Jenna is one busy lady. She does stand up, writes for the Deseret News, the Daily Rehash, is a movie critic and even writes pilot scripts. WHOA! Oh yeah… she is also an awesome jingle and voiceover master. Is it fair that she is more talented than all of us? Not really, but we forgive her.
Jenna talks about doing stand up in New York and Los Angeles, being involved with The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and how she is a triple threat entertainer.
Check her out this weekend at Wiseguys Trolley Square! It will be good ole’ fashion clean family fun. By clean we mean, you need to take a shower before you get in. No stinky audience members please.
Describe yourself in 10 words or less?
(Pick your favorite) I didn’t cry when I saw The Notebook. I’m starting to think there’s something addictive about Diet Coke. I totally could have been a model in the 1800’s. I’m 99% sure the moon landing actually happened. Just go ahead and assume I’m hungry all the time. I relate to Liz Lemon on an intensely personal level.
You are really really blonde. If you could change your hair color to another color, what would it be and please describe your new alter ego?
I would dye my hair black and be in a 90’s grunge band. No one would see it coming.
Singer, writer, stand up comedy. Sounds like a triple threat. Which other triple threat superstar could you beat in a game of Raquetball?
First of all, you’re being way too kind. But I want to take this question to the next level and ask which triple threat star with 3 names could I beat in a game of Raquetball? My first instinct is Sarah Jessica Parker but on second thought she seems pretty merciless. So I’m going to go with Kareem Abdul Jabar. I met him in person a couple of times and I want a challenge. And yes, he is a triple threat. Basketball player, actor and most recently a diver on the failed reality television show, Splash. He’s going down!
What got you started in stand up comedy?
When I started working at The Daily Show, I missed performing. When I saw my co- workers one night doing stand up at a show, I thought to myself, “I think I could do this.” So I tried it out. And it was a disaster…for about six months until I started to get the hang of it.
Who are your biggest inspirations in comedy?
Right from the start Jim Gaffigan was a huge influence on me. But more personally, my boss at The Daily Show, Rory Albanese, was the biggest inspiration because he encouraged me to actually do it and taught me a lot of about what I know.
How long have you been doing comedy?
I think I’ve been doing stand up now for about four years.
Who has been the biggest help for you in your comedy career?
The biggest help? All the people who inspired my jokes, i.e. ex- boyfriends, personal trainer, Honey Boo Boo, politicians, fast food employees, my Mom and now my poor husband. Thanks for letting me make fun of you on a regular basis.
What were your responsibilities on the Daily Show?
I did all kinds of crazy stuff at The Daily Show. When I first began, I was in charge of a lot of the props, time coding swear words, making sure the interns didn’t totally blow it. Then later, I was in charge of scripts and making sure everyone always had the most updated version of the script. I made sure that Jon had his “blue cards” that you see on TV every night, etc. I also had the chance to pitch story ideas and also tweet for the show.
What kind of opportunities did that open up for you?
I had the opportunity to host and book a monthly comedy show in the city called Daily Show & Friends. We had some amazing shows with people like Jim Gaffigan, John Oliver, Robert Schimmel, Janeane Garofalo, Wyatt Cenac, Pete Holmes, Amy Schumer.
There are a lot of great comedians that you worked with on the Daily Show, who was your best friend?
Who was your arch nemesis Are any of my old co-workers going to read this? Because that might change my answer. I was friends with many of the correspondents at the show. Jason Jones and Sam Bee, Aasif Mandvi, John Oliver. They were all awesome to work with. As for my nemesis? I’ll never tell!
You started comedy in New York and now live in Los Angeles. What comedy scene do you enjoy more and why?
I miss comedy in NewYork. Because everything is so close together, I could perform on multiple shows a night. There was also a sense of friendship in New York that I don’t feel as much in LA. I’m still new though so it may get better with time. In LA, it feels like everyone is an actor who just happens to do stand up as another way to get their foot in the door. They’re all way too comfortable talking about how awesome they are.
Who is coolest person you have been able to perform with during your stand up career?
I opened for Jim Gaffigan a couple of times in New York and for me that is still one of the highlights of my stand up career.
What was one joke that you have told that has stood out the most?
“People are extra nice to me until they figure out I’m not Elizabeth Smart.”
What do you think of the Utah comedy scene? Good and bad?
I think there is an impressive comedy scene in Utah. And it seems to be growing fast. I’m a big fan of Keith Stubbs, Spencer King, Marcus, Andy Gold, Steve Solberg, Aaron Woodall, I could go on and on. One of the reasons it’s thriving, I think, is because of Keith Stubbs. He owns Wiseguys and has made it a great environment for comedians to work out their jokes and become better.
What would make it better?
Ummm, maybe more female comedians. I have yet to meet a female comedian in Utah. I know they exist but we haven’t connected. It would be fun to perform with some ladies.
Who are some of your favorite Utah comics?
See question 1.
You are very busy right now, what is the coolest thing you are working on right now?
I have a lot of exciting projects in the works that, for the most part, I’m not allowed to talk about yet. In due time all of my secrets will be revealed. I recently started blogging for the online show Daily Rehash at DailyRehashBlog.ora.tv. I cover all kinds of trends happening online so if you want to see my writing on daily basis, check it out.
What shows do you have coming up?
This weekend, October 11-12, I will be headlining at Wiseguys Trolley Square. Two shows anight, 7:30 and 9:30. Please come out! My jokes will make you feel better about yourself.
How can people connect with you?
If you are on twitter (and you really should be) follow me at @jennakimjones. You won’t regret it…at least not at first.
Loved the little video clip. So cute. Go Jenna. We’re so proud of you.
Kathryn Paxman and Jennifer Hoopes