Jenny Hagel is a television writer and comedy performer based in New York City.
She is a freelance contributor to Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” and the Head Writer of MTV’s weekly pop culture show 10 on Top. Other credits include The Big Gay Sketch Show (Logo Network), Impractical Jokers (TruTV), Big Morning Buzz Live (VH1), and the NewNowNext Awards (Logo Network).
Before moving to New York, Jenny spent ten years studying and performing comedy in Chicago’s improv comedy scene. She toured the world as a member of the Second City National Touring Company, and the Second City Detroit and Second City Denver mainstage casts (for which she received a Denver Post Readers’ Choice Award – Best Actress, Comic Role). Jenny was also a founding member of the iO Theater‘s house team Carl & The Passions.
In NYC, Jenny has directed and performed improv and sketch comedy at the UCB Theater and The PIT. She performed her one-woman show, Femme Boost, at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York.
Jenny is also an accomplished filmmaker. Her short film Positive Comment received grants from Zach Braff and the National Board of Review and premiered at the LA Comedy Festival. Jenny also co-wrote and starred in the short film Crafty which was an Official Selection at eleven film festivals and was acquired for distribution by Frameline. Both films were acquired for national broadcast by MTV Networks. Jenny’s short film Nice Shirt received the Christopher Wetzel Award for Film Comedy at the Just For Laughs Festival (the winners were chosen by SNL alum Nora Dunn). Her original web series Feminist Rapper was featured on the front pages of Funny or Die, Jezebel and Slate.
Jenny has taught screenwriting at Northwestern University and public speaking at The City College of New York. She holds a BA in Theater from The College of William and Mary and an MFA in Writing for Screen and Stage from Northwestern University.
She was recently named one of Go Magazine’s 100 Women We Love.
Jenny lives in Manhattan with her wife.
Freelance Contributor, Saturday Night Live, NBC
- Contribute freelance jokes to SNL’s “Weekend Update” segment
Head Writer, 10 on Top, MTV
- Write VO and on-camera Host Wraps for weekly pop culture countdown show
- Write and produce weekly comedy segment summarizing pop culture headlines
- Pitch and write additional segments based on pop culture news
- Produce voiceover recording sessions
Writer, Big Morning Buzz Live, VH1
- Wrote on-camera scripts and jokes for host of daily live talk show
- Wrote daily segment summarizing pop culture and weird news headlines
- Pitched games for host to play with celebrity guests
- Worked in control room during live tapings to make script changes as needed
Writer, The Big Gay Sketch Show, Logo Network
- Wrote sketch comedy for television that referenced and parodied current pop culture
- Pitched sketch ideas at writers’ meetings
- Attended table reads with cast and revised scripts based on producer feedback
- Researched relevant pop culture and news events
Writer, NewNowNext Awards, Logo Network
- Wrote dialogue and jokes based on current pop culture
- Wrote voiceover copy, host wraps, and wraps for celebrity presenters
- Researched celebrity presenters and wrote scripts that matched their voice/tone
- Rewrote dialogue onsite during rehearsals and live taping
ADDITIONAL COMEDY WRITING
Writer, “The Art of Satire”, The Economist Online
- Wrote original political comedy videos for The Economist’s website during 2008 presidential election
Writer/Director/Performer, Positive Comment (Short Film), MTV Networks
- Wrote, directed and performed in original comedic short film
- Funded entirely by a grant from actor/director Zach Braff
- Acquired for national broadcast by MTV Networks
Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Performer, Crafty (Short Film), MTV Networks
- Co-wrote and performed in original comedic short film
- Acquired for national broadcast by MTV Networks
- Acquired for international distribution by Frameline
Writer/Director/Performer, Feminist Rapper (Webseries)
- Wrote/directed/starred in original comedy web series.
- Series featured on the front pages of Funny or Die, Jezebel and Slate.
Writer/Performer, The Second City Denver Mainstage
Writer/Performer, The Second City Detroit Mainstage
Writer/Performer, The Second City National Touring Company (Chicago)
Writer/Performer, Femme Boost (One-Woman Show), UCB Theater (NYC)
Zach Braff Production Grant
National Board of Review Student Film Grant
Winner – Women’s Work Screenplay Competition
Finalist – NewFest Film Festival Screenplay Competition (NYC)
Finalist – Austin Film Festival Teleplay Competition
Finalist – LA Comedy Shorts Festival TV Pilot Competition
Audience Award for Best Short Film – Reel Pride Film Festival (Fresno, CA)
Semi-Finalist – Final Draft Big Break Screenplay Competition
Denver Post Readers’ Choice Award – Best Actress, Comic Role
Member, Actors’ Equity Association
Northwestern University, Radio/Television/Film Department
Foundations of Screenwriting
The City College of New York, Theater Department
Foundations of Public Speaking
The Second City Conservatory, Chicago & Detroit
Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Improvisation
Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Sketch Comedy Writing
EDUCATION & SKILLS
Northwestern University, MFA in Writing for Screen and Stage
College of William and Mary, BA in Theater
The Second City Conservatory
iO Theater Training Program
Native Spanish Speaker