Jillie Reil, Cougar on the loose

(Jillie Reil)

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2020 REEL WOMEN. During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready, they are making “Herstory”

She’s on the prowl. And she RAWRS constantly. With comedy. Jillie Reil is a stand-up comedian as well as an actress and writer. Known as THE COUGAR OF COMEDY, Jillie regularly takes the stage at The Comedy Store, The Improv, Flappers and various venues throughout Southern California in addition to guest hosting various events and radio programs throughout the United States.

Raised in rural Minnesota, Jillie always felt like her heart was somewhere else. So, she followed her dreams of getting Botox in Southern California and chasing men half her age. She said that. Not us. Lots of wine boxes, leopard print and college boys later, she has never looked back.

Jillie has also appeared in feature films, television shows, sketch comedies and theatre. She often plays quirky characters such as Cheryl, the ditzy sidekick to the twisted plastic surgeons in the Universal Pictures feature comedy Hole in One (known as American Pie 8 internationally), Yoni, the frigid tantric yoga instructor in the sitcom pilot Yoga Madness, and Roxanne, the porn star with a heart of gold in the Jerry Zucker/TBS sketch pilot National Banana.

Let’s meet, laugh and possibly run as we get Reel with Reil.

What Did You Originally Want to be When You Grow Up? An SNL performer and a dancer  

How Did You Get into Entertainment/Media? I originally went to makeup artist school to be around the industry thinking I was too old to be the talent. My French instructor (friends to this day) would say in her accent “Terrible, horrible…but you’re funny like a clown!” On my second makeup artist gig at a fashion show, I was asked to be the model instead of the makeup artist and commercials, acting and comedy ensued.  

Who Were Your Mentors? I wish I could point to someone in particular, but I took some classes early on, worked hard at any opportunities I received and continued to work on my craft

Name Your Biggest Achievement I was in a sketch comedy pilot produced/directed by TBS pretty early in my career. Airplane and Naked Gun were some of my favorites growing up, so it was an honor to work with Jerry Zucker.  

Biggest Disappointment I was supposed to be in the pilot for Glee (small part as one of the kid’s moms), and they cut my scene the day of the shoot.  

Name Your Biggest Pet Peeves Laziness, jealousy and name-droppers.

Predictions for Entertainment/Media over the Next Decade I believe comedy will continue to see more and more talented females on many different platforms.

Name a Job You Had that Would Surprise People I sold porn and lube for a living for three years all over North America. The pay wasn’t the greatest, but it was a blast… not to mention fantastic material for my comedy.   

ALSO READ: Nicole “Nikki” Laughlin, President, Havas Chicago

Which Marvel or DC Superhero do You Get to Play? I’m going with Catwoman since I AM THE COUGAR OF COMEDY…MEOW! 

What do You Wish You had More Time for? Travel and have time for a dog.

Do You Talk to Yourself? Often! I am always talking through new jokes, which also may be my therapy. There’s always some thread of truth in my jokes.

What Inspires You to be Creative? I love watching or listening to comedy as much as performing. I love laughter.

Follow Jillie:

Instagram: @thecougarofcomedy