After John Oliver left to start his own HBO weekly and Al Madrigal departed for NBC’s About a Boy, The Daily Show was due for a new hire. Yesterday, they announced Jordan Klepper, who made his first appearance last night “live from Ukraine” as “New Senior Caucasion Correspondent.” Klepper is the Comedy Central program’s first new face since TDS brought on Jessica Williams two years ago. We gathered all the essentials on Klepper’s comedy career thus far, from his Second City days to his collaborations with his wife.
He got his start in Chicago.
Originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan (he was part of Kalamazoo College’s student improv group, Monkapult), Klepper began his comedy career at Chicago theaters like improv powerhouse iO and Second City, the half-century-old institution that gave us, among others, Steve Carell, Rachel Dratch, and Tina Fey. Klepper was part of Second City’s National Touring Company as well as its Improv All-Stars troupe before moving to New York, bringing quite the resumé with him.
He’s currently with UCB.
Like other rising stars Sasheer Zamata and Broad City‘s Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, Klepper comes out of bona fide comedy talent farm Upright Citizens Brigade. He’s done both sketch and improv for the theatre, most recently with seven-member improv troupe The Stepfathers, who perform at the Chelsea location every Friday at 9 pm. On the sketch side, he’s performed as half of Steve and Jordan, Respectively (a two-man show dating back to Klepper and Steve Waltien’s Chicago days) and Baggage (with his wife Laura Grey).
He’s half of a comedy power couple.
Klepper and fellow comedian Laura Grey met on the Chicago circuit and moved to New York together. The two frequently collaborate on projects, including a web series spun off from a UCB pilot presentation, Engaged. It opens with the happy couple deciding they’ll order white Port-a-Potties — for purity! — and gets more nuts from there, including an interview with a florist ripped straight from The Master. According to Klepper, “Most of what we wrote about actually happened, or was on it’s way to happening. We got married in a barn, had to cut people we love from the list, and got pissed at people who weren’t British Office fans.”
He’s got some TV credits.
In addition to his stage performances, Klepper appeared on MTV’s short-lived I Just Want My Pants Back, where Chris Parnell was also a recurring cast member. He also turned up on IFC’s Bunk, a game show hosted by Kurt Braunohler, a comedian known for his work with Kristen Schaal and set to get his first Comedy Central half-hour special later this year. You can also see him in One Things, the monologue series written by Matthew Starr, and Uncastable, the shorts directed by Mikala Bierma. (We’re embedding the video here because Flavorwire’s own Tyler Coates was behind the scenes for the taping.)
He’s got a short film debuting at SXSW.
It’s a big month for Klepper. His first Daily Show segment went live this week in New York. Meanwhile, in Austin, his and Grey’s latest project is premiering at South by Southwest’s film festival. Co-written by and starring the couple, it’s called Peepers; while there’s not much info out there, the teaser’s tagline is, “We’re being watched. Eat your gazpacho.” Count us in.