Many fans may not realize that Ellie Kemper is a part of a contemporary power couple in the world of comedy. Kemper is married to Michael Koman, a writer, producer and comedian who has worked on productions as big as hers. In light of Kemper's recent controversies, fans are now looking deeper into her personal life than ever before.
Kemper is best known for playing Erin on The Office and then the titular role on Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Meanwhile, Koman is best-known as a writer, having started his career in 1999 with sketches on MADtv. Koman would later go on to write for Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and even made some on-screen appearances at the time.
Koman left O'Brien's show in 2008, and went on to other acclaimed shows. He co-created Eagleheart on Adult Swim, and then Nathan for You on Comedy Central. He worked on other shows at the same time, and following Nathan for You's finale in 2017, he took a job writing for Saturday Night Live.
Needless to say, Kemper has been on her own massive rise to prominence in recent years. The Missouri-born actress found her passion for comedy at Princeton, University, and got some of her first TV work on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. She also worked with Koman on Important Things with Demetri Martin and The Colbert Report.
Kemper is a writer as well, contributing satirical pieces to The Onion and McSweeney's, as well as more serious writing for The Huffington Post. She got her role on The Office after auditioning for a part on Parks and Rec, which was run by the same writer, Michael Schur. The consistent role put her in the mainstream, and earned her a spot in the movie Bridesmaids in 2011, and more high profile work.
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These days, Kemper has been busy with voice-over work and writing, but all of that fell into the backdrop last week when fans learned that she had once won the pageant at the "Veiled Prophet Ball" — an event with historical and social ties to the Ku Klux Klan. Fans are now looking for anything they can learn about Kemper's mysterious background, so here's what we know about her marriage to fellow comedian Michael Koman.
It is probably fitting to fans that Kemper has a real-life workplace love story, after she was embroiled in a fan-favorite one on The Office. It is not clear when or where she and Koman met, but it was almost certainly on the job, as they worked on many of the same shows and production the late 2000s and beginning of this decade.
"Michael is a delight, as you know, so of course my parents like him a lot," Kemper told Conan O'Brien during a 2011 interview, establishing that she and Koman were already pretty serious.
As Kemper's profile rose, however, she became impatient for Koman to pop the question.prevnext
Kemper has poked fun at Koman for his "botched" proposals in several interviews over the years. The two got engaged in 2012 and married soon after, and at the time, Kemper appeared on both The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Today Show, where she talked about her fiance's lackluster proposals.
"I love my husband," she said on Today in 2017. "Michael, I love you, [but] you did not propose well."
"Three times, the subject of marriage came up," she went on to explain. "The first time he was like, 'I don't have the ring, but one day maybe we'll get married. It was weird... I was like, 'Am I supposed to say yes to that?'"
The second attempted proposal came with a ring, at least, but Kemper explained she was still unimpressed.
"It was this beautiful [ring], his grandmother's ring," she recalled. "He was like, "I'm not asking... I mean, we can get married at some point.' It kept being put off."
Finally, Koman made one final effort, but Kemper felt he was still not thinking about timing in the equation.
"He asked me as I was leaving for New York from Los Angeles," she said. "He asked me to marry him [and] I got on a plane and left for a week. Again, I love him, but that was not a proposal."prevnext
Regardless of the proposal, the engagement was short-lived. Kemper and Koman tied the knot on July 7, 2012 in New York City, according to a report by PEOPLE. Famous friends including Kristen Wiig and Mindy Kaling were in attendance.prevnext
Baby No. 1
Kemper and Koman waited four years to expand their family, but they finally welcomed their first son in July of 2016. James was an instant fan-favorite, and the upbeat Kemper shared some of her precious mommy moments on social media, and on shows like Today.
"Now that I';m a mom, when I see a photo of any baby, I know — even if I think the baby is just so-so — you have to react like, 'That's the cutest baby I've ever seen!' Because if anyone doesn't have that response when they see a picture of James, I'd leave," Kemper said on The Today Show the following May.prevnext
The recently-married new parents did not slow their careers in the slightest over the course of these years. Two months after giving birth to James, Kemper was at the 2016 Emmy Awards, basking in her first nomination — outstanding lead actress in a comedy series.
Kemper has also been doing more and more movies recently — particularly animated features, where she has lent her voice to The Lego Batman Movie, Smurfs: The Lost Village and, this year, The Secret Life of Pets 2. Her next movie is The Stand-In, an all-star comedy due out some time in 2020.
Meanwhile, Koman has accumulated Emmy nominations and other honors as well throughout marriage and parenthood. He still works on SNL and shared in the writing staff's nominations for outstanding writing for a variety series for the last three years in a row.prevnext
One point of interest for fans in Kemper and Koman's personal life is religion, since the two both grew up devout in different faiths. Koman is Jewish, while Kemper is a practicing Roman Catholic. In 2016, Kemper explained that she and Koman had agreed to raise their children Roman Catholic in an interview with Stephen Colbert.
"He's also Jewish, and he, very gamely, agreed to get married in the Catholic Church, 'cause it meant a lot to me," she said. "Michael and I've been talking about, how will we raise our future children? In what faith? 'Cause we're different faiths. We hadn't really reached a resolution."
Kemper revealed that the Catholic priest actually who married them actually took that decision out of their hands during the wedding preparations. He asked a series of question in their vows, including their intentions for raising their children.
"Then it was, 'will you raise you children in accordance with the law of the Catholic Church?' I was so worried that Michael, who can't lie … I was so worried [that] he was going to say like, 'I don't know' or something, so I very loudly said, 'I will.' I could hear Michael, like, softly, out of the corner of his mouth go, 'OK.'"
"You worked it out," Colbert observed.prevnext
Baby No. 2
Finally, Kemper and Koman welcomed their second child into the world just this fall. Baby Matthew was born on Sept. 5, according to Kemper's Instagram. The actress did not even clue fans in until Matthew had been alive for a month already, but they didn't hold it against her.
Kemper continues her track into undisputed A-list territory, and along the way fans are showing more and more interest in her personal life, her kids and Koman. On Wednesday, Kemper co-stars in the new Live in Front of a Studio Audience special on ABC.
Live in Front of a Studio Audience premieres at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.prev