Though her performance was unexpected, she’s been open about her admiration for Midler in the past. According to Vulture, she gave this very enthusiastic speech at New York Restoration Project’s 13th Annual Spring Picnic last year:
“So I first met Bette Midler in my head when I watched the film The Rose in 1979. And since then, her and I have been best friends, in my head,” Poehler said. “In my head, she and I travel together, we have cut an album, and we pranked George Clooney. She's the godmother to the children of mine that she has never met, and once, Bette turned to me in a dream and said, 'Amy, you are the most talented person I've ever met. I hate to say this, this kills me, but you're more talented than me. God bless you and I release you to God,' and then she turned into a million doves and flew away."
Watch her rousing cover of “The Rose” below.