Amy Poehler’s son tried to explain Led Zeppelin to her

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OMGsh – Amy Poehler is one of us! CB, Kaiser and I are all kids of public school teachers and so is Amy. We should start a club. Amy stopped by her buddy, Jimmy Fallon’s, show to talk about Wine Country, which comes out tomorrow, I can’t wait. The audience was filled with teachers, so Amy felt right at home. Since Amy comes from good teacher stock, she is trying to be one for her two sons, Abel, eight, and Archie (not the new royal one), 10. She talked about trying to act surprised when her sons come home from school to tell her about what they learned, no matter how well Amy knows the subject.

How are your kids? Are they good students?

They’re so great. They’re in that great time when they’re learning stuff and they’re coming home and telling me about it. And I have to pretend like I don’t know, you know, just to get them talking. So, my son was like, “Mom, there’s this thing called The Great Depression?” I was like, “Woah. That sounds intense.” He was like, “Yeah, they cut open the cows and there was sand inside, they were so hungry. Sand inside the cows? And then he was also like, “Led Zeppelin, have you heard of Led Zeppelin?” I’m like, “I kind of…” like I want so badly to say, “I made out to Led Zeppelin my whole life, dude!” But instead I have to be like, “woah, they sound cool.” And he’s like, “There’s a song – it’s pretty long. It’s called Stairway to Heaven. It’s like eight minutes.” And I have to go, “ooh, let’s check it out.” And I have to pretend to listen to Stairway to Heaven for the first time.

So this is probably not going to surprise any of you, but I guess I didn’t get the “act like you don’t know” memo. I always asked my kids to “tell me about that” when they brought something up, but I would usually get so excited with the topic, I’d end up burying them in information. Don’t worry, karma’s at play. My kids are much better students than I was so now there is no pretending about anything, I genuinely do not know what they bring up. I love that Amy is out there listening to Stairway to Heaven for the first time again. Kids will definitely get you to see or hear things in a new way so feigning ignorance is only a small fib. For instance, I didn’t know about the Sand Cows and I wrote a paper on The Great Depression. (Okay, Sand Cows are a Kid Fact and were/are not real. But Kid Facts make for more interesting history.)

Jimmy played a clip of Wine Country. As we know, Amy made this movie with all her friends and I cannot wait to see that chemistry on screen. The clip that played is with Amy and Rachel Dratch and a snooty wine tender who keeps telling Rachel’s character she’s wrong. Anyone who has been to the wine country in Northern California has lived that scene, btw. The movie looks really fun and Amy sounds like she had a great time directing it. It’s poignant that her directing job was with friends. Amy said the cast laughed so much, her main job was to be the wet blanket. Since her ‘advice’ to the teachers in the beginning of the segment was, “one of the things you should remember is you can always pinch a child you don’t like,”* I’d like to see how she got her cast in line.

*She was joking, it was a riot. Watch the clip if you need a good giggle

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26 Responses to “Amy Poehler’s son tried to explain Led Zeppelin to her”

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  1. LT says:

    Whoops – not only did I not get that memo, I have had the “of COURSE I’ve heard of [whatever]” response. It never occurred to me to feign ignorance.

    • LT says:

      And the irony is when my kids say, “you’ve HEARD of that?” I usually response. “Yes – because I’m not like a regular mom. I’m a cool mom!”

    • astrid says:

      Yup, me too.

  2. Asta says:

    I imagine I would feel embarrassed as a child, having a mother who seems to not have any knowledge about anything I learn in school… Why this need for pretending? I find this really weird and patronizing

    • Snowslow says:

      Her kids are still small but I thought the same thing. Don’t they find her real stupid?LOL. Especially when their friends bring up in class the cool stuff their parents told them.
      But I really think she’s exaggerating…

  3. Helonearth says:

    And this is how we end up with mansplaining. I would never do this – it makes you come across as an idiot.

    A couple of years back, a friend’s child had been listening to his parents CDs. Asked me if I had heard of Guns n Roses as he loves them and they are his new favourite band. Yes, I said, i have heard of them, seen them in concert before you were born, and met the lead guitarist – blew his mind!

    • CairinaCat says:

      I sat on Slash once, he was hiding in my friends bed.
      The band and us used to sit on her parents couch and awkwardly watch bootlegged VHS videos with her dad
      My friend worked as their “entertainment director” when they worked the troubadour.
      Ahh the good old days

    • Christine says:

      Absolutely, it’s a budding manspalining! My mother didn’t know about anything about music, movies, and various other pop culture stuff while I was growing up and it did make me think she was uncool, at best. I am going to be honest with my kids and start a conversation about things.

  4. Snowslow says:

    I think Amy probably exaggerated for comic purposes but I also find it weird to have to pretend to your kids that you don’t know what they’re talking about. I do a mix: let them explain and then throw in a cool fact (if I have any) and tell them if it’s a subject I like or not etc. Like, have a conversation about it.
    If the writer’s kids are now great students it’s probably because of the passion she had in telling more stuff about whatever subject they brought home…

    • lucy2 says:

      I’m sure she’s exaggerating, most likely she’s just letting the kids talk about what they learned rather than jumping in and saying “I know.”

  5. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    The only thing I ever lied to my kids about was santa. When they were older I might even have skirted which drugs i, ahem, ‘saw around me.’ By mid teens, however, it was the brutal truth…good, bad, ugly. My reasoning for such dirty honesty was mom. My mother was allergic to the truth, and for such a card-carrying Christian, she did what I now know what many do, cherrypick what is and what isn’t important. I knew when i was lied to as a kid. I knew when she brushed me off, when a topic felt rushed or ignored or innocence feigned. So yeah, with me, be my family, friends, acquaintances, or whoever, what you see is what you get. Nobody in my orbit hears lies from my mouth lol.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Oh yeah, and I remember the times I’d walk into their rooms and they’re jammin’ to Zeppelin or Ozzy or Van Halen or Alice in Chains and on and on. Had I been my mother, I’d have barged in, removed the devil music and had a trash fire. So instead I celebrated music with them lol.

    • Snowslow says:

      Oh boy this resonates so profoundly with me…

  6. manda says:

    I don’t have any children, but I decided long ago that if I did, they would listen to my music. Therefore, my children would have def heard led zeppelin and whatever else by the time they were 12. I’m just not on board with sheltering kids in that way. For one thing, KidsBop is genuinely torture to listen to. But also, if there is something problematic about a song, just explain why there is a problem there. I listened to whatever was popular at the time (late 70’s thru the 80’s) and it didn’t harm me at all. (For instance, when papa don’t preach came out, there was a huge controversy, and we discussed it so I understood what was going on). My parents let me know what was up and how I was supposed to behave. Also, I swear a lot (now but never as a kid, I was such a good two shoes), which my theoretical kids would have heard plenty of by the time they were 12, too, so that is probably another reason why I just don’t get not letting kids listen to whatever.

    I guess I’m also having a hard time understanding how he never heard it up to that point. I mean, it’s one thing if they don’t care to listen to it, but like, isn’t the driver in charge of the radio? I just don’t get how she never listened to a classic rock station with her children in the car, especially if she likes it, which it sounds like she does. I didn’t hear led zeppelin till high school because my parents were never into 70s rock (my mom loved disco, gag, and the singer/songwriters of the time), but once I started, I never stopped. So if I had kids today, they would know the music. Whether they actually liked it is another story!

  7. Originaltessa says:

    My dad introduced me to Led Zeppelin and all of the other greats from the 60’s and 70’s, just as I will introduce my kids to Nirvana and Pearl Jam.

  8. Pineapple says:

    The one thing about having relatively honest, age-appropriate conversations with your kids is that they really get to know you and you can develop a really great friendship with these humans. I think Amy just wants to get them talking … that is one way to do it. Ultimately the talking, the caring, the listening, should result in a really strong friendship with your kids. And as a friend, they are more bound to respect you, listen to you and tolerate you. XO Let’s face it, by 18 you are hoping you have given them enough conversations and time that they can head out and go into the world with some sound ideas about how it all might work and what they want to do. As for music my little ones heard The Blues Brothers in the car, classical music, Cirque de Soleil Soundtracks, Raffi, Soundtracks to their shows like Phineas and Ferb. I remember my three year old in a grocery store singing Minnie Vellucha (??) and the cashier being floored but impressed … I could tell!!

  9. Texas says:

    Like everyone else, I think it is weird to act like you don’t know anything that you clearly know. But it is probably pretty harmless. And I absolutely love her.

  10. Faithmobile says:

    I’ve lived that scene from the clip from the other side. I have taught thousands of people to taste wine but the goal was to get them interested without shaming. I grew up in wine country but the Sonoma County side, which if you go, is way less pretentious than Napa County. So many times I would mention the fruit notes, and someone would freak out and say “but I’m allergic to pineapple!” And then I have to explain that the wine is only made from grapes. The scene in Schitt’s Creek with the fruit wine commercial is so insanely funny, Moira’s description of the fruit wine as “potable” is so good.

    • ravynrobyn says:

      Hey Faith! I was born in Oakland but grew up & still live in Sonoma County. I’ve never been a drinker, but I love that you taught people in a non-shaming way. That’s important for anything. Totally agree about SoCo being way less pretentious than NaCo, lol.

  11. Kate says:

    I don’t have any problem with her comments and I get it. The best way to get my 4 year old to talk about something she’s learning is to ask her questions about it (“oh what number comes after 14?” “what do we do with this?”). She’s not LYING to her kids and she’s not acting stupid she’s just encouraging them to talk and building their confidence.

  12. T.Fanty says:

    I’m with you, Hecate. My kids actually now open with “I’m going to tell you something, but if you know all about it, don’t turn it into a lesson…”

  13. Melanie says:

    I am the daughter of a public school teacher that was also raised by a public school teacher. Go, teachers! Happy Teacher Appreciation week to all the teachers!

  14. milo says:

    The cows were probably a result of the Dust Bowl, which is always tied in with the Great Depression. People and livestock were killed because of inhaling so much silt from the air. Teacher maybe didn’t want to talk about human lungs being filled with silt so just mentioned the cows.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Ah, that makes sense. And since they’re constantly eating/ruminating during those tough times when the land was so bad and the grass or alfalfa or whatever so sparse, they probably ingested a lot of dirt.

  15. SJR says:

    I like Amy, she strikes me as very clever. I can’t say I find her laugh out loud funny but, I have a sense of humor more geared to Monty Python.

    Jimmy Fallon, drives nuts. He constantly laughs at his own jokes. Ugh.

    Not sure if I’ll watch this or not, I hated The Hangover and Bridesmaids.
    Glad to see Amy get a shot at directing.