Vanessa Bayer

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Vanessa Bayer
Born (1981-11-14) November 14, 1981 (age 33)[1]
Orange, Ohio, U.S.
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
Occupation Actress, comedian
Years active 2009–present

Vanessa Bayer (born November 14, 1981 (1981-11-14))[1] is an American actress and comedian best known as a cast member on Saturday Night Live.

Early life[edit]

Bayer was born and raised in Orange, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.[2] She is the daughter of Carolyn (née Polster) and Todd Bayer.[3] She graduated from Orange High School in 2000[4] and attended the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in communications and French,[5] 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.[6][7] Bayer had leukemia, fighting it throughout her childhood after being diagnosed with the disease at a young age.[3]


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.[8] Bayer is of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry and 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.[9]

Bayer played the role of Kate Clark in the Chicago-based feature comedy Off the Cuff.

Bayer performed improvisational comedy at Chicago's ImprovOlympic, where she trained with SNL castmate Paul Brittain[2] as well as the Annoyance Theatre and Second City.[10]

Saturday Night Live[edit]

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 a 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.

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
  • Brecky, a former porn star that 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 certain subject



Year Title Role Notes
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
2015 Trainwreck Nikki


Year Title Role Notes
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
Portlandia Various 2 episodes
2015 Man Seeking Woman Laura 2 episodes


  1. ^ a b "Vanessa Bayer - About - Saturday Night Live - NBC". Saturday Night Live. Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Moynihan, Rob. "SNL's Fab Four", TV Guide, March 7, 2011, Pages 44-45
  3. ^ a b Vanessa Bayer from the Orange High School website
  4. ^ "'Saturday Night Live' regular Vanessa Bayer, a Moreland Hills native, returns home to perform Sunday at the Improv". Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  5. ^ "For Saturday Night Live’s Bayer, humor a family affair - Cleveland Jewish News: Entertainment". Cleveland Jewish News. 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  6. ^ "Penn Gazette | Alumni : Profiles". Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  7. ^ "Jonah Bayer". 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  8. ^ "All-Female Musical and Sketch Comedy at the University of Pennsylvania". Bloomers Comedy. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  9. ^ "Jews in the News: Rachel Specter, Grammys & Barbra Streisand". Retrieved 2012-09-22. 

External links[edit]