ByAutumn Henderson-Brazie, writer at
Nerd in every respect.
Autumn Henderson-Brazie

Whether you prefer to think of her as Kimmy or Erin from The Office, there's a lot to learn about the woman underneath that infectious smile.

1. Elizabeth "Ellie" Kemper was born into one of the wealthiest families in the state of Missouri. She is the granddaughter of Mildred Lane Kemper, the namesake of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis for which the family donated 5 million dollars.

2. Her high school theater teacher was actor Jon Hamm, the Emmy Winner known best for his work on the AMC series Mad Men. Hamm guest starred on the first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and he and Kemper were also both featured in the 2011 film Bridesmaids (although they didn't share any scenes).

3. Kemper graduated from Princeton University in 2002 with a Bachelors degree in English. She played on the Princeton field hockey team for one season and they went to the national championship game that year.

4. After Princeton, Kemper studied at Oxford University, working towards a graduate degree in English.

5. Kemper is a contributing writer for The Huffington Post as well as for the satirical newspaper The Onion.

6. In 2008, she auditioned for a spot on Saturday Night Live but was not cast. In case you forgot, 2008 was the year that Tina Fey introduced us to her spot-on Sarah Palin impression. Fey would go on to create the show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt specifically for Kemper.

7. Kemper initially found popularity after appearing in the CollegeHumor video "Blowjob Girl"- a video which she now disavows saying "I really don't like that video, and I wish that I hadn't done it, even though I know that it's a joke. I hate that it got sort of big, because I don't think that it's that funny and I don't want that to be the epitome of my work. It's just one video in a sea of many, but it has made me conscious of not wanting to do a video like that again."

In 2009, Variety Magazine named her one of the "10 Comics to Watch".

8. Kemper auditioned for a role on NBC's Parks & Recreation, but instead received a callback for The Office. They ultimately cast her in the role of Erin Hannon, the receptionist. Erin was initially written as sarcastic and dry, but after meeting Kemper, they decided to re-imagine the character as more perky and optimistic. Erin was also only supposed to have a 4-episode ark, but they liked her so much they decided to keep her on for the remaining 4 seasons.

9. In 2015, she served as a temporary co-host on The Today Show and she also guest-hosted The Ellen Show when Ellen DeGeneres was ill one day.

10. In 2012, she married Michael Koman- a former writer for Late Night with Conan O'Brien and the co-creator of Adult Swim's Eagleheart.

In April of 2016, while doing press for the second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Kemper revealed that she is pregnant with her first child.

So you see, although she may be as energetic as Erin or Kimmy, she's no where near as "simple."


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