Amy Poehler Was Covered in Spaghetti on the Cover of a Yo La Tengo CD Single

"You know, it was a different time"

BY Megan LaPierrePublished May 23, 2024

Nobody's asking what my favourite Yo La Tengo album is; but if you were, I'd probably say And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out. The indie institution's ninth studio LP, released in February 2000, included a cover of the George McCrae disco tune from the '70s, "You Can Have It All," and it remains one of the band's most-played songs on Spotify. Prior to the record coming out, Yo La Tengo released their rendition of "You Can Have It All" as a CD single with some artwork that prominently features a pre-fame Amy Poehler.

The actor and comedian was a guest on last night's (May 22) episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! and the host presented her with a (properly pretty rare?) copy of the CD single, asking Poehler to explain what exactly was happening there. As you can see above, she has some red gunk around her mouth that makes her look borderline cannibalistic. She's also wearing an expression that is somehow both vaguely threatening and vaguely threatened. It's generally a funny photo, and that might be because it was for a comedy sketch.

At the time the photo was taken, Poehler was teaching improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), as well as doing the occasional bit as a recurring character on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. This was all happening about a year before she joined the Saturday Night Live cast, and she would like to assure you that it's not blood on her face — it's spaghetti. For their short-lived Comedy Central show, UCB had a sketch called "Spaghetti Jesus."

"The premise of the sketch was that there was a face of Jesus that was found in a bowl of spaghetti, and then someone ate it, and you panned around to see who it was, and then that lady," Poehler told Kimmel. (Side note: that must be where Glee got the idea for its "Grilled Cheesus" episode.) "So I guess the fine people of Yo La Tengo thought it would be a good album cover. I feel so proud that you found that!… You know, it was a different time."

Elsewhere in the appearance promoting Inside Out 2, which is beautifully ironic in context of the Yo La Tengo album, Poehler told Slash — who was sitting in with the Kimmel house band — that she'd been to a party in his basement once, as well as reminiscing about the time she almost started a conversation with Prince. Watch the full clip below.

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