Corbally’s Jennifer Hartnett may not be very well known in her native Limerick, but she is fast becoming a household name in the US – and some believe she is on her way to becoming the next Joan Rivers.
Jennifer, who headed to California after sitting her Leaving Certificate 13 years ago at the Salesians Secondary School, is making it big in the comedy scene and is also in a national commercial for Weight Watchers in the US.
She joined Irish comic Joe Rooney (of Father Ted) for a US tour and the renowned Kansas City Irish Festival in August which welcomed approximately 100,000 revellers for a weekend of music and craic. Jennifer is currently in a national commercial for Weight Watchers in the US and previous advertisements included restaurant chain Hooters, Coors Light and Hollywood Jeans. She is doing stand-up comedy in the US for the past six years.
“I was actually working in PR for an Irish company in San Francisco prior to losing my mind and starting comedy,” said Jennifer, home on holidays from the US and staying with her mum Jennifer in Coonagh. “I left my job about six years ago and initially worked with an improvisation troupe before doing stand-up. I love improv and it helps a lot with hosting. I met my manager at my first stand-up show and kind of fell into it as she continued to book me gigs.
“At the moment, I’ve a sitcom under review by an American network, so fingers crossed. I’m in a stand-up competition in LA and I was a finalist last year in Southern California’s Funniest Comic held at the Comedy Store. I’m also launching a new online news show, along the lines of The Onion in 2015,” she explained. Phew!
This year Jennifer also appeared in a funny instruction video for Scrabble which received over 800,000 hits on the hugely popular BuzzFeed.
Jennifer is signed with agencies Osbrink and 90210 Talent agency in Los Angeles. She moved to Los Angeles in 2009 and hosts her own show, For Feck Sake, at clubs throughout California.
“Irish humour gets a roaring response in the US and now is the time to stick the flag in as we move entertainment online,” she told the Leader. “The internet is opening us up to artists all over the world and I wrote a hotel-based sitcom to showcase Irish talent. TV networks are trying to keep a stake online and the only way forward is to consider an international audience.”