Vanessa Bayer from "Saturday Night Live" has given voice to some of the show's most iconic characters in recent seasons
NEW YORK CITY -- She has shouted "Live, from New York, it's Saturday Night!"as often as anyone these last four years. But she grew her comedic voice on Cleveland's East Side.
Vanessa Bayer from "Saturday Night Live" has given voice to some of the show's most iconic characters in recent seasons, and we got a chance to spend some time with her recently inside the iconic Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center.
Bayer's is the first name you hear every Saturday Night. And the week we visited she was in more sketches than all but one cast member. And Bayer plays all types.
The 32-year-old from Moreland Hills invited us backstage to talk about her Cleveland and comedic roots that gave way to such memorable impressions like Miley Cyrus and her trademark Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy character.
"We used to go to bar and bat mitzvahs every weekend in the seventh grade on the East Side of Cleveland. For a lot people that know my brother Jonah, they think it's an impression of him," Bayer said.
She's been making the walk to Rockefeller Center for about three and a half years now, but there's another woman who made this walk all the time a decade and a half ago. She was an influence and a Cleveland native herself: Molly Shannon.
"I always loved her. And she's from Shaker, right? Was always such a cool thing," Bayer said, recalling that as a teen she once served as camp counselor to one of Shannon's cousins.
"I think you have to use a lot of comedy to deal with the Cleveland weather and Cleveland sports," she said.
Bayer last lived in our weather with our sports teams in 2000 when she graduated Orange High School. Her high school yearbook offers a glimpse into her past.
Bayer ran track and was named most likely to succeed. She still greatly appreciates her hometown.
"I love going to Beachwood Place. Not like I want them to send me free stuff," she says with a wry smile.
"If I can be there in the fall, I love Patterson's (Fruit Farm) and apple-picking and that kind of stuff. I love going to baseball. Progressive Field," she added.
In the sport of comedy Bayer is an all-star on America's most beloved and successful comedy franchise.
"Saturday Night Live" will finish its 39th season Saturday.
You can also catch Bayer from time to time on "Late Night" with Seth Meyers.
And this summer she's shooting the Judd Apatow flick "Trainwreck," which also features a small role by another well-known Northeast Ohio native -- LeBron James.