A Year of Promoting The People Who Make the Things I Love: Feb 14— Jess McKenna

In 2022, I am going to spend some time each day promoting someone who makes the things I love. I started this series because I believe that we, myself included, spend so much time on social media dunking on people (however deserved) and not enough time lifting up people deserving of positive attention.

Today, it is time to sing the praises of the phenomenal Jess McKenna.

I don’t remember when I first heard of Jess, but I believe it must have been as a guest on the improv comedy podcast Comedy Bang Bang.

It was very likely one of her appearances at “Power Wheels” Beth, an 8 year old child who rides in on, you guessed it, her Power Wheels. Lately, she’s been playing Margery Kershaw, a park ranger with an encyclopedic recall of details about the US Park system.

Neither one of these characters sound amazingly funny when described that way, but Jess is a quick and clever improviser, and she brings life to these characters in a way that is funny on its own, but hilarious when interacting with that episode’s other guests.

After hearing her on CBB, I started listening to Off Book, the improvised musical podcast she co-hosts with Zach Reino and a group of amazingly talented musicians.

Zach and Jess improvise a new musical every episode with their guest or guests, and it never disappoints.

She was recently on an episode of CBB Presents, in which she and other comedians improvised a murder mystery show. The entire episode was hilarious, and Jess’s public radio and podcast host character was a highlight for me.

You can see her website with Zach here and find her on Instagram here.

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Peter Flynn

Peter Flynn

Writer, editor, podcaster. Formerly Winging it in Motown. Twitter: @pflynn42