A tough talking, always hilarious stand-up comedienne and writer, Laura Kightlinger was always kooky personified. Formerly best known as the one-time girlfriend of manic comic Jack Black, the brunette beauty first perfected her defining deadpan delivery in Boston comedy clubs circa the early 1990s before finding her true calling - not on stage holding a mic; but armed with pen and paper. A prolific and respected writer, Kightlinger earned her comic stripes writing for "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975- ), "Will & Grace" (NBC 1998-2006) and "Roseanne" (ABC 1988-1997), before finally getting recognized for her performing talents as well, by playing the lead in the critically acclaimed sitcom, "The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman" (IFC, 2006-07).
Born June 13, 1964 (other sources say 1969) in Jamestown, NY, and raised by her single mother in a working class neighborhood in Boston, Kightlinger attended Boston's Emerson College, earning her bachelor's degree in 1986. During her time at Emerson, the aspiring performer joined the sketch comedy troupe, This is Pathetic. In 1994, she got the mother load of breaks, when her twisted comic stylings caught the attention of "SNL" producers. Unfortunately her tenure as "SNL" performer and writer was brief. She left after only one year, later recalling - as many other female contributors before and after her - as a sexist, spirit-crushing atmosphere. Undaunted, she moved to Los Angeles where she embarked on a more satisfying work experience by writing for - as well as appearing on - the blue collar sitcom, "Roseanne," starring Roseanne Barr.
In 1998, Kightlinger took her considerable talents to competing network NBC, working as a writer and producer on "Will & Grace" for eight seasons (during which she had a hilarious, recurring guest role as a fertility clinic nurse). In the midst of her sitcom work, she found time in 1999 to pen Quick Shots of False Hope, a darkly comic memoir about her humiliating and painful childhood. Consisting of 17 essays, Kightlinger chronicled her life experiences - including getting gonged from her high school talent show; making out with the son of her mother's boyfriend in his bedroom - the site of his future suicide; and getting fired from a lousy waitressing job at the all-you-can-eat Ponderosa Steakhouse.
For eight years, beginning in 1997, the attractive Kightlinger dated her physical opposite - the short, rotund, but equally outrageous actor/ comedian, Jack Black. During that time the quirky couple collaborated on several projects, including Kightlinger appearing in Black's feature comedy "Shallow Hal" (2001), with Black returning the favor in 2003, acting as producer on his director girlfriend's award-winning documentary, "60 Spins Around the Sun." The couple could also always be counted on for wacky hijinks on the red carpet, including dips, spins and general crazy behavior on behalf of Black, with Kightlinger laughingly egging him on.
In 2001, Kightlinger was cast in the small role of anchor woman in the spectacularly bad - but cult fave comedy - "Pootie Tang," directed and written by future co-star, comic Louis C.K. In 2005, she appeared in the hit comedy "Kicking & Screaming" opposite another "SNL" alum, Will Ferrell. Throughout her multiple acting and writing gigs she continued to do stand-up in comedy clubs as well as specials for HBO and Comedy Central.
In 2006, Kightlinger returned to the small screen - this time in front of the camera -when friend Louis C.K. cast her as Tina on his controversial HBO sitcom, "Lucky Louie" (2006). Never one to shy away from odd behavior, in the first episode alone, Tina enthusiastically spanked a ham while speaking suggestively to it as another grocery shopper looked on in horror. Stepping up her already packed work schedule, Kightlinger created, wrote, executive-produced and starred in the Hollywood satire "The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman" - a cutting Hollywood wish-deferment comedy in which Kightlinger played a writer working for an obscure film magazine who wants to be a screenwriter. Taking an uncharacteristically serious turn, the comedienne also appeared as a prostitute in the eagerly anticipated "Black Dahlia" (2006), a graphic film about the notorious 1947 unsolved murder of starlet Elizabeth Short in Los Angeles.