of conquest with your bones!”
Cue the flying tackle, with Andy getting the worst of it.
It would be nice to report that Stacy was the brilliant character that got Poehler the job on Saturday Night Live, but the reality is more disheartening. “Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider saw the bit when they were visiting,” she writes in Yes Please, “and cast me in Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo.” It was Poehler’s first big Hollywood movie. Even Stacy might have a hard time giving thanks for that one.