Karen Kilgariff Biography

Karen Kilgariff is an American comedian, writer, actress and podcast host, best known for ‘The Ellen Degeneres Show’. Read this biography to know her birthday, childhood, achievements, family life and other fun facts about her.

Karen Kilgariff
Quick Facts

Birthday: May 11, 1970

Nationality: American

Famous: Writers Actresses

Age: 49 Years, 49 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Taurus

Born in: Petaluma, California

Famous as: Actress

Family:

father: Jim Kilgariff

mother: Patricia Kilgariff

siblings: Laura Kilgariff

U.S. State: California

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Karen Kilgariff is an American comedian, writer, actress and podcast host, best known for her writing credits on ‘The Ellen Degeneres Show’ and ‘The Pete Holmes Show’. She was born and raised in California and started her career as a stand-up comedian in Sacramento. After gaining popularity for her impeccable comic timing, she was hired to play a supporting role in the American sketch comedy show ‘Mr. Show with Bob and David’. Her career trajectory changed completely after she was asked to become a co-writer for ‘Ellen Degeneres: Here and Now’ in the early 2000s. Later, she was roped in as a writer for the ‘The Ellen Degeneres Show’, in which she also appeared occasionally in various roles. Recently, she has found popularity as a podcast host with her shows, such as ‘My Favorite Murder’ and ‘Do You Need a Ride?’. As an actor, she gained name and fame after appearing on television shows, such as ‘The Book Group’, ‘Another Period’, ‘Mr. Show With Bob and David’ and ‘Wings’. In 2019, she collaborated with her podcast co-host Georgia Hardstark and published a book titled ‘Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered’.

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Karen Kilgariff
Childhood & Early Life
  • Karen Kilgariff was born on May 11, 1970, in Petaluma, California, into a working-class family. Her father Jim Kilgariff worked as a fire-fighter, while her mother Patricia Kilgariff served as a psychiatric nurse. Karen grew up with an older sister named Laura Kilgariff.
  • She was born into a Roman Catholic household. Both her paternal and maternal grandparents had emigrated from Ireland before settling in California.
  • Karen was an average student in school. By the time she finished her college education in her early 20s, she had developed a knack for writing comedy sketches and doing stand up comedy.
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Career
  • After graduating from college, Karen Kilgariff moved to Sacramento, California and started her stand-up comedy career. She improved gradually and ended up making one of her very first television appearances on ‘Bob Hope’s Young Comedians’ in 1995. The popular show featured various upcoming stand-up comedians.
  • She moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1990s and started auditioning for films and television roles. She ended up getting a small role as a chef in the TV series ‘Cybill’ (1996). In the same year, she appeared in another small role on a TV show called ‘Wings’.
  • By the end of the 1990s, she had appeared on many shows, such as ‘Jenny’, ‘Tenacious D: The Complete Master Works’ and ‘Super Adventure Team’. However, these minor appearances did not bring her the name and fame that she deserved and desired.
  • Meanwhile, Karen’s stand-up comedy routines were increasingly finding their way into American households via television shows, such as ‘Premium Blend’ and ‘Make Me Laugh’.
  • Her popular stand-up routines helped her land a major role on the sketch comedy series ‘Mr. Show with Bob and David’ in 1997. She appeared in 14 episodes of the show between 1997 and 1998, playing various roles in several humorous sketches. The show was quite successful and helped her earn some popularity in the industry.
  • She played herself on the television shows, ‘Heroes of Comedy: Women on Top’ and ‘The Martin Short Show’. As her acting career was not going anywhere, she started relying more and more on her writing abilities to further her career.
  • In 2001, Karen was credited as a writer for three episodes of the series ‘Hype’. She then wrote a short film called ‘The Girls Guitar Club’, in which she also acted. Around this period, she became acquainted with the famed comedian Ellen Degeneres and her life changed.
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  • In 2003, Ellen Degeneres saw her work on television and hired Karen to help write her upcoming documentary film ‘Ellen Degeneres: Here and Now’. The stand-up comedy routine was a roaring success after it was telecasted on HBO. This marked the beginning of the pair’s many successful collaborations.
  • Ellen was a celebrity stand-up comic whose friendship and professional association with Karen helped the latter’s career immensely. Karen was the opening act in many of Ellen’s stand-up shows in the early 2000s.
  • In 2003, Ellen started hosting ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’, which has now become one of the most successful talk shows on American television. Not only has it bagged 59 ‘Daytime Emmy Awards,’ but has also featured many eminent personalities from all walks of life.
  • Karen Kilgariff has been credited as a writer in many episodes of ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ and had also featured in many comedy sketches on the show. In addition to that, she also served as the show’s producer for many episodes in the mid-2000s.
  • In 2003, she was seen as Jean Pettengill on the British comedy drama ‘The Book Group’. After appearing in five episodes of the show in 2003, she played many small on-camera and voice roles in series, such as ‘Craig of the Creek’, ‘Maron’, ‘Another Period’ and ‘Tuca & Bertie’.
  • As far as her writing credits are concerned, she wrote ‘The 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards’ in 2003 and ‘The 79th Annual Academy Awards’ in 2007. In the recent years, she has written for shows like ‘The Pete Holmes Show’ (2014) and ‘The Rosie Show’ (2011).
  • Karen wrote the first four episodes of the series ‘Love You, Mean it with Whitney Cummings’ in 2012 and one episode of the science fiction comedy show ‘Other Space’ in 2015. She was also given the writer’s credit on TV shows like ‘Baskets’, ‘Making History’ and ‘Portlandia’.
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  • She has served as a producer for TV series, such as ‘Making History’, ‘2 Broke Girls’ and ‘Talk Show the Game Show’.
  • She has appeared as herself on TV shows like ‘Conan’, ‘A Crime to Remember’ and ‘Talk Show The Game Show’.
  • In addition to her acting and writing career, Karen is also a successful podcaster. In 2014, she launched her debut podcast in collaboration with the comedian Chris Fairbanks. The podcast ‘Do You Need a Ride?’ became very popular due to its unique concept. The duo picked their podcast guests either on their way to the airport or while dropping them off. However, the show was later moved from their car to a studio due to security concerns.
  • She started a podcast titled ‘My Favourite Murder’ with Georgia Hardstark in 2016. In the highly popular podcast, the pair discusses about infamous murders and serial killers.
  • The fan-base of the podcast has grown exponentially and Karen and Georgia also went international with it. The duo further collaborated on a book titled ‘Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered’, which was published in 2019.
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Family & Personal Life
  • Karen Kilgraff is extremely private about her personal life. She got married at the age of 32, but is currently a divorcee.
  • She has struggled with body image issues since her teenage years and was once addicted to diet pills. In her 20s, she became addicted to drugs and alcohol, but she decided to quit both after developing seizure attacks.
  • In an interview, Karen disclosed that she had gone to audition for the film ‘Jerry Maguire’ but was too drunk to perform properly. She blames alcohol for losing on that role.
  • She looked after her mother who was battled Alzheimer’s disease for 12 years. She eventually lost her mother in 2016.
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How To Cite

Article Title
- Karen Kilgariff Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/karen-kilgariff-44931.php
Last Updated
- June 28, 2019

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