Vanessa is best known for her seven seasons on legendary comedy series, Saturday Night Live, where she was nominated for an Emmy Award for her hilarious and memorable work. She is currently working on the loosely autobiographical Showtime pilot, Big Deal, that she wrote with SNL alum Jeremy Beiler, in which she will star.
On television, Vanessa was most recently seen as 'Amy/Friday' on Will & Grace and as 'Officer Debbie Fogel' on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Vanessa's other television credits include Shrill, I Think You Should Leave, Drunk History, What We Do In The Shadows, Single Parents, Love, and Portlandia, among others.
Bayer lent her voice to Universal Pictures' animated feature Despicable Me 2 and starred in the series Sound Advice that she co-created with her brother Jonah for Broadway Video's Above Average. She starred in the Netflix original movie, Ibiza, produced by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay & Nathan Kahan. She also featured in the box office hit, Trainwreck alongside Amy Schumer. Most recently, Vanessa appeared in the independent feature Wander Darkly starring opposite Diego Luna and Sienna Miller. Bayer can also be seen in Susan Johnson’s independent feature, Carrie Pilby, Dreamworks feature Office Christmas Party, and the indie film The Polka King.
Last year her children’s book, How Do You Care For A Very Sick Bear?, was widely received and revered by children and critics everywhere. She also received The Gilda Award from Gilda’s Club, which benefits people living with cancer.
Bayer came to the cast of SNL from iO Chicago, the Annoyance Theater and the Second City. She starred in the acerbic puppet show Felt and the improv team Revolver at iO Chicago. She wrote and performed in the Annoyance Theatre's Swear Jar and performed stand-up at Zanies.
Originally from Cleveland, Bayer received her degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. While in college, she interned at Sesame Street and Late Night With Conan O’Brien and was a member of Bloomers, a storied all-female musical comedy troupe.