The 30 funniest career moments of the stars of ‘Wine Country’

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler starred together in ‘Sisters.’ EPK
  • Directed by Amy Poehler, the comedy film “Wine Country” premieres Friday on Netflix.
  • The movie follows a woman who is celebrating her 50th birthday by visiting Napa Valley with five of her friends.
  • The movie cast features multiple former “Saturday Night Live” cast members and writers, including Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Paula Pell, and Emily Spivey.
  • Dratch, Fey, Rudolph, and Poehler previously performed on “SNL” together while Spivey and Pell were writers.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

What do you get when you cross six legendary, female, “SNL” writers and actors with the splendor of Napa Valley? You get “Wine Country,” one of the most anticipated comedy movies of the year.

In what is said to be loosely based on a true story, the upcoming Netflix film follows six longtime friends on a vacation to Napa to celebrate a 50th birthday. But when the alcohol starts flowing, the ladies soon must grapple with how they have changed over the years.

With a cast that features fellow former “SNL” stars Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, and Tina Fey alongside former “SNL” writers Paula Pell and Emily Spivey, the movie is sure to be packed with plenty of hilarious moments.

Keep reading for a look back at some of these stars’ all-time funniest moments.

Amy Poehler won the hearts and laughs of millions as the ambitious and good-natured Leslie Knope for seven straight seasons on “Parks and Recreation.”

It earned her an Emmy nomination in 2014. NBC

Leslie Knope was the hyper employee at the Pawnee Parks and Recreation department that we all wished was our best friend. From her relationship with Ben Wyatt to her even better relationship with Ann Perkins, Knope was a bright light on TV.

Poehler made audiences laugh as Regina George’s cool mum in “Mean Girls.”

She wasn’t a regular mum. Paramount Pictures

Another of her notable roles was as Mrs. George, the wealthy, suburban mum who just wanted to be hip. Not only did this character give Poehler some of the film’s most quotable lines – “I’m not a regular mum, I’m a cool mum” – but also it made audiences laugh and wish their mum was just as savvy about teaching safe sex.

This role was even parodied by Kris Jenner in Ariana Grande’s music video for “Thank U, Next.”

Poehler’s 2008 “Sarah Palin” rap brought down the house.

She really brought it. NBC

Elections always bring about some entertaining “Saturday Night Live” sketches and one of the most memorable moments of the show’s 2013 season is when Poehler performed a “Sarah Palin” rap on Weekend Update. The rap was jokingly supposed to be done by Palin herself.

Seth Meyers later called it the “most historic” moment in “SNL” history.

The time she yelled at a bunch of people on a WB studio tour in one of Ellen’s silliest pranks.

Poehler tried not to laugh. YouTube/TheEllenShow

In 2011, Poehler participated in one of Ellen Degeneres’ signature prank segments – this time by interrupting a guided tour of the WB studios lot. With Degeneres feeding lines into an in-ear mic, Poehler barked at the tourists to take pictures of her (as opposed to with her) and share their favourite “SNL” characters. She even asked one of them to hand over her purse.

Although Poehler struggled not to giggle when Degeneres told her via an in-ear microphone to start improvising a rap, the sketch is undeniably one of her funniest talk show appearances to date.

The time she played Andy Richter’s Conan-obsessed little sister is a hidden comedy gem.

It’s often forgotten but shouldn’t be. YouTube/TeamCoCo

A few years before landing a gig as an “SNL” cast member, Poehler gave a side-splitting performance as the Conan O’Brien superfan, Stacy.

Throughout the bit, Poehler’s character professed her love for the late-night host by showing off her creepy handmade Conan doll and rushing the stage when he refused to visit her house for dinner.

Poehler’s performance in “Sisters” was a funny reminder of how people change when they get older.

The film featured a few stars from this list. Universal Pictures

Back in 2015, Poehler teamed up with Tina Fey and fellow “Wine Country” star Paula Pell for the comedy film “Sisters,” a movie about two middle-aged women who want to relive their glory days one last time by throwing a house party.

In the movie, the “Parks and Recreation” alum played a straight-laced divorcee opposite Tina Fey, whose character had an unruly, wild-child persona. By the end, Poehler’s character breaks out of her shell, but not without a few hilarious run-ins and choreographed dance sequences along the way.

Rachel recapped “The Bachelor” in a short-lived Funny or Die web series “The Dratchelor.”

She was as confused by what was happening as we were. Funny or Die

During the segments, Dratch shared her hilarious personal observations about the show as a first-time viewer. Although she didn’t go into too much detail per episode, Dratch did an excellent job reminding us all of reality TV’s often-absurd plot-lines while saying what we all were thinking.

Dratch and Jimmy Fallon played a pair of loud-mouthed Boston teenagers on one of the funniest recurring sketches on “SNL.”

These were some of the best recurring characters on ‘SNL.’ NBC

Dratch played the unruly Denise, who couldn’t resist starting a fight and a smooch fest with her rowdy boyfriend, Sully.

Dratch reprised her role as in 2013 and 2017 with Fallon and they appeared as the adult version of the iconic couple. During both sketches, the pair once again captured the absurdity of Denise and Sully and showed that time had not changed them one bit.

Dratch’s recurring role on “SNL” as the pessimistic party-pooper “Debbie Downer” was so funny it caused her fellow castmates to nearly break character.

It’s one of the show’s most legendary sketches. NBC

The character was known for unabashedly bringing up depressing topics during otherwise joyful events. Debbie Downer saw Dratch bringing up bird flu during Thanksgiving and gas prices during a wedding reception.

But among all the wacky Debbie Downer segments, none takes the cake quite like The sketch, set in Disney World, which had Jimmy Fallon and Dratch herself practically in tears from struggling to contain their laughter.

Paula Pell delivered an undeniably funny performance when she angrily sang the song “I gotta go” from the fake musical “Co-Op” on the IFC series “Documentary Now.”

Patty has an eye doctor’s appointment. IFC

Although Paula Pell is more well-known for her comedy writing, she’s also got solid skills in front of a camera. During this episode of “Documentary Now,” she plays the disgruntled musical theatre actress Patty who can’t wait to leave her recording session and head to her eye-doctor appointment.

In her role on “AP Bio” as high-school secretary Helen Henry Demarcus, Pell’s comedic timing shines.

Pell is always quick with a laugh. NBC

Since 2018, Pell has played the committed secretary to Principal Durbin (played by Patton Oswalt) on the show and already been the star of several memorable moments. In one scene, Helen and Principal Durbin scramble to get a new copy machine and it ends in total absurdity.

Pell literally bleeped herself one time on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

Pell showed off her hidden talent. NBC

Pell dominated the interview by showing off her amusing human talents. After fake sneezing, she turned to fellow interviewee Paul Rudd and said “I wish would just –” before mouthing an entire unsavoury sentence, while somehow vocalizing the typical bleep sound effect that stations use to censor curse words. Yes, we’re still confused about how it’s possible.

The “Bridesmaids” scene where Maya Rudolph “relieves herself” in the middle of the street while wearing a bridal gown became one of the funniest movie moments of the decade.

It’s as gross as it is funny. Universal Pictures

In a scene that’s truly as absurd as it is gross and hysterical, Rudolph’s character develops sudden food poisoning while trying on her wedding dress and she doesn’t make it to a bathroom on time.

Rudolph’s disappointed but plainly spoken “It’s happening” as she gracefully plops herself on the asphalt just makes the scene all the more priceless.

Rudolph owned the stage every time she played Beyoncé on “SNL.”

Rudolph perfectly channeled Beyoncé. NBC

Acting opposite Jay Pharaoh as Jay-Z during the “Celebrities visit Beyoncé ‘s Baby” sketch, Rudolph’s channeled Beyoncé in a hilarious and impressive way.

Rudolph also made a fool of all the divas in the world by singing the “US National Anthem” on “SNL.”

She channeled her inner diva. NBC

In case you didn’t know, Rudolph’s got solid vocal chops. She put them to use during this 2006 sketch that poked fun at singers who have a tendency to turn their national anthem performances into full-blown concerts. Complete with endless runs, crescendos, and more, this version of the anthem gives even the biggest divas a run for their money.

Rudolph skillfully transformed Maya Angelou into a prankster for “I Know Why The Caged Bird Laughs.”

It was full of whimsy. NBC

In one of the most underrated “SNL” skits, Rudolph played a mischievous version of the legendary poet Maya Angelou. The sketch features Angelou messing with the likes of author and activist Cornel West (Kenan Thompson) and actor Morgan Freeman (Jay Pharaoh). But as Angelou assured West, her pranks are not acts of malice, they are acts of whimsy.

Maya Rudolph impersonated Jimmy Fallon right in front of his face.

She, of course, imitated Fallon loving everything. YouTube/NBC

Like many other “SNL” cast members, impressions are Rudolph’s game – and no one’s off limits. Her take on the fellow “SNL” alum utilised lots of hand movement to exemplify Fallon’s expressive nature.

During her time on “SNL,” Ana Gasteyer showed off a flawless and funny impression of Martha Stewart.

Gasteyer’s Martha Stewart certainly had a way with words. NBC

Although Gasteyer had a host of impressions on the show, nothing was quite as amazing as her impressions of the lifestyle guru and home cook Martha Stewart.

During the 2001 St. Patrick’s Day “SNL” cold open, she had audiences cracking up while she looked straight-faced into the camera and said some pretty raunchy lines, all while masquerading as the put-together TV personality.

Gasteyer also crushed it on “SNL” as the soft-spoken, NPR radio host Margaret Jo McCullin.

Gasteyer and Dratch worked together on this sketch. NBC

In one of the sketch’s more NSFW installments, Gasteyer’s, Dratch’s, and Alec Baldwin’s characters narrated their experiences of indulging in some food with a pretty inappropriate name. Throughout the scene, there’s a ton of double entendres that are sure to make your jaw drop and wonder, “How was this was allowed on national TV?”

Gasteyer also appeared in “Mean Girls” as Cady’s mum.

Gasteyer and Lindsay Lohan, who played Cady. Paramount Pictures

Gasteyer is another one from this crew of ladies who appeared in the classic teen movie “Mean Girls.” She played Cady Heron’s mum Betsy who moved her daughter from Africa and was dismayed by the changes she saw in her.

Though her part was on the smaller side, she still got a few funny lines in and was a sweet part of the film.

Tina Fey’s spot-on performances as Sarah Palin brought silliness to the 2008 election.

It may be one of the things she’s most well-known for. NBC

Fey’s impression of Palin and goofy one-liners about Alaska, hunting, and of course, being able to spot Russia from her house, made this impression a hit. To date, it’s one of the most memorable performances in “SNL” history, which is why Fey reprised the role several times after the iconic debut.

For seven seasons, Fey made audiences laugh as the proud, dorky “TGS” showrunner “Liz Lemon” on her smash-hit show “30 Rock.”

Tina Fey made us laugh as Liz Lemon. NBC

Throughout the series run, Fey mined Liz Lemon’s awkwardness and intrepid determination into comedy gold.

With her quotable one-liners (and, of course, the “Night Cheese” song), Liz Lemon is surely one of Fey’s all-time funniest characters.

Fey delivered a hilariously honest speech after receiving the Sherry Lansing Leadership award at the 2016 Hollywood Women in Entertainment breakfast.

She made the event fun but also delivered some hard truths. The Hollywood Reporter

Only Fey would call a women’s event the place “where the thigh gap meets the pay gap!” During this memorable acceptance speech, Fey joked about her friendship with Jon Hamm, took a couple of jabs at director Ryan Murphy’s uber-success, and made funny but brutally honest observations about the realities of being a woman in Hollywood.

Fey’s comeback as an SNL host in 2013 was one of the best done by a show alum.

She had a slew of cast members behind her. NBC

Fey returned to her old stomping grounds in 2013 as an “SNL” host who was ready to show how far she had come. During the opening monologue, Fey reflected on the show’s tendency to lovingly embarrass new cast members and decided it was time to show the latest cast that reality.

As the newbie cast chanted “Yes Miss Tina!” Fey channeled what seemed like a military boot camp leader and ’80s aerobic video for a wildly funny opener that reminded us why she deserves her success.

Fey publicly stripping out of her uncomfortable dress was one late-night TV’s funniest moments.

She gave the dress to David Letterman. NBC

If comedy requires the element of surprise, Fey knows how to make it happen. During an appearance on “The Late Show With David Letterman,” Fey happily announced it would be the last time she planned to wear a dress during a late-night interview.

While the line itself was funny enough, Fey took it a step further by stripping down to her undergarments and revealing a custom unitard that read “Last Dress Ever” on the rear.

She gave the dress to Letterman as a parting gift for his retirement.

Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph’s 2011 “Mother’s Day” serenade to their unborn children was one of the more memorable musical openers in “SNL” history.

The pair sang to their unborn babies. NBC

During the segment, the duo (who were both pregnant) jokingly sang about their pregnancies being a sign of a healthy, active sex life. With memorable lyrics like, “The reason that you’re here is your parents got real sloppy,” this monologue is definitely one for the baby books.

It’s relatable, it’s real, and exactly the kind of opening that reminds you of how funny musical comedy can be.

For three straight years, Fey and Poehler reigned as a legendary Golden-Globe hosting duo.

Fans clamor for them to come back each year. Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner

The pair’s witty banter and playful commentary toward the audience transformed the award show from a standard Hollywood banquet to a high-quality piece of entertainment.

From jokes about James Franco’s time as an Oscar host to an onstage “Would you rather…?” game about men in the audience, it’s no wonder The Hollywood Foreign Press asked them to keep coming back again.

Fey and Poehler’s performance as 2008 vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and former Senator Hillary Clinton gave viewers the best of political comedy.

Although Fey’s Palin became the standout performance of the season, Poehler’s take on an annoyed-but-not-going-to-show-it-in-the-interest-of-diplomacyHillary Clinton really made the sketch.

Throughout the bit, “Clinton” reassures “Palin” that despite their brief moment of female solidarity, she will never be on the same page as her and “Palin’s” total obliviousness just makes the scene all the more laughable.

Rudolph, Poehler, and Fey’s introduction at the host-less 91st Academy Awards was filled with jokes.

Many wanted them to take the job next. Craig Sjodin via Getty Images

During the host-less 2019 Oscars, the “Wine Country” stars teased what the ceremony would have been like had they been given the job as official presenters; complete with solid one-liners like, “Hey Chadwick Boseman, Wakanda plans you got later?” and a joke about the infamous Fyre-Fest cheese sandwich.

Emily Spivey may not have appeared on screen very often but she is behind some of the funniest moments in TV history.

Spivey wrote for ‘Parks and Recreation.’ NBC

Emily Spivey is making one of her first onscreen appearances in “Wine Country” but you’re probably familiar with her comedic writing.

Her show, “Up All Night,” which was partially based on her life, starred co-star Rudolph and actress Christina Applegate and was beloved by many. In addition to writing for “SNL,” Spivey also wrote the fan-favourite “Eagleton” episode of “Parks and Recreation.”

She also wrote the script for “Wine Country.”