Ever since Tina Fey left Saturday Night Live to mastermind one of the 10 best TV shows of the decade, something has been lacking in the show’s writing. Some would say that thing is “humor.” But the more generous among us might point to the notable absence of a strong female voice — the kind that gave us unforgettable sketches like “Mom Jeans” and Maya Rudolph’s off-the-wall Donatella Versace character.
Now, it looks like the show’s gender balance may finally be shifting. Jezebel has broken the news of SNL‘s newest hire: comedian Jessi Klein, who brings the show’s total number of lady writers up to somewhere between three and six. Given that there isn’t a single woman on the writing staff of Dave Letterman, Conan O’Brien or Jay Leno’s current shows, this is big news. Of course, that isn’t the only reason we’re excited to see Klein take her place on SNL. Learn more about this talented lady — and watch videos of some of her best work — after the jump.
VH1 addicts will surely recognize Klein as one of Best Week Ever‘s funniest pop-culture pundits. Behind the scenes, she’s served as both a producer for Chappelle’s Show and writer on such Michael Ian Black/Michael Showalter vehicles as Stella and Michael & Michael Have Issues (which she also appeared in). But New Yorkers know Klein a bit more intimately, as a stalwart of our local comedy scene. Below, check out a generous chunk of a stand-up performance in which she describes her encounter with “the L to the double fuckin’ Lohan” — an experience, she tells us, that is akin to “seeing a slutty, little unicorn”:
On an episode of Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, Klein recalls a conversation in which a co-worker told her she looked like Anne Frank. “I didn’t really know where to ‘put that,’ as a remark,” she tells us. “But my first thought was, ‘Was Anne Frank hot?'”
Klein also saw some late-night TV time as a correspondent for The Showbiz Show with David Spade, which ran from 2005-2007. During her tenure, she proclaimed several crushes and took the piss out of the Da Vinci Code. In our favorite clip, she pokes fun at reality TV’s search for a new Pussycat Doll — or, as she puts it, “Now this nationwide skank hunt is a TV show”: