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BABY MAMA

About The Production
Michael McCullers knew Tina Fey and Amy Poehler from their time spent working together on Saturday Night Live. McCullers, who had co-written such comedies as Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Austin Powers in Goldmember, shared an office with Fey when they were both neophyte writers; they often partnered to create sketch-comedy pieces with Poehler for the show. In fact, the concept for the story was a group effort between McCullers and the two actors.

The three met several times over a period of a few months, discussing ideas for a film that would also mark McCullers' debut as a director. Remembers McCullers: "Somewhere in those meetings Tina said, ‘What about a sort of Baby Boom, the Diane Keaton movie?' And we hit on the idea of a surrogate mother. The simplest form of it was Amy having Tina's baby, and that made us laugh.” The comic writers felt that would result in a situation with great comedic potential.

McCullers believed that a surrogate situation was "a great reason to get two unlikely people together. There's often a big class difference between these women, and the process introduces a stranger into your life in the most intimate way. Someone's having your baby, and you can't get rid of them.”

"The whole topic is fraught with so much, especially when you get into the areas of adoption and surrogacy and fertility clinics,” adds Fey. "It's one of the ways of the future to making babies—and brings questions about the ethics and repercussions.”

Too, the chance to work with longtime friend and collaborator Poehler was welcome for the actor. "We're very excited to be doing something together that is a story about two women who are not somebody else's girlfriend in a story...they're really the center. To work with Amy is great, because we've known each other and worked together so long, I feel we have a very nice shorthand with each other—a nice give and take.”

Poehler responded to the project because of the "instant chemistry” she felt the three of them had. "Tina and I were very excited about the idea of doing a film together,” she comments. Of the surrogacy humor, the performer felt it was "very much like The Odd Couple,” with the biggest question being, "How are these two people going to get along? It's an unlikely marriage.”

McCullers crafted the story around his leading ladies. For their part, Fey and Poehler were more than happy McCullers was willing to write Baby Mama himself. "It's such a nice gift to have somebody else write something for you to be in,” Fey laughs. "At Saturday Night Live, you write your own stuff and come up with your own ideas. This just seemed like a giant Christmas present.”

"Michael knew our voices very well, and instantly, we knew he could write for the both of us,” adds Poehler. "I was very pleased by the idea of doing a two-handed female comedy.”

With a working draft, he would bring the project to his former SNL producer Lorne Michaels; fortunately, he found the filmmaker was impressed with more than the comedic potential of the story. A man who has launched countless careers in comedy through his legendary weekly television show, Michaels saw Baby Mama as a vehicle for Fey and Poehler to shine. At the time they met, Michaels was working with Poehler on SNL, where her wide range of memorable characters include a spot-on impersonation of Hillary Clinton and the one-legged reality-show contestant Amber. He was also helping to launch and executive produce Fey's acclaimed sitcom 30 Rock. Michaels continues to serve in both capacities today.

"It was a great chance for the two of them to work together,” he states. "They're comedy pros at the peak of their powers. They've worked together on SNL, and they've known each other a long time. There's a really good chemistry between the two.”

While their bes

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