||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (January 2016)|
|Born||Vanessa Polster Bayer
November 14, 1981 
Orange, Ohio, U.S.
Life and career
Bayer was born and raised in Orange, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. She is the daughter of Carolyn (née Polster) and Todd Bayer. Her family is Jewish. Bayer graduated from Orange High School in 2000 and attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in communications and French, graduating in 2004. Her older brother Jonah is a music journalist and musician who has written for various music and guitar magazines and has appeared as a music correspondent on Fuse TV, as well as being the guitarist for punk band United Nations. She currently collaborates with her brother on the web-series "Sound Advice" for Above Average. Bayer stars as Janessa Slater, a media coach who helps famous musicians change their image. Bayer fought leukemia as a teenager, after being diagnosed with the disease when she was 15. The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted her wish to send her family on vacation to Hawaii. As a former 'Make-A-Wish kid', Bayer continues to do work with the foundation. In 2015 she hosted their "Evening of Wishes Dinner" to help raise funds for wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.
While attending college, Bayer interned on the television shows Sesame Street and Late Night with Conan O'Brien and participated in the cast of Bloomers, an all-female musical and sketch comedy troupe. Bayer was part of the all-Jewish cast of Second City's stage show Jewsical: The Musical, a musical that presented a comedic take on Jewish life and culture.
Bayer played the role of Kate Clark in the Chicago-based feature comedy Off the Cuff.
Saturday Night Live
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Bayer joined the cast of Saturday Night Live as a featured player on September 25, 2010. Beginning with the 2012–2013 season, Bayer was promoted to repertory status. She has been praised for her performance on the show, with HitFix calling her "one of the strongest members of the ensemble" and Rolling Stone calling her "Saturday Night Live's secret weapon". In 2014, she was nominated for an American Comedy Award for her work on the show. Following the departure of Nasim Pedrad after the 2013-14 season, Bayer became the longest serving female cast member.
Her recurring characters include:
- Laura Parsons, a child actress always performing roles originally played by adults, including from Forrest Gump, The Wolf of Wall Street, Brokeback Mountain, and Dallas Buyer's Club
- Breckie, a former porn star who creates homemade commercials to obtain free luxury items alongside Cecily Strong
- Rebecca Stern-Markowicz, a co-host of J-Pop America Fun Time Now which celebrates Japanese culture alongside Taran Killam and Jason Sudeikis
- Miss Meadows, an unrealistically perky poetry teacher trying to connect with her delinquent students
- An unnamed director of talk show Mornin' Miami
- Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy, who appears on Weekend Update to perform a rehearsed speech (complete with forced jokes) about a given subject
|2009||Off the Cuff||Kate Clark|
|2010||Stages of Emily||Jocelyn||Short film|
|2012||Adventures in the Sin Bin||Superdawg Waitress|
|2013||Despicable Me 2||Flight Attendant||Voice role|
|2016||Office Christmas Party||Allison||Filming|
|2010–present||Saturday Night Live||Various||Series regular|
|2011||I Wanna Have Your Baby||Connie||1 episode|
|2013||The Mindy Project||Mary||1 episode|
|2014||Comedy Bang! Bang!||Susan Armhold||1 episode|
|2015||Man Seeking Woman||Laura||2 episodes|
- "Vanessa Bayer - About - Saturday Night Live - NBC". Saturday Night Live. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
- Moynihan, Rob. "SNL's Fab Four", TV Guide, March 7, 2011, Pages 44-45
- Vanessa Bayer from the Orange High School website
- "'Saturday Night Live' regular Vanessa Bayer, a Moreland Hills native, returns home to perform Sunday at the Improv". cleveland.com. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- "For Saturday Night Live's Bayer, humor a family affair - Cleveland Jewish News: Entertainment". Cleveland Jewish News. 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- "Penn Gazette | Alumni : Profiles". Upenn.edu. Retrieved 2012-09-22.
- "Jonah Bayer". Jonahbayer.wordpress.com. 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2012-09-22.
- "All-Female Musical and Sketch Comedy at the University of Pennsylvania". Bloomers Comedy. Retrieved 2012-09-22.
- "Jews in the News: Rachel Specter, Grammys & Barbra Streisand". Letmypeoplegrow.org. Retrieved 2012-09-22.
- "NBC'S 'SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE' PREMIERES SEPTEMBER 25 WITH SNL ALUM AMY POEHLER & CHART-TOPPING MUSICAL GUEST KATY PERRY". NBC-Universal Press Release. September 17, 2010. Retrieved 2012-09-22.