Michaela Suzanne Watkins
December 14, 1971
Syracuse, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Boston University|
|Known for||Saturday Night Live|
Michaela Suzanne Watkins (born December 14, 1971) is an American actress and comedian. She is best known for starring on the Hulu series Casual and on the short-lived sitcoms The Unicorn and Trophy Wife, as well as being a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 2008 to 2009. She has also recurred on television series such as The New Adventures of Old Christine, Catastrophe, Enlightened and Search Party and appeared in films such as The Back-up Plan (2010), Wanderlust (2012), Enough Said (2013) and Sword of Trust (2019).
Watkins was born in Syracuse, New York, the daughter of former Latin teacher mother Myrna Watkins and Syracuse University mathematician father Mark Watkins. She has two sisters, Rebecca Kent and Sarah Fitts.
Watkins was raised in DeWitt, New York, a suburb of Syracuse, in a Jewish family. After her parents' divorce, Watkins' mother obtained a marketing degree and relocated the family to Boston when Watkins was 15.
Watkins attended Moses DeWitt Elementary School and Wellesley High School in Wellesley, Massachusetts. She graduated from Boston University, where she studied theater and acting. Watkins auditioned for a part in a British farce at a community theater when she was 15, and got the part. Joan Rivers was one of her inspirations to go into show business.
After theater school, Watkins lived and worked in New York City for a year but struggled to build her career. She moved with a friend to Portland, Oregon. She lived there from 1996–2000 and appeared onstage with Portland Center Stage and the defunct improv group Toad City Productions. She traveled around the country doing regional theater, then decided to move to Los Angeles.
- Portland Center Stage: Hamlet (1999), Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead (1999), Bus Stop (2000)
- Portland Repertory Theatre: Arcadia
- Artist Repertory Theatre: The Misanthrope, How I Learned To Drive as well as Merchant of Venice, The Winter's Tale
- triangle productions: Angels in America, The Food Chain
- Circle X Theatre: Laura Comstock's Bag Punching Dog (2002) - LA Weekly award, Sperm (2004)
- Vineyard Playhouse: Fighting Words by Sunil Kuruvilla (2003)
Saturday Night Live
In November 2008, Watkins joined the cast of Saturday Night Live (SNL). Watkins said (at that time) that she was the oldest woman they ever hired. Watkins has since been surpassed by Leslie Jones, who was 47 when she joined SNL. Watkins made her first major appearance on the show as Arianna Huffington on the November 22nd Weekend Update. Watkins remained on SNL as a featured player throughout the rest of the 2008-2009 season, up to the season finale on May 16, 2009.
However, while SNL was on summer hiatus, the news broke in early September 2009 that Watkins, along with fellow castmate Casey Wilson, were both to be let go from the show and would not be returning for the 2009-10 season.
Recurring characters on SNL
- Angie Tempura: A geeky, iced coffee-drinking computer nerd who snarks on celebrities and movies and is the creator of the snarky website "Bitch Pleeze" (www.bitchpleeze.com, which redirects to the SNL site). Though she insults celebrities, Angie was revealed to have a crush on Zac Efron.
Later TV credits
She recurred as Lucy opposite Hamish Linklater in the sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine, as well as appearing in recurring roles in the comedy programs Enlightened, New Girl, and Anger Management. She has also made guest appearances on shows such as Hung, Childrens Hospital, Kroll Show, Key & Peele, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Modern Family.
Watkins also starred alongside Malin Åkerman, Bradley Whitford, and Marcia Gay Harden in the short-lived, but well-received ABC sitcom Trophy Wife. The series aired for one season from September 2013 to May 2014.
In 2018, she recurred on season two of the Amazon Prime series Catastrophe, playing the sister of lead character Rob Norris (Rob Delaney). From 2019 to 2021, she has co-starred on the CBS sitcom The Unicorn.
Watkins co-created (with writing partner and fellow Groundling, Damon Jones) the short-lived 2014 USA Network comedy series Benched. The series starred Eliza Coupe and Jay Harrington and premiered on October 28, 2014. Watkins and Jones were also executive producers on the show.
Watkins is married to Fred Kramer, who is a founding partner of Reason Ventures and General Manager of Critical Mass Studios, Inc. Kramer used to be Executive Director of the Jewish World Watch organization, a Los Angeles-based anti-genocide non-profit, focused on the situations in Sudan and Congo.
|2008||Yoga Matt||Jill Goering||Short film|
|2010||The Back-up Plan||Mona|
|The Prankster||Miss LaFleur|
|Welcome to the Jungle Gym||Principal Gilly||Short film|
|Worst Enemy||Wooly||Short film|
|2011||Una Hora Por Favora||Elissa||Short film|
|Thanks for Sharing||Marney|
|2013||In a World...||Dani|
|2014||They Came Together||Habermeyer|
|2016||Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie||Ivana Trump|
|2017||Person to Person||The Widow|
|Brigsby Bear||Louise Pope|
|The House of Tomorrow||Mrs. Whitcomb|
|How to Be a Latin Lover||Gwen|
|The House||Raina Theodorakis|
|Under the Eiffel Tower||Tillie|
|2019||Brittany Runs a Marathon||Catherine|
|Sword of Trust||Mary|
|2020||The Way Back||Beth|
|Bad Therapy||Judy Small|
|2001||Charmed||Andrea||Episode: "Death Takes A Halliwell"|
|2003||Without a Trace||Marla||Episode: "Maple Street"|
|Miss Match||Susan Scott||Episode: "Divorce Happens"|
|2004||Strong Medicine||Julia||Episode: "Bleeding Heart"|
|Modern Men||Amanda||Episode: "Pilot"|
|Grey's Anatomy||Nikki Ratlin||Episode: "Superstition"|
|Malcolm in the Middle||Receptionist||Episode: "Hal's Dentist"|
|7 Deadly Hollywood Sins||Jennifer||4 episodes|
|2007||Revenge||Mary-Louise||Unsold TV pilot|
|2008||Man Stroke Woman (US version)||Various||Unsold TV pilot|
|Frank TV||Julia Roberts||Episode: "#2.1"|
|2008–09||Saturday Night Live||Various||15 episodes|
|The New Adventures of Old Christine||Lucy||7 episodes|
|2009||Eli Stone||Judge Leigh Rappaport||Episode: "Sonoma"|
|2010||Parenthood||Lucy Estman||Episode: "Team Braverman"|
|Miami Medical||Carla||Episode: "Time of Death"|
|2011||Mad||Samus Aran / Sam Puckett / Mom (voice)||Episode: "The Straight A-Team/Gaming's Next Top Princess"|
|Curb Your Enthusiasm||Saundra||Episode: "The Safe House"|
|Hung||Judy||Episode: "Don't Give Up on Detroit or Hung Like a Horse"|
|Private Practice||Laura Martin||Episode: "Deal with It"|
|2011–13||Enlightened||Janice Holm||9 episodes|
|2011–15||New Girl||Gina||5 episodes|
|2012||The Life & Times of Tim||Homeless Woman (voice)||Episode: "Pudding Boy/The Celebrity Who Shall Remain Nameless"|
|Childrens Hospital||Detective Lacey Briggs||Episode: "The Return of the Young Billionaire"|
|Key & Peele||Mary Magdalene||2 episodes|
|Modern Family||Susan||Episode: "Schooled"|
|2012–18||Robot Chicken||Nerd's Mom / various (voice)||4 episodes|
|2013||NTSF:SD:SUV::||Beth||Episode: "Extra Terrorist-rial"|
|Comedy Bang! Bang!||Amber||Episode: "Gillian Jacobs Wears a Red Dress with Sail Boats"|
|Anger Management||Lisa||2 episodes|
|2013–14||Trophy Wife||Jackie Fisher||22 episodes|
|Kroll Show||Various||2 episodes|
|2014–16||Drunk History||Nurse / Julia Child||2 episodes|
|2014–19||Transparent||Connie / Yetta||6 episodes|
|2015||Marry Me||Janet L'Amour||Episode: "Dead Me"|
|The Goldbergs||Señora Taraborelli||2 episodes|
|Veep||Patti||Episode: "East Wing"|
|The Comedians||Wendy Myers||Episode: "Partners"|
|Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp||Rhonda||6 episodes|
|2015–18||Casual||Valerie Meyers||36 episodes|
|2016||Family Guy||Girl Pulling Train (voice)||Episode: "Take a Letter"|
|Pickle and Peanut||Pickle's Mom / various (voice)||Episode: "What Lies Beneath/The Rat King Moves In"|
|Another Period||Brothel Madam||Episode: "Joplin"|
|2016–17||Angie Tribeca||Melanie Burke||2 episodes|
|2016–20||American Dad!||Various voices||4 episodes|
|2017||Speechless||Becca||Episode: "O-s-Oscar P-a-Party"|
|Nobodies||Herself||Episode: "Not the Emmys"|
|Danger & Eggs||Various voices||Episode: "Finding Cheryl/The Trio"|
|Playing House||Dr. Laura Meredith||Episode: "You Wanna Roll with This"|
|The Guest Book||Phyllis||2 episodes|
|The Mick||Trish||Episode: "The Friend"|
|Do You Want to See a Dead Body?||Herself||Episode: "A Body and Some Pants"|
|Easy||Karen Treska||Episode: "Conjugality"|
|No Activity||Erin||Episode: "Golden Age of Tunnels"|
|2017–20||Big Mouth||Cantor Dina Reznick (voice)||6 episodes|
|2019||Wayne||Maureen McNulty||3 episodes|
|Schooled||Ms. Taraborelli||Episode: "CB Likes Lainey"|
|Get Shorty||Ali Egan||6 episodes|
|2019–21||The Unicorn||Delia||Main cast|
|2020||Search Party||Polly Danzinger||6 episodes|
|Make It Work!||Herself||Television special|
- "Michaela Suzanne Watkins profile". FamilySearch. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
- Rivers, Joan (April 2, 2014). "In Bed With Joan - Episode 51: Michaela Watkins". In Bed With Joan. Archived from the original (Video interview) on September 6, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
- Watkins, Mark E. "Mark E. Watkins - My Biography" (PDF). Webpage of Mark E. Watkins, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- "Mark Watkins, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics". Syracuse University. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
- "She's got characters". Boston Globe. March 21, 2009. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
- Herbert, Geoff (September 24, 2013). "'Trophy Wife': Syracuse native Michaela Watkins stars on new ABC TV show". Syracuse Post-Standard. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
- Gilmartin, Paul (June 22, 2012). "Episode 66: Michaela Watkins". The Mental Illness Happy Hour. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
- Hoffman, David (August 30, 2012). "The Groundlings Podcast: 04: Michaela Watkins" (Audio interview - mp3). The Groundlings. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- Hughley, Marty (November 14, 2008). "Former Portlander Michaela Watkins to join "SNL" cast". Oregon Live. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
- Schwartz, Jonas (March 9, 2004). "Circle X Theatre". Theater Mania. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
- Mikulan, Steven (January 20, 2005). "As I Die Lying: Tuning family heartstrings in the ICU". LA Weekly. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
- "Productions". Circle X Theatre. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
- Kuruvilla, Sunil. "Fighting Words". The Vineyard Playhouse. Archived from the original on June 20, 2006. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
- "Performers: Michaela Watkins - Main Company". Groundlings. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
- Miller, Julie (June 5, 2014). "40 Years of Improv Comedy: An Oral History of the Groundlings". Vanity Fair. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- "Update: Arianna Huffington - Video - Saturday Night Live". NBC. November 22, 2008. Archived from the original on May 21, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
- Mechare, Ethan (November 3, 2010). "Michaela Watkins on Doin' It With Ethan". Doin It With Ethan. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- Ausiello, Michael (September 4, 2009). "Exclusive: Michaela Watkins 'shocked' by 'SNL' firing". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on September 7, 2014. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- Itzkoff, Dave (September 4, 2009). "Michaela Watkins on Her 'Saturday Night Live' Exit". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- McCarthy, Sean L. (September 4, 2009). "Addition through subtraction: SNL fires Michaela Watkins and Casey Wilson!?". The Comic's Comic. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
- Holmes, Linda (September 9, 2009). "SNL's Michaela Watkins 'Just Too Classically Pretty To Be Hilarious'?". Monkey See (blog). NPR. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- Heisler, Steve (1 April 2014). "Trophy Wife's Michaela Watkins on Her Brief SNL Stint, Modern Divorce, and Crazy Ladies". Vulture. New York Magazine. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
- Shattuck, Kathryn (6 September 2013). "Defying Expectations, TV Actors Try Different Roles". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
- Rodman, Sarah (24 September 2013). "Michaela Watkins is 'Wife' material". Boston Globe. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- Sepinwall, Alan (May 9, 2014). "ABC reportedly cancels 'Trophy Wife' & 'Mixology'". HitFix. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- Goldberg, Lesley. "Michaela Watkins to Star in Hulu's Jason Reitman Comedy 'Casual'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
- Singer, Jenny (June 27, 2018). "'Catastrophe' Snags Jewish Comedy Gem Michaela Watkins For Season 4". The Forward. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- Katz, Jessie; Kirby, Brandon (April 30, 2014). "'Off the Cuff' Podcast: Michaela Watkins Explains Why Her 'Tropphy Wife' Costumes are a 'Fashion Jam'" (Podcast interview). The Hollywood Reporter. Pret-a-Reporter. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- Goldberg, Lesley (February 21, 2014). "'Under the Dome' Alum Boards USA's 'Benched' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- Goldberg, Lesley (January 24, 2014). "USA Orders Eliza Coupe Comedy 'Benched' to Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- Peikert, Mark (February 11, 2014). "Spotlight On: Michaela Watkins, ABC's 'Trophy Wife'". Backstage. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- Smith, Krista (January 21, 2013). "Lake Bell and Michaela Watkins on "In a World"" (Video interview). Vanity Fair. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- "Team: Fred Kramer, Founding Member/Partner". Reason Ventures. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
- Berrin, Danielle (May 15, 2012). "New world view". Jewish Journal. Retrieved August 24, 2013.