Michaela Watkins

Although many comedy stars were launched from "Saturday Night Live," Michaela Watkins is a rare example of an actor and comedian whose best work came after she was fired from her short tenure on the show. She was let go after only a season on SNL, and then went on to work steadily in both film and television before landing a co-starring role on the sitcom "Trophy Wife." Michaela Watkins was born in Syracuse, NY and raised in the tony Boston suburb of Wellesley, MA. After graduating from Boston University, Watkins worked in regional theater, primarily in the Pacific Northwest, before moving to Los Angeles. Her first film role came in the indie comedy-drama "Inconceivable" (1998), an ensemble work about couples having fertility issues. While in Los Angeles, Watkins began studying with the storied improv comedy troupe The Groundlings and worked regularly in local theater. During this era, she made occasional appearances in guest roles on TV series ranging from the procedural drama "Without A Trace" (CBS 2002-09) to the raucous family sitcom "Malcolm in the Middle" (Fox 2000-06). In 2008, she made her first tentative step into regular TV work, shooting a pilot for an American adaptation of the popular British sketch comedy series "Man Stroke Woman" (BBC Three 2005-07), but the series was not picked up. Later that year, she was hired for the 34th season of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975- ) as a new addition to the show's junior Featured Players rotation, alongside third-generation comedian Abby Elliott. Watkins primarily worked as an impressionist on "Saturday Night Live," with her most popular recurring impersonation being a perpetually embarrassed Hoda Kotb, who became increasingly uncomfortable with the camera-hogging antics of her "Today" (NBC 1952- ) costar Kathie Lee Gifford (Kristen Wiig). Watkins also had a recurring character on the show's "Weekend Update" segment: barely verbal blogger Angie Tempura, whose mumbled takedowns of celebrities she deemed uncool were punctuated by her slurred catchphrase "B*tch, please." However, only weeks prior to the premiere of the show's 2009-10 season, it was announced that Watkins and her fellow featured player Casey Wilson were fired from "Saturday Night Live." After her firing, Watkins said that executive producer Lorne Michaels' explanation to her was that he felt her talents were better suited to television sitcoms.Watkins did move directly from "Saturday Night Live" to a recurring role on the hit sitcom "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (CBS 2006-2010) as Lucy, the neurotic patient turned girlfriend of therapist Matthew Kimble (Hamish Linklater), which she followed with another recurring role, on the cult favorite "Enlightened" (HBO 2011-13). But she focused primarily on strengthening her sketch comedy chops, becoming a key member of the main company of The Groundlings upon her return to Los Angeles. Her first major movie role came in the hit romantic comedy "The Back-Up Plan" (2010), in which she played the sardonic friend of main character Zoe (Jennifer Lopez). This was followed by a memorable role in the ensemble comedy "Wanderlust" (2012) starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston and written and directed by comedy veteran David Wain. In 2013, she took the sitcom path Michaels suggested with a co-starring role on "Trophy Wife" (ABC 2013-14) as Jackie, the second of two ex-wives involved in the complicated new marriage of Peter (Bradley Whitford) and Kate (Malin Akerman).