Nicole Byer
Nicole Byer cropped.jpg
Byer in 2012
Born (1986-08-29) August 29, 1986 (age 35)
Occupation
  • Actress
  • comedian
  • author
  • television host
  • podcaster
Years active2009–present
Known forNailed It!
Loosely Exactly Nicole
Girl Code
Why Won't You Date Me?

Nicole Byer (born August 29, 1986) is an American actress, comedian, television host, podcaster, and author. She is known as the host of the Netflix comedic reality bake-off series Nailed It! (2018–present), for which she received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations.[1][2]

Byer gained recognition for her work in the commentary series Girl Code (2013).[3] Byer later starred in the MTV/Facebook Watch comedy series Loosely Exactly Nicole (2016–2018), which was based on her real life experiences.[4] She made several guest appearances in such comedy series as 30 Rock (2012), Family Guy (2016), Transparent (2016–2017), The Good Place (2019), Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2019–2021), and The Simpsons (2019). She also appeared in films, including Other People (2016), All About Nina (2018), Bad Hair (2020), and Valley Girl (2020). In 2021, Byer began co-hosting Wipeout with John Cena.

Byer is the host of the Team Coco podcast Why Won't You Date Me?,[5] the Earwolf podcast Best Friends co-hosted with Sasheer Zamata, and the Headgum podcast Newcomers.

Byer's first full-length special, Nicole Byer: BBW (Big Beautiful Weirdo), premiered on Netflix in December 2021 and earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special.

Early life

Byer was born in New Jersey and moved to New York City in the early 2000s. She worked there as a waitress for a restaurant and cabaret club. She described how the experience eventually led to her to studying improv, "They would give me a lot of money because they were like, 'You're very funny. You have to get out of here. You're very bad at this [waiting tables].'"[6] Byer's parents both died when she was young, her mother while Nicole was a teen in high school, and her father when she was 21. She has said that comedy helped her work through both her parents' deaths, "it was a blessing that I had found these things before they passed away so I could escape."[7]

She then took classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade, starting improv and sketch comedy in June 2008, the same month that her father died.[7][8] She continued with improv and sketch comedy for many years before starting her stand-up career in 2013. Byer graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy Certificate Program in Professional Performance.[9]

Career

She tours the United States doing stand-up comedy and regularly performs improv with Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles.

TV

Byer began appearing on Girl Code on MTV in 2013. In 2014, she hosted the first season of MTV's Are You the One? The Aftermatch Live, an after-show for Are You the One?.[10] She appeared in several roles on network television in 2016. That year, she had supporting roles on three shows: MTV's commentary show Girl Code; a hidden camera prank show Ladylike, also on MTV; and she was a series regular on the Fox show Party Over Here, a half-hour sketch comedy created by Paul Scheer and Lonely Island, which was cancelled after one season.[11][12][13] As a commentator on the show Girl Code, she was described by Maitri Mehta at Bustle as a "beloved talking head";[3] Stephanie Merry at The Washington Post called Byer "one of the most dependably funny commentators" on the show.[14]

Byer has guest starred in several shows including BoJack Horseman, Transparent, and Bob's Burgers. She played Lizette in season 5, episode 7 of the Freeform series Young & Hungry in 2017. She appeared as a guest judge on the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars.[15]

Nailed It!

Since March 2018, Byer has hosted the Netflix original bake-off series Nailed It! alongside head judge chocolatier Jacques Torres. Each episode features three home bakers with a "terrible track record" attempting to recreate extremely complicated pastries for a $10,000 prize.[16] Byer received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program twice (in 2020 and 2021). She is the first Black woman to be nominated in the category.

Because her comedy is "not kid friendly", her commentary is edited to create the "feel-good G-rated comedy" that the show is known for. An entire season is shot in only 13 days.[17]

Loosely Exactly Nicole

Main article: Loosely Exactly Nicole

In 2016, MTV premiered Loosely Exactly Nicole, a scripted, single-camera comedy written and starring Byer, based on her life.[4] Madeleine Davies at Jezebel described the show's premise as a "comedic look on [Byer's] life as a black actress struggling to make it in Hollywood."[18] Loosely, Exactly Nicole premiered September 5, 2016 on MTV.[19] It was later cancelled after one season.[20] Shortly after, it was picked up by Facebook Watch for a second season.[21]

Wipeout

Byer co-hosts the latest version of Wipeout with John Cena on TBS.[17]

Podcasts

Byer is the host of four podcasts: Why Won't You Date Me?, Best Friends!, 90 Day Bae, and Newcomers.

Why Won't You Date Me?

In December 2017, Byer launched a weekly podcast Why Won't You Date Me? on the HeadGum podcast network.[22] Each episode features a guest, typically another comedian, with whom Byer converses openly about her limited dating history, past sexual experiences, and frustration with being single.[23] The guest also critiques her Tinder profile. Byer concludes each show by asking the guest host if they would date her. Past guests include her very close friend Sasheer Zamata, Emily Heller, and Brooks Wheelan. Critics have referred to the show as "bold"[24] and "refreshing."[25] In 2021, the show left HeadGum to join Conan O'Brien's Team Coco podcast network.[26]

Best Friends!

In 2019, Byer, alongside Sasheer Zamata, launched a podcast on the Earwolf podcast network, Best Friends, a weekly podcast in which the two ruminate on the nature of friendship. Guest episodes have included such pairs such as actresses June Diane Raphael and Casey Wilson, drag queens Katya Zamolodchikova and Trixie Mattel, and internet personalities Keith Habersberger and Zach Kornfeld of The Try Guys.[citation needed] The same year, Byer joined comedian and actor Mano Agapion as a co-host on the RuPaul's Drag Race recap podcast Drag Her, and became a cohost of the 90 Day Fiance recap podcast 90 Day Bae with Marcy Jarreau.

Newcomers

In 2020, Byer launched a weekly podcast, Newcomers, on the HeadGum podcast network alongside Lauren Lapkus, in which the two friends watch films for the first time and comment on their feelings on each movie as newcomers to the series.[27] Each episode features a guest who provides more background on the series and characters. Past guests have included John Gemberling, Demi Adejuyigbe, Paul F. Tompkins, and Betsy Sodaro.

Season one covered the Star Wars franchise and The Lord of the Rings in the second. The third season explored Tyler Perry's body of work and the fourth goes through the Fast & Furious franchise, with a new co-host, Jon Gabrus as a guide. The fifth season is covering selections from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[28]

Book

Her first book #VERYFAT #VERYBRAVE: The Fat Girl's Guide to Being #Brave and Not a Dejected, Melancholy, Down-in-the-Dumps Weeping Fat Girl in a Bikini was released in 2020.[29] The book features over 100 photos of Byer in bikinis with much of the book written through captions, making it both a comedy book and a photo book. Byer has explained the long title, "I, Nicole Byer, wrote this book to #1, share my impressive bikini collection and my hot body with the world, and #2, help other people feel #brave by embracing their body as it is.”[30] The title began as a joke hashtag on Instagram, making fun of the way people often comment on photos of fat women wearing relatively little clothing as, 'You're so brave.'[30]

Other work

In 2013, Byer and Sasheer Zamata created and starred in a web series called Pursuit of Sexiness which was produced by Upright Citizens Brigade.[31]

In 2018, she appeared in a Smirnoff ad campaign with actor Ted Danson.[32]

Comedic style

On The Ringer, Allison P. Davis described Byer's comedy: "Most easily compared to a raunchier Retta with a hint of Ilana Glazer's madcap energy. She's mouthy, vulgar, a little bit goofy, relatable but ridiculously charming, and not afraid to infuse her broad comedy with a confident sexuality."[8] Writing for USA Today, Jaleesa M. Jones said that "it's precisely [Byer's] brazen, ribald brand of comedy that landed her in the creative incubator that is MTV, where she toplines two new comedy shows in 2016, Ladylike and Loosely Exactly Nicole".[19]

Byer described Whoopi Goldberg, Tina Turner, and Mo'Nique as her early inspirations.[19]

Commentary on racism in the industry

Byer has been vocal about a casting experience where she was asked to act out stereotypical blackness, including making a comedy sketch about it.[33] Nicole tells the story of auditioning for Israeli Nestle,

"So the cast director was a white lady ... and she was like, "OK, Nicole, how do I say this — I need you to be as black as possible, and if you go too black, I'll bring you back." And in my head I was like, "What does that mean?" [...] it's hurtful when you realize: Oh, Hollywood understands one type of black. And there isn't just one type of black — just like there isn't one type of white. Like, Emma Stone, Emma Roberts — all these girls get to exist and they don't have to be one thing. They can be anything they want. And we have to be just one thing."[7]

Byer also recollects when she was younger and adults would comment on how well-spoken she was and it took her into adulthood to recognize that as the microaggression it is.[7]

After years of on-set makeup artists not knowing how to work on her dark skin, Byer learned how to do her own makeup. Similar issues with hairstylists caused Byer to start buying and wearing wigs, instead of dealing with people who did not know how to do her hair and get her ready to be on screen.[7]

Personal life

Byer supports body positivity and stated in an interview with Brit+Co, "Body positivity, to me, means you accept the body that you're in... And if you want to change it, you can, but you should love the skin that you're in currently, forever. Because everyone is beautiful. No one's truly ugly. You're always beautiful to somebody, and you're always ugly to somebody."[34]

On her sexual orientation, Byer has said that she "doesn't identify as straight", but is uncomfortable with the labels "bisexual" or "queer." She has stated on her podcast Why Won't You Date Me? that she is open to dating people of any gender, and has dated men and women in the past.[35]

She lives in Los Angeles with her two rescue dogs named Clyde and Charlie. She previously lived with fellow comedian John Milhiser.[36][37]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2014 A Better You Neighbor
2016 Other People Charlie
2016 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Office Nicole
2018 All About Nina Leslie
2020 Bad Hair Gina
2020 Valley Girl Deejay
2021 Vivo Valentina (voice)
2022 Unplugging Officer Dunn
2022 The Bob's Burgers Movie Olsen Benner (voice)
2022 Mack & Rita Post-production

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2012 30 Rock Mo'Nique Lookalike Episode: "Grandmentor"
2013 Girl Code Herself Unknown episodes
For-Profit Online University 22MuchBIZ Adult Swim special
2013–2014 The Birthday Boys Nurse / Maurine 2 episodes
2013–2015 Pursuit of Sexiness Nicky 11 episodes; Also writer
2014 Friends of the People Unknown Episode: "Meet the Friends"
2015 Like, Share, Die Miss Andry / Wendy Williams (voice) 2 episodes
Comedy Bang! Bang! Terri Herdsman Episode: "Weird Al Yankovic Wears a Different Hawaiian Shirt"
2016 Angie Tribeca Holly Episode: "The Famous Ventriloquist Did It"
Animals. Stephanie (voice) Episode: "Pigeons"
Lady Dynamite A.D. Fiona 2 episodes
Party Over Here Various 10 episodes
Ladylike Herself 8 episodes
Family Guy Airport Security Officer (voice) Episode: "The Boys in the Band"
2016–2017 The UCB Show Various 2 episodes
Transparent Jataun 2 episodes
2016–2018 BoJack Horseman Interviewee / Talk Show Peahen / Teenage Girl (voice) 2 episodes
Loosely Exactly Nicole Nicole Byer 20 episodes; Also writer and producer
2017 Michael Bolton's Big, Sexy Valentine's Day Special Security Guard #2 TV special
Young & Hungry Lizette Episode: "Young & Bridesmaids"
2017–2018 Star vs. the Forces of Evil Princess Arms / Princess Jaggs (voice) 3 episodes
2018–present Nailed It! Herself (host) 32 episodes
2018 Bob's Burgers Martha / Drunk Lounge Lady (voice) Episode: "Go Tina on the Mountain"
Little Big Awesome Ho Cho Flo / Puppy Num Nums (voice) Episode: "Puppy Shower/Claude the Buff Hamster"
RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Herself Episode: "All Stars Snatch Game"
2018–2020 Apple & Onion Cotton Candy / Kid / Rude Fan (voice) 5 episodes
2018–2022 Big City Greens Andromeda (voice) 6 episodes
2019 The Good Place Gwendolyn Episode: "The Book of Dougs"
The Simpsons Erica (voice) Episode: "Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy"
Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ Mandine Chinton Episode: "Missing Dean"
A Black Lady Sketch Show The Invisible Man 2 episodes
Snoopy in Space C.A.R.A. (voice) 11 episodes
2019–present Tuca & Bertie Various voices
2019–2021 The Unicorn Meg 3 episodes
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Trudy Judy 3 episodes
2020 Lego Masters Herself Episode: "Storybook"
RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Herself Episode: "Get a Room!"
American Dad! Pickle House Customer (voice) Episode: "Trophy Wife, Trophy Life"
Game On! Herself Episode: "Celebrity Guests: Nicole Byer and David Ortiz"
Mapleworth Murders[38] Julia Squift Episode: "The Case of the Case of Wine: Part I"
Amphibia Gertie (voice) 2 episodes
Archer Gabrielle (voice) Episode: "The Double Date"
The George Lucas Talk Show Herself Episode: "Radioland Stream Night"
2020–2022 Woke 40 Oz. Bottle (voice) 4 episodes
2021 Close Enough Ophira (voice) Episode: "Where'd You Go, Bridgette?/The Erotic Awakening of A.P. LaPearle"
Invincible Vanessa / Fiona Episode: "That Actually Hurt"
Nicole Byer: BBW (Big Beautiful Weirdo) Herself Netflix special
A Tale Dark & Grimm Mrs. Baker (voice) 4 episodes
Poorly Drawn Lines Lizandra (voice) Episode: "Dinner Party"
2021–2022 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself 3 episodes
Home Economics Amanda Conley 3 episodes
2021–present Wipeout Herself (co-host)
Rugrats Lucy Carmichael (voice) Main role
Grand Crew Nicky Koles Main role
2022 The Boys Presents: Diabolical Bree (voice) Episode: "BFFs"
The Great North Coach Kiely (voice) 4 episodes
The Masked Singer Herself Episode: "Masking for a Duel - Round 2"
Ziwe Herself Episode: "Socially Liberal, Fiscally Conservative"
Trixie Motel Herself Episode: "Queen of Hearts"
The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib NannyCam No Filter CEO Baby Supporting Role

Podcasts

Year Title Notes
2013 Before You Were Funny Guest
2013 Doodie Calls with Doug Mand Guest
2014–2017 Baby Geniuses Guest; 4 episodes
2015–2017 Hollywood Handbook Guest; 2 episodes
2015 Can I Pet Your Dog? Guest
2015–2019 Lady to Lady Guest; 2 episodes
2015 The Champs Guest
2016–2020 Doughboys Guest; 8 episodes
2016 Black Men Can't Jump [In Hollywood] Guest
2016 Make Me Like It Guest
2016 The MEAT Improv with Jake Jabbour and Josh Simpson Guest
2016 Don't Get Me Started Guest
2016 The CONAN Podcast Guest
2016–2019 High and Mighty Guest; 5 episodes
2016 Slate Daily Feed Guest
2016 Another Round Guest
2016 No Joke Guest
2017 The Bechdel Cast Guest
2017–2018 Natch Beaut Guest; 2 episodes
2017 The Need to Fail with Don Fanelli Guest
2017 Weird Adults with Little Esther Guest
2017 The Dumbbells Guest
2017 Kar-Dishin' It: All Things Kardashian Guest
2017–2019 I'm Too Effing High Guest; 5 episodes
2017–2019 If I Were You Guest; 2 episodes
2017 Treks and the City Guest
2017–present Why Won't You Date Me? Host
2018 Unladylike Guest
2018 Comedy Bang! Bang! Guest
2018 Raised by TV Guest
2018 Spontaneanation Guest
2018 Off Book: The Improvised Musical Guest
2018 The Big Listen Guest; 2 episodes
2018 Unhappy Hour with Matt Bellassai Guest
2018 You're Making It Worse Guest
2018 The Soft Spot Guest
2018 Inside the Disney Vault Guest
2019–2020 Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig Guest; 2 episodes
2018 Womp It Up! Guest
2018 A Funny Feeling Guest
2018 Hysteria Guest
2019 Good One: A Podcast About Jokes Guest
2018 Everything is Rent Guest
2018 unBEARable with Big Dipper and Meatball Guest
2018 This Particular Album is Very, Very Important to Me Guest
2018 All Fantasy Everything Guest
2019–present Best Friends Co-host (with Sasheer Zamata)
2019 Who's Your God? Guest
2019 The Good Place: The Podcast Guest
2019 Cool Playlist Guest
2019 Be Here for a While Guest
2019–2020 Forever35 Guest; 2 episodes
2019 Two Girls One Ghost Guest
2019 The Worst with Greta Titelman Guest
2019 Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend Guest
2019 Three Questions with Andy Richter Guest
2019 Scam Goddess Guest
2019 A Mediocre Time with Tom and Dan Guest
2019 And Especially You Guest
2019 Worst Firsts with Brittany Furlan Guest
2019 I Hate Talking About Myself Guest
2019 Your Mom's House Guest
2019 Air Jordan: A Food Podcast Guest
2019–present Drag Her Co-host (with Mano Agapion)
2019 Gettin Better with Ron Funches Guest
2019 Kreative Kontrol Guest
2019–present 90 Day Bae Co-host (with Marcy Jarreau)
2019 Punch Up The Jam Guest
2019 Ghosted! by Roz Drezfalez Guest
2019 Sloppy Seconds with Big Dipper and Meatball Guest
2019 Good for You with Whitney Cummings Guest
2019 The Goodie Goodie with Sabrina Jalees Guest; 2 episodes
2019 I'm Afraid of That Guest
2019–2020 It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders Guest
2019 Las Culturistas Guest
2020 Inside Voices Guest
2020–present Newcomers Co-host (with Lauren Lapkus)
2020 Strong Black Lead Guest
2020 Netflix Is A Daily Joke Guest
2020 Staying In with Emily and Kumail Guest
2020 Culture Kings Guest
2020 U Up? Guest
2020 I Don't Want to Talk About Fight Club Anymore Guest; 2 episodes
2020 I Weigh with Jameela Jamil Guest
2020 Spanish Aqui Presents Guest
2020 Blank Check with Griffin & David Guest
2020 Marti Talks Guest
2020 Late Night with Seth Meyers Podcast Guest
2021 Wanna Be On Top? Guest
2021 My Favorite Murder Guest
2022 The Pit Stop[39] Guest

|2022 |Call Her Daddy |Geust

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
2019 Gold Derby Awards Best Reality Host Nailed It! Nominated
Reality Host of the Decade Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Best Host in a Reality Program Nominated
2020 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program Nominated
2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Host Nominated [40]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program Nominated [41]
2022 Pending
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special Nicole Byer: BBW (Big Beautiful Weirdo) Pending

References

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