On Saturday Night Live, Vanessa Bayer, 32, delivers a spot-on Miley Cyrus. As the inept, bitchy “media coach” Janessa Slater in her YouTube series Sound Advice, Bayer’s taking on real musicians with her brother Jonah, a music journalist and series co-writer. So far its channel, Above Average, has racked up nearly 300,000 subscribers. The draw: hilariously awkward interviews with artists including Drake, Fun and Travie McCoy.
Like her trademark SNL character Bar Mitzvah Boy, Slater is very much in control, giving bands insulting suggestions with a straight face: Proposing, for example, that Aimee Mann and Ted Leo, from duo The Both, change their name to The Both of Us Have Social Security. Says Bayer, who got her start in comedy troupe Second City, “Generally, the bands have a sense of humor about themselves.”
This article first appeared in the Aug. 16th issue of Billboard.