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Paula Pell (born April 15, 1963) is an American comedy writer, producer, and actress, best known for her work writing for the sketch series Saturday Night Live.[2][3][4]

Paula Pell
Pell interviewed on Employee of the Month in 2014
Pell interviewed on Employee of the Month in 2014
Born (1963-04-15) April 15, 1963 (age 56)[1]
Joliet, Illinois
OccupationComedy writer, producer, actress
SpouseJanine Brito


Pell was a writer for Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 2013. She is credited for creating some of its memorable characters such as Debbie Downer, the Culps, Justin Timberlake’s Omeletteville mascot, and the Spartan Cheerleaders, among others.[5] She also was a producer and writer for the sitcom 30 Rock, and is credited for writing the episodes "Argus" and "Floyd". In 2006, a pilot she wrote, Thick and Thin, was picked up by NBC for 13 episodes, with Pell as executive producer, but it never aired in the United States.[2] Pell has worked with Judd Apatow providing additional writing for the films Bridesmaids and This is 40.[6]

As an actress, Pell appeared in several episodes of 30 Rock as the wife of Pete Hornberger, and played the mother of Ron Swanson in a 2011 episode of Parks and Recreation.[3] She has also appeared as an extra or in bit parts in dozens of SNL sketches. Pell voices Gadget Gal in the Hulu original series The Awesomes.[7]

She has a small cameo in the 2013 comedy film Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. She co-created web series Hudson Valley Ballers with fellow SNL writer and long time friend James Anderson with whom she also co-stars.[8] Tina Fey produced and starred in Pell's first feature screenplay, Sisters (2015).[9] Pell also played the dream producer and Mom's Anger in the 2015 Pixar film Inside Out. In 2016-2018, she guest-starred in the TV series Love as Erika. She also played a role in the mockumentary series Documentary Now![5] She played Helen Henry DeMarcus on the show, A.P. Bio.[10][circular reference] She also plays Aunt Mo in the Showtime series SMILF.

Pell co-starred alongside several other Saturday Night Live alumnae in the 2019 Netflix original comedy Wine Country.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Pell was born in Joliet, Illinois. She wanted to be an actor at an early age and completed a degree in theater.[12]

She has been divorced from her first wife of 17 years and moved to Los Angeles.[12] She is engaged to Janine Brito.[13]


  1. ^ Bendix, Trish (October 24, 2013). "Paula Pell on being out in the "SNL" writers' room and her new web series -". Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Paula Pell". Here's The Thing. NPR. 26 November 2012. Archived from the original on 12 April 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ a b Longwell, Todd (2 December 2011). "Pell: 'SNL' scribe plays for bigscreen laughs". Variety. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  4. ^ Evans, Bradford (8 January 2013). "Talking to Paula Pell About Working at 'SNL' for 17 Years, Writing with Apatow, and Other Stuff". Splitsider. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  5. ^ a b Erbland, Kate (2019-05-17). "You Might Not Know Paula Pell's Name, But You've Loved Her Comedy for Decades". IndieWire. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  6. ^ Erbland, Kate. "You Might Not Know Paula Pell's Name, But You've Loved Her Comedy for Decades".
  7. ^ Walker, Allison (September 23, 2014). "SNL's Paula Pell 'waiting for the action figure'". News 13. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  8. ^ Hartsell, Carol (17 December 2013). "10 Reasons You Should Watch 'Hudson Valley Ballers' Right Now". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  9. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (4 February 2013). "'Pitch Perfect' Helmer Jason Moore In Tune With Tina Fey For Uni Comedy 'The Nest'". Deadline. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  10. ^ "A.P. Bio - Wikipedia". Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  11. ^ "Wine Country (2019)".
  12. ^ a b "Paula Pell, queen of comedy: On her "SNL" years, making "Wine Country" with Amy Poehler and more". Salon. 2019-05-13. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  13. ^ Crittenton, Anya (2019-05-03). "Comedian Paula Pell says it's lonely dating as an older LGBTI person". Gay Star News. Retrieved 2019-05-23.

External linksEdit