How ‘Saturday Night Live’ Host Jon Hamm Made Amy Poehler Laugh in the Middle of a Crisis: ‘Everyone Got Very Quiet’

Amy Poehler rose to fame on Saturday Night Live from 2001 to 2008. Leaving to launch NBC’s sitcom Parks and Rec, Poehler remained close with her SNL pals and collaborated with several cast members.

With years of memories from the iconic live sketch show, Poehler recalled one rehearsal where she received devastating news the day before she was due to give birth to her first child. Thankfully, the guest host on duty was able to help her go from tears to laughter.

Jon Hamm and Amy Poehler
Jon Hamm and Amy Poehler | Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for CDG

Jon Hamm and Coldplay were ‘SNL’ guests in October 2008

In her 2014 book, Yes Please, Poehler described being at work on October 24, 2008, the day before her baby’s due date. Married to Will Arnett at the time, the SNL star was excited to welcome her newborn into the world.

“The musical guest that week was Coldplay, and it was going to be Jon Hamm’s first time hosting the show,” Poehler wrote. “I had been working the whole time and feeling pretty good. Exhausted, yes. But invigorated.”

The Parks and Rec alum and her husband were prepared to head to the hospital the following day. After seeing her doctor that Thursday for her check-in, Poehler felt she had a handle on everything.

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“Dr. G assured me I would probably deliver a few days late, like most new mothers,” Poehler remarked. “I told him that I was doing the show on Saturday, even though it was technically my due date, but any time after that would be fine. It was the first of many times I ridiculously thought I had any control over my schedule, this baby, or life and death in general.”

Amy Poehler received some bad news

Arriving at 30 Rock the following day, Poehler began her routine as usual and called in to her doctor’s office.

“I was in the middle of rehearsing a Mad Men parody Friday morning and called to confirm my 3 p.m. appointment,” she recalled. “The receptionist answered the phone crying. She told me Dr. G had passed away from a heart attack in his sleep. I burst into tears so loudly and violently I think water was squirting out of my eyes like in a Cathy cartoon.”

Unable to control her emotions, Poehler shared her tragic news with SNL’s guest host.

“Nothing is more horrifying than a giant pregnant lady sobbing,” she noted. “Everyone got very quiet. I told Jon and the hair and makeup people that my doctor had just DIED. And I was DUE TOMORROW.”

‘Mad Men’ star was able to bring relief

Poehler was practically inconsolable, until Hamm tried to snap her out of her misery.

“I felt so terrible about the fact that all I was thinking was ‘What about meeeee!'” Poehler recalled. “I cried and cried in my Mad Men dress. Jon Hamm held me by the shoulders and looked at me and said, ‘I know this is very sad, but this is a really important show for me, so I’m going to need you to get your sh*t together.”

Hamm’s delivery sounded so funny to Poehler, she did a total 180 and went from sobbing to cracking up.

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“This made me laugh so hard I think I peed,” the SNL star wrote. “Going from crying to laughing that fast and hard happens maybe five times in your life, and that extreme right turn is the reason why we are alive, and I believe it extends our life by many years.”

Poehler was able to move beyond her grief, though she never made it to the SNL studio the following day. Her son, Archie, was born on October 25, 2008, at 6:09 p.m., so Poehler sat that show out.