Emily Berl / The New York Times

Vanessa Bayer of “Saturday Night Live” fame will speak at Cornell.

January 20, 2020

Former SNL Star Vanessa Bayer is coming to Cornell

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Exactly one year after former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Vanessa Bayer performed at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, she will bring her jokes to Ithaca’s Cornell.

Actress and comedian Vanessa Bayer — best known for her stint on NBC’s award-winning “Saturday Night Live” — is slated to speak at Bailey Hall on Jan. 25.

Holding the record as SNL’s longest-serving female cast member with 149 episodes, Bayer departed SNL in May 2017 after seven years on the show. A Primetime Emmy Award nominee, Bayer is known for her impressions of Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Aniston’s character Rachel Green from the show “Friends.”

While on SNL, Bayer also starred in notable sketches such as Weekend Update’s “Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy Explains Passover With His Dad” as a teenager delivering a rehearsed speech on a given topic and “Totinos” as a pizza-roll-obsessed mom. 

In addition to comedy, Bayer has also forayed into the film industry, starring in movies including “Trainwreck,” “Office Christmas Party” and Netlflix’s “Ibiza.”

Growing up in Cleveland, Bayer was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at age 15, which she defeated after receiving two and a half years of treatment. 

She soon went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004, where she majored in communications and French. While attending college, Bayer interned on hit television shows such as “Sesame Street” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” The actress also participated in the cast of “Bloomers,” an all-female musical and sketch comedy troupe.

Bayer was invited to campus by the Cornell University Program Board and Cornell Hillel as a part of their Hillel Major speakers series. The event is being moderated by Prof. Samantha Shephard, performing and media arts. 

CUPB has invited an array of distinguished speakers to campus in past years — among them, SNL cast members Colin Jost and Pete Davidson. Last semester, the group brought U.S. women’s soccer star Carli Lloyd and Oscar-winning director Spike Lee to Ithaca.

Tickets for the talk are free and can be picked up in Willard Straight Hall’s Resource Center from Tuesday to Friday. The talk will begin at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.