Amy Poehler’s Involvement in ‘Welcome to Sweden’ Wasn’t a Given — Even if Her Brother Created It

Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Greg Poehler and his sister teamed up to produce NBC’s new comedy, “Welcome to Sweden”

Greg Poehler wasn’t sure anybody would like his concept for his new NBC show, “Welcome to Sweden.” Based on his own life, it’s about a man who moves to Sweden for love and funny things happen.

“People say they’d give up everything for someone, so what happens when you do? This starts with Day 1,” Greg, who stars as well as executive-produces the comedy, said at NBCU’s press day on Tuesday in Pasadena.

But he knew that his sister, Amy Poehler, wouldn’t give him any preferential treatment just because they’re related.

Also read: NBC Creates Open Call Contest for New Comedy Writers, Shows

“I thought it was good and I knew that she wouldn’t want to be part of it if she didn’t think it was good, too,” Greg said. “Several family members have pitched her over the years.”

Luckily for him, she loved it enough to sign on as an executive producer.

“I think voice is very important in comedy,” Amy Poehler said of the similarities between “Welcome to Sweden” and her other Comedy Central show “Broad City.” “And the more specific you are, the more universal the show is actually.”

Also read: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Returning to NYC’s Radio City, Introduces New Boot Camp Round

Greg certainly has a rich and unique experience to draw upon. He was an attorney for 12 years, both in the U.S. and Sweden, before deciding to become a stand-up comedian. It was during this career change when he came up with the idea for “Welcome to Sweden.”

The series shoots in Sweden and employs as many Swedish actors as possible, but that doesn’t mean that Amy didn’t tap into her talented pool of friends. Will Ferrell appears on the show and “Parks and Recreation” co-star Aubrey Plaza has a recurring role.

Also read: NBC Plans 6 Summer Scripted Shows, Including Amy Poehler Project

“Will’s Swedish is great. His wife is Swedish, so he learned it for love,” Amy said. “He was in Sweden, so we wrote him a cameo. [And] Aubrey Plaza knows a little Swedish.”

The comedy series premiered in Sweden last month and premieres on NBC on July 10.