Checking in to chat all about their new Audacy and Paper Kite Podcast, Say More with Dr? Sheila, Amy Poehler and Liz Cackowski talk with Bru about their love of podcasts, and what inspired them to delve into that creative space. Also the pair are sharing some behind-the-scenes details of how it all came together, and what they have planned next.
LISTEN NOW: Audacy Check In with Amy Poehler and Liz Cackowski
“We are huge fans of podcasts, we listen to a ton,” Liz started off saying. “But it was entering a new genre for us.” Having both come from “sketch and improv and TV and movies,” delving into the podcast world “was pretty exciting.”
“It came off a just a desire to improvise with our friends,” Amy added, “and like Liz said, we are both consumers of a ton of different kinds of podcasts… from self-help to murder, celebrity interviews, money management, to deep dives into small Irish towns… So we kinda wanted to start… well… do what we like to do, which is when we love something we make fun of it.”
“So we wanted to have fun with the idea of a couples therapist,” Amy continued, “the intimacy that comes from that, how people share their intimate things online and have a person in charge that isn’t very good at her job.”
That person would of course be Dr? Sheila, a fictional world-class therapist and life coach with questionable methods and credentials. Portrayed by Amy over the course of 10 episodes, offering advice and counsel to ten couples on topics including infidelity, open relationships, ghosting, bickering, and more.
The creative and hilarious duo went on to share some of the steps they took while brainstorming the idea and how they went about executing it, which like their humble beginnings, involved a lot of improv.
Aware of the fact neither of them are therapists, Liz admitted, “both Amy and I like to pretend we are, in that we love to give people advice. So we just kinda brainstormed what different problems couples could have, and then what would a character like Dr? Sheila do to try and help them, knowing that she’s not really a therapist… and might have not so great ideas.”
"So once we knew the problem, knew the characters, and it’s called 'the game' in improv, so we knew what the game was gonna be… And then we get really funny comedians and improvisers and friends to come in, explain that to them and then go — ‘have fun!’”
While it was important for Amy and Liz that their podcast felt alive and energetic, they also wanted it to feel grounded. “It’s not this bizarro bunch of wackado premises,” Amy explained. “They’re all actual issues that people have… but as you listen closely and everyone is being very sincere, you realize — this is deeply funny because of how true and funny everyone is playing it, and how wrong the moves are that Dr? Sheila makes.”
In Amy and Liz’s opinion, “a good character is someone you could like picture, what they would do on the weekends, what they would say about something, like what’s their point of view. So the hope is that you like her ridiculous point of view and that you come every episode to see how she’s gonna get it wrong.”
Already boasting an impressive list of guest appearances on the shows first season, Liz and Amy also went on to share who their dream guests would be, which included Martin Short, and William and Kate (yes, the Royals).
Before signing off, the duo also disclosed about how they’re currently developing “a couple of other shows that live in that world,” Dr? Sheila’s world that is. The first of which is called The Chris Chapman Do Over, a male-hosted and interview-driven show. Followed by Women Talking About Murder, a female-led true crime series, both of which are slated to launch in 2024
In the meantime, listen to the entire interview with Amy and Liz above, and check out the first four episodes — HERE. Plus Dr? Sheila has her very own Audacy playlist, check it out below.
Listen to Dr? Sheila's Playlist and more on the free Audacy app