Jen Kirkman

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Jen Kirkman
Jen Kirkman October-2011.jpg
Kirkman at a taping of Chelsea Lately in 2011
Birth name Jennifer Ann Kirkman
Born (1974-08-28) August 28, 1974 (age 40)
Needham, Massachusetts, U.S.
Nationality American
Years active 1997–present
Genres Observational comedy
Spouse Neil Mahoney (2009–2011)
Notable works and roles

Jennifer Ann "Jen" Kirkman[1] (born August 28, 1974) is an American stand-up comedian, television writer and actress. She is known for her regular appearances as a round-table panelist on Chelsea Lately, as well as for her appearances on the Funny or Die sketch series Drunk History, and its 2013 continuation television series on Comedy Central.

Kirkman has released two comedy albums, Self Help (2006) and Hail to the Freaks (2011). Her debut book, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids, was published in April 2013, and became a New York Times bestseller.

Personal life[edit]

Kirkman was born in Needham, Massachusetts,[2] and is the youngest of three sisters, and has a nephew named Buffalo Hird. She is a longtime vegetarian.[3] She is of German, Polish, French-Canadian and English heritage.[4]

Kirkman majored in acting at Emerson College in Boston.[5]

On August 21, 2009, Kirkman married writer/director Neil Mahoney in a private ceremony at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts.[6] On the August 25, 2011 episode of Chelsea Lately, Kirkman revealed she was no longer married. On the January 14, 2012 episode of the Pod F. Tompkast, she confirmed that she and Mahoney had divorced.


Stand-up comedy[edit]

Kirkman performs stand-up comedy in Los Angeles, California, appearing regularly at the Hollywood Improv, The Laugh Factory, Largo, and The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. She has performed with comedians Maria Bamford, Greg Behrendt, Mike Birbiglia and Chelsea Handler. In 2009 and 2010, she performed as part of the Comedians of Chelsea Lately. She has made appearances on several American television shows, including performances on Conan, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Friday, Premium Blend and Special Sauce.

Kirkman has made several appearances on The Crabfeast podcast, which is hosted by comedians Jay Larson and Ryan Sickler. She also appeared regularly on the monthly Pod F. Tompkast podcast with Paul F. Tompkins, on which he referred to her by the nickname "Southie", until Chris Hardwick trapped her inside the Internet.[7] She also produces I Seem Fun: The Diary Of Jen Kirkman, her own weekly podcast.[8]

In 2009, Entertainment Weekly named Kirkman one of the "Top 12 Rising Stars in Comedy,"[9] and in May 2010, both MSN and The Huffington Post named her one of the top comedians to follow on social networking service Twitter.[10][11] She cites her comedy influences as Joan Rivers, Howard Stern, Roseanne Barr, Morrissey,[12] and Sam Kinison.[13][14] As an eight-year old, she would sneak over to a friend's house to watch Sam Kinison and George Carlin comedy specials on HBO. “[Kinison] was a big thing for me,” she says, “Someone is yelling, I’m not in trouble, and it’s funny.”[14]

In 2006, Kirkman released her debut comedy album, Self Help through AST Records. Her second album, Hail to the Freaks, was recorded live at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre on December 11, 2010. It was released on May 17, 2011 with a bonus disk of additional material, and peaked at #13 on the Billboard Top Comedy Albums chart.[15][16]


Kirkman was a narrator on two episodes of the Funny or Die-produced series Drunk History on HBO, which received the jury prize for "Best Short Film" at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Though it is often questioned, she was actually drunk for both episodes.[17] In 2007, she appeared as a cast member on the short-lived sketch comedy show Acceptable.TV on VH1. She has also made regular voice-over appearances on the Adult Swim series Home Movies and the political satire animated series SuperNews! on Current TV. In 2009, she wrote two episodes of the Disney Channel animated series Phineas and Ferb.

Most notably, Kirkman is a staff writer and roundtable regular on Chelsea Lately. On June 3, 2010, she announced she would be leaving Chelsea Lately to join the writing staff for Perfect Couples, a romantic situation comedy which premiered as a mid-season replacement on NBC on January 20, 2011. She continued to make occasional roundtable appearances on Chelsea Lately, beginning in late 2010.[18] Perfect Couples was removed from the NBC schedule on March 11, 2011, and Kirkman returned to the writing staff of Chelsea Lately in April 2011.[19] In 2011, she began making regular appearances on the second season of After Lately.

In November 2013, Deadline reported that FX had landed a script deal to Jen, a half-hour sitcom executive produced, written by and starring Kirkman. The series is to be set in Boston, Massachusetts, and centers on a recently divorced a woman in her mid-30s. The project is backed by Borderline Amazing Productions, with executive producers Chelsea Handler, Tom Brunelle, and Brad Wollack.[20]

On March 30, 2014, Kirkman appeared on Australian comedy-quiz show Have You Been Paying Attention?.

Comedy writing[edit]

Kirkman's first book, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids, was published in hardcover on April 16, 2013, and was listed on the New York Times Non-Fiction Best Seller list. In late 2013, she signed her second book deal with Simon & Schuster, a follow-up to her best-selling debut.[20] She also has several published essays, which have been included in Rejected: Tales of the Failed, Dumped & Canceled and Bad Sex: We Did It So You Don’t Have To.

In 2001, Kirkman founded with fellow comedian Becky Donohue. The website featured interviews with comedians such as Joy Behar, Margaret Cho, Sue Murphy, Amy Poehler and Sarah Silverman. On the intention of the website, Kirkman stated, "[that the] one thing about feeling like there are still threads of sexism is women can get discouraged and we wanted [to encourage] girls to write funny stories and we wanted to interview famous female comics to let their stories get out. It was meant to be positive and cool and we included men on the site too."[13] Regular updates to the website ceased in 2003, and the domain was ultimately closed in 2006.



  • Self Help (2006)
  • Hail to the Freaks (2011)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Anderman, Joan (2010-06-11). "A funny thing happened to Jen Kirkman". Boston Globe article. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ Kirkman, Jen (2008-11-01). "Dreading My Tofurkey Purchase". Funny or Die. Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Roe, Michelle (2014-06-24). "Jen Kirkman Says She's Happy Being 40, Single...Really!". Palm Springs Life article. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  6. ^ Anderman, Joan (2010-06-11). "A funny thing happened to Jen Kirkman". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Pastorek, Whitney; Snierson, Dan (2008-11-13). "12 Rising Stars of Comedy". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  10. ^ "10 funny folks to follow on Twitter". Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  11. ^ "50 Funny People You Should Be Following On Twitter". The Huffington Post. 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  12. ^ "Legendary comedians inspired today's humourists". Sydney Morning Herald. 2015-03-22. 
  13. ^ a b Jackson, Todd (2007-03-19). "Interview: Jen Kirkman, Stand-Up Comedian". Dead-Frog. Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  14. ^ a b Joan Rivers (December 18, 2013). "In Bed With Joan". (Podcast). CCF Productions. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  15. ^ Kirkman, Jen (2011-02-01). "The album is going to be called "Hail to the Freaks" and will be out sometime in mid-late March 2011.". Twitter. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  16. ^ Kirkman, Jen. "Facebook Billboard Screengrab". Billboard Comedy Chart Screengrab. Jen Kirkman. 
  17. ^ "Serial Optimist". Aug 19, 2010. 
  18. ^ Kirkman, Jen (2010-07-26). "I'll be back on Chelsea on the roundtable probably in December. Until then…". Twitter. Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  19. ^ Morabito, Andrea (2011-03-22). "NBC's 'Paul Reiser Show' Replacing 'Perfect Couples'". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  20. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (2013-11-15). "Jen Kirkman To Star In & Create FX Comedy Produced By Chelsea Handler". Deadline. Retrieved 2013-01-22. 

External links[edit]