Michaela Watkins

Last updated
Michaela Watkins
Michaela Watkins 2010.jpg
Watkins in 2010
Born
Michaela Suzanne Watkins

Alma mater Boston University
Occupation(s)Actress, comedian
Years active1998–present
Known for Saturday Night Live
Trophy Wife
Casual
The Unicorn
Spouse
Fred Kramer
(m. 2013)

Michaela Suzanne Watkins is an American actress and comedian. Watkins first achieved widespread attention for her brief stint as a featured player on the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live during its 34th season between 2008 and 2009. Since leaving SNL, she has starred on the Hulu series Casual and on the short-lived sitcoms The Unicorn and Trophy Wife . Watkins has also had recurring roles on other television series, such as The New Adventures of Old Christine , Catastrophe , Enlightened and Search Party and appeared in films such as The Back-up Plan (2010), Wanderlust (2012), Enough Said (2013) and Sword of Trust (2019).

Contents

Early life

Watkins was born in Syracuse, New York, the daughter of former Latin teacher mother [1] Myrna Watkins and Syracuse University mathematician father Mark Watkins. [2] [3] [4] She has two sisters, Rebecca Kent and Sarah Fitts. [2]

Watkins was raised in DeWitt, New York, [5] a suburb of Syracuse, in a Jewish family. [1] After her parents' divorce, Watkins' mother obtained a marketing degree and relocated the family to Boston when Watkins was 15. [1] [6]

Watkins attended Moses DeWitt Elementary School and Wellesley High School in Wellesley, Massachusetts. She graduated from Boston University, where she studied theater and acting. Watkins auditioned for a part in a British farce at a community theater when she was 15, and got the part. Joan Rivers was one of her inspirations to go into show business. [1]

Career

Theater

After theater school, Watkins lived and worked in New York City for a year but struggled to build her career. She moved with a friend to Portland, Oregon. [7] She lived there from 1996–2000 and appeared onstage with Portland Center Stage and the defunct improv group Toad City Productions. [8] She traveled around the country doing regional theater, then decided to move to Los Angeles. [7]

She was active in Los Angeles Theatre for many years, taking on roles with Circle X Theatre [9] and 2100 Square Feet. [10]

Regional theater

  • Portland Center Stage: Hamlet (1999), Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead (1999), Bus Stop (2000)
  • Portland Repertory Theatre: Arcadia
  • Artist Repertory Theatre: The Misanthrope,How I Learned To Drive as well as Merchant of Venice, The Winter's Tale
  • triangle productions: Angels in America, The Food Chain
  • Circle X Theatre: Laura Comstock's Bag Punching Dog (2002) - LA Weekly award, [11] Sperm (2004)
  • Vineyard Playhouse: Fighting Words by Sunil Kuruvilla (2003) [12]

Improv

She became a regular performer at The Groundlings, [13] where she was discovered by Saturday Night Live . [14] Watkins said the appeal of sketch work is that she can write her own material. [1]

TV

Saturday Night Live

In November 2008, Watkins joined the cast of Saturday Night Live (SNL). Watkins said (at that time) that she was the oldest woman they ever hired. [1] Watkins has since been surpassed by Leslie Jones, who was 47 when she joined SNL. Watkins made her first major appearance on the show as Arianna Huffington on the November 22nd Weekend Update. [15] [16] Watkins remained on SNL as a featured player throughout the rest of the 2008-2009 season, up to the season finale on May 16, 2009.

However, while SNL was on summer hiatus, the news broke in early September 2009 that Watkins, along with fellow castmate Casey Wilson, were both to be let go from the show [17] [18] and would not be returning for the 2009-10 season. [19] [20]

Recurring characters on SNL
  • Angie Tempura: A geeky, iced coffee-drinking computer nerd who snarks on celebrities and movies and is the creator of the snarky website "Bitch Pleeze" (www.bitchpleeze.com, which redirects to the SNL site). Though she insults celebrities, Angie was revealed to have a crush on Zac Efron.

Later TV credits

She recurred as Lucy opposite Hamish Linklater in the sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine , as well as appearing in recurring roles in the comedy programs Enlightened , New Girl , and Anger Management . She has also made guest appearances on shows such as Hung , Childrens Hospital , Kroll Show , Key & Peele , Curb Your Enthusiasm , and Modern Family .

Watkins also starred alongside Malin Åkerman, Bradley Whitford, and Marcia Gay Harden in the short-lived, but well-received [21] ABC sitcom Trophy Wife . [22] [23] The series aired for one season from September 2013 to May 2014. [24]

In 2015, it was announced that Watkins would star in the Hulu series produced by Jason Reitman called Casual , which would be executive produced by Liz Tigelaar. [25]

In 2018, she recurred on season two of the Amazon Prime series Catastrophe, playing the sister of lead character Rob Norris (Rob Delaney). [26] From 2019 to 2021, she has co-starred on the CBS sitcom The Unicorn .

Producing, writing

Watkins co-created (with writing partner and fellow Groundling, Damon Jones) [27] the short-lived 2014 USA Network comedy series Benched. [28] The series starred Eliza Coupe and Jay Harrington and premiered on October 28, 2014. [29] Watkins and Jones were also executive producers on the show. [30]

Film

Watkins has appeared in supporting roles in films such as Enough Said , In a World... , [31] Afternoon Delight , The Back-Up Plan , Wanderlust , They Came Together and Lazy Eye .

Podcasts

In 2020, Watkins appeared in the supporting role of Irene O'Connor in the musical podcast In Strange Woods . [32] [33]

Personal life

Watkins is married to Fred Kramer, who is a founding partner of Reason Ventures and General Manager of Critical Mass Studios, Inc. [34] Kramer used to be Executive Director of the Jewish World Watch organization, a Los Angeles-based anti-genocide non-profit, focused on the situations in Sudan and Congo. [35]

Filmography

Film

YearFilmRoleNotes
1998InconceivableMarcy
2008Yoga MattJill GoeringShort film
2010 The Back-up Plan Mona
The Prankster Miss LaFleur
Welcome to the Jungle GymPrincipal GillyShort film
Worst EnemyWoolyShort film
2011Una Hora Por FavoraElissaShort film
2012 Wanderlust Marisa Gergenblatt
Thanks for Sharing Marney
2013 In a World... Dani
Afternoon Delight Jennie
iSteve Melinda Gates
BunionTherapistShort film
Enough Said Hillary
2014 They Came Together Habermeyer
2016 Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie Ivana Trump
Punching Henry Mara
Lazy Eye Mel
2017 Person to Person The Widow
Brigsby Bear Louise Pope
The House of Tomorrow Mrs. Whitcomb
How to Be a Latin Lover Gwen
The House Raina Theodorakis
2018 Dude Jill
Ibiza Sarah
Under the Eiffel Tower Tillie
Antiquities Dolores Jr.
2019 Brittany Runs a Marathon Catherine
Sword of Trust Mary
Good Boys Saleswoman
2020 The Way Back Beth
Bad Therapy Judy Small
2021 Werewolves Within Trisha Anderton
2023 You Hurt My Feelings Sarah
The Young Wife Post-production
Paint KatherinePost-production

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
2001 Charmed AndreaEpisode: "Death Takes A Halliwell"
2003 Without a Trace MarlaEpisode: "Maple Street"
Miss Match Susan ScottEpisode: "Divorce Happens"
2004 Strong Medicine JuliaEpisode: "Bleeding Heart"
2006 Medium Clerk2 episodes
Modern Men AmandaEpisode: "Pilot"
Grey's Anatomy Nikki RatlinEpisode: "Superstition"
Malcolm in the Middle ReceptionistEpisode: "Hal's Dentist"
7 Deadly Hollywood SinsJennifer4 episodes
2007RevengeMary-LouiseUnsold TV pilot
2008 Man Stroke Woman (US version)VariousUnsold TV pilot
Frank TV Julia RobertsEpisode: "#2.1"
Californication Executive2 episodes
2008–09 Saturday Night Live Various15 episodes
The New Adventures of Old Christine Lucy7 episodes
2009 Eli Stone Judge Leigh RappaportEpisode: "Sonoma"
2010 Parenthood Lucy EstmanEpisode: "Team Braverman"
Miami Medical CarlaEpisode: "Time of Death"
2011 Mad Samus Aran / Sam Puckett / Mom (voice)Episode: "The Straight A-Team/Gaming's Next Top Princess"
Curb Your Enthusiasm SaundraEpisode: "The Safe House"
Hung JudyEpisode: "Don't Give Up on Detroit or Hung Like a Horse"
Private Practice Laura MartinEpisode: "Deal with It"
2011–13 Enlightened Janice Holm9 episodes
2011–15 New Girl Gina5 episodes
2012 The Life & Times of Tim Homeless Woman (voice)Episode: "Pudding Boy/The Celebrity Who Shall Remain Nameless"
Bent CarolEpisode: "HD"
Childrens Hospital Detective Lacey BriggsEpisode: "The Return of the Young Billionaire"
Key & Peele Mary Magdalene2 episodes
Modern Family SusanEpisode: "Schooled"
2012–18 Robot Chicken Nerd's Mom / various (voice)4 episodes
2013 NTSF:SD:SUV:: BethEpisode: "Extra Terrorist-rial"
Comedy Bang! Bang! AmberEpisode: "Gillian Jacobs Wears a Red Dress with Sail Boats"
Anger Management Lisa2 episodes
2013–14 Trophy Wife Jackie Fisher22 episodes
Kroll Show Various2 episodes
2014–15 Married Stacey2 episodes
2014–16 Drunk History Nurse / Julia Child 2 episodes
2014–19 Transparent Connie / Yetta6 episodes
2015 Marry Me Janet L'AmourEpisode: "Dead Me"
The Goldbergs Señora Taraborelli2 episodes
Veep PattiEpisode: "East Wing"
The Comedians Wendy MyersEpisode: "Partners"
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp Rhonda6 episodes
2015–18 Casual Valerie Meyers36 episodes
2016 Family Guy Girl Pulling Train (voice)Episode: "Take a Letter"
Pickle and Peanut Pickle's Mom / various (voice)Episode: "What Lies Beneath/The Rat King Moves In"
Another Period Brothel MadamEpisode: "Joplin"
2016–17 Angie Tribeca Melanie Burke2 episodes
2016–20 American Dad! Various voices4 episodes
2017 Speechless BeccaEpisode: "O-s-Oscar P-a-Party"
Nobodies HerselfEpisode: "Not the Emmys"
Idiotsitter Windy2 episodes
Danger & Eggs Various voicesEpisode: "Finding Cheryl/The Trio"
Playing House Dr. Laura MeredithEpisode: "You Wanna Roll with This"
The Guest Book Phyllis2 episodes
The Mick TrishEpisode: "The Friend"
Do You Want to See a Dead Body? HerselfEpisode: "A Body and Some Pants"
Easy Karen TreskaEpisode: "Conjugality"
No Activity ErinEpisode: "Golden Age of Tunnels"
2017–20 Big Mouth Cantor Dina Reznick (voice)6 episodes
2019 Wayne Maureen McNulty3 episodes
Catastrophe Sydney2 episodes
Schooled Ms. TaraborelliEpisode: "CB Likes Lainey"
Get Shorty Ali Egan6 episodes
2019–21 The Unicorn DeliaMain cast
2020 Search Party Polly Danzinger6 episodes
Make It Work! HerselfTelevision special
2022 The Dropout Linda Tanner3 episodes

Podcasts

YearTitleVoice role
2020-21 In Strange Woods Irene

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