Vanessa Bayer, a 2004 College graduate announced that she will be leaving Saturday Night Live this past week, along with two of her co-stars, Sasheer Zamata and Bobby Moynihan.
At Penn, Bayer majored in communications and was an active member of Bloomers, Penn’s all-female comedy troupe. The comedian has kept in touch with Bloomers since leaving Penn, students said.
“She been pretty involved,” Bloomers Chairwoman and rising Engineering and Wharton senior Meghana Jayam said.
The Bloomers board, as well as Bayer’s SNL castmates, have made it clear that Bayer’s involvement in Bloomers has had a lasting impact on her life.
“There’s a running joke [about this] on SNL,” Bloomers head writer and rising College senior Gena Basha said.
Basha, an Under the Button staffer, added that Bayer has mentioned multiple times to her fellow SNL castmates that her experience in Bloomers had a profound impact on her decision to go into comedy.
In fact, Colin Jost, best known for being an anchor on the Weekend Update segment on SNL, wrote jokingly in a farewell song written for Bayer, “Yes we’ve heard of Bloomers!”
Despite her busy schedule and being based in New York City, Bayer has consistently reached out to Bloomers members across the years.
“Vanessa has been pretty active. She appears on some of the alumni correspondence,” Basha said. “Occasionally she’ll write something on Twitter saying that the Bloomers show is this weekend ... from her end she makes it clear that Bloomers was super important to her.”
Basha added that when she was a freshman, Bayer attended a Bloomers show in New York and stayed back after to talk to students.
“Even though she is very busy and she can’t be as available because she’s doing so much, she makes it so evidently clear that Bloomers got her into comedy,” Basha said.
Bayer’s most recent appearance at Penn was at Bloomers’ first , a comedy festival held at Penn in 2015.
Bayer said during one of the panel sessions, “I enjoyed [Bloomers] so much. I hadn’t found anything like that except for school. I didn’t know what it was like to really enjoy and feel like you were excelling at something.”
“For us she is a nice figurehead,” College senior and 34th Street Magazine staffer Claire Schmidt said, “Especially because she is someone who looked upon Bloomers fondly. We know she appreciated her time here.”
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