Vanessa Bayer is an American actress and comedian. The ever-smiling beauty is well known for being a cast member on Saturday Night Live (SNL) from 2010 to 2017. As a regular on the show, she displayed intense energy and was very dependable. While on the show, Vanessa portrayed a series of characters and nailed iconic impersonations that were well received including an uncanny Rachel from Friends, Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy and the chirpy, confusing weather lady Dawn Lazarus.
Who Is Vanessa Bayer?
In Orange, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, the United States, is where the Reform Jewish (Ashkenazi Jewish descent) Bayers family made their home and on the 14th of November 1981, they welcomed their first daughter whom they named Vanessa Polster Bayer. Vanessa was raised by her parents Carolyn (née Polster) and Todd Bayer in their family house alongside her brother, Jonah who is now a music journalist and the drummer for the punk supergroup United Nations. In that close-knit Jewish community as a 7th grader, she went along with other kids to Bar and Bat Mitzvahs every weekend.
She had a very active childhood that when she was diagnosed with leukemia at 15, it did nothing to dampen her spirit. Rather, while combating the life-threatening condition, she employed and utilized every aspect of the concept of comic relief after she discovered the meaning. Although she was uncertain if it made her funnier, she asserted it amazingly made everything alright and she soon rose from her sick bed.
Bayer attended Orange High School where she graduated from in 2000 before enroling in the University of Pennsylvania. There, she majored in Communication and French at the Annenberg School for Communication, earning her degree in 2004. While in college, she interned for Sesame Street and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. She was also a cast member on Bloomers, an all-female musical and sketch comedy troupe. Moreover, she participated in the all-Jewish cast of Second City’s stage show Jewsical: The Musical which shed light on Jewish life and culture in a comedic way.
Vanesa Bayer was also a member of Annoyance Theatre and the improvisational team at Chicago’s ImprovOlympic (iO) where she performed improv comedy. She portrayed Kate Clark in the Chicago-based feature comedy Off the Cuff.
Having honed her comedic skills and garnered enough onions in her years of performing, she joined the cast of SNL as a featured player in September 2010 but was promoted to repertory status in the 2012–2013 season. She stayed on the show for seven years during which she garnered numerous mentions and recognitions such as nominations for American Comedy Award and Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014 and 2017 respectively. In addition, she was dubbed one of the strongest members of the ensemble by HitFix and Saturday Night Live’s secret weapon by Rolling Stone.
While appearing in SNL, Bayer collaborated with her brother on the web series Sound Advice for Above Average in 2012. She has also appeared in films such as Trainwreck (2015), Office Christmas Party (2016), Carrie Pilby (2016), The Polka King (2017) and Ibiza (2018) which co-stars Richard Madden. Meanwhile, her tv credits also include The Awesomes (2015), Drunk History (2016-2018), a voice role in The Simpsons (2017), Will & Grace (2018), Love (2018).
Besides her on-screen persona, Vanessa Bayer is also a philanthropist and works with the Make-A-Wish Foundation who granted her wish to send her family on vacation to Hawaii during her leukemia days. She helps to give wings to the wishes of other children who suffer from life-threatening diseases.
Some of the perks of being a comedian and actress is that you get to be paid a handsome amount for your work (when you work for the right people though). Bayer has an estimated net worth of $1 million. The amount is expected to grow in the nearest future since she is still very much active in the entertainment scene.
Why Did Vanessa Bayer Leave SNL?
Though she earned an Emmy nomination for her time on the series and holds the record of its longest-tenured female cast member, Vanessa decided it was time to leave the show on May 20, 2017, after being cast for 149 episodes through seven seasons. Her tenure is compared to Maya Rudolph, whose stay over 9 seasons produced 146 episodes.
As to the reason why she left, Vanessa felt the time was right to make her exit. She further added that it was time for someone else to do the job.
Vanessa has kept matters of her relationship entirely covert. No proper information regarding her past or current dating affairs is available. That could also mean that she may be keeping her personal life private. However, in the past, she refuted rumors of lesbianism and has stated that she is too busy with her career to make time for dating or boyfriend.