“As a performer, you can't just sit around waiting for the phone to ring. You have to write and develop projects for yourself because casting people aren't always going to see you the way you want to be seen. Write a one person show, shoot a short film, do plays, whatever. Activity breeds activity. No one's interested in a stay-at-home actress.” Wendi McLendon-Covey
American comedian and actress Wendi McLendon-Covey is famous among television audiences as Deputy Clementine “Clemmie” Johnson on Comedy Central's “Reno 911!,” a role she played from 2003 to 2008. She also played the regular role of Lydia Mayhew in the short lived Lifetime sitcom “Lovespring International” (2006) and was named the “Queen of Improv” by TV Guide for her work on the unscripted shows. Her character on “Reno 911!” also earned The Groundlings member the number 10 spot on Maxim magazine's “Top 10 TV Nymphos.” Wendi has also guest starred in such TV series as “The Office,” “Kath & Kim” and “10 Things I Hate About You.” On the wide screen, McLendon-Covey has acted in the films “Bewitched” (2005), “Reno 911!: Miami” (2007), “Over Her Dead Body” (2008) and ”Spooner” (2009). She picked up a U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Award for “Cook-Off!” (2006, also a co-executive producer and writer) and “Closing Escrow” (2006). Wendi will appear in the films “Jesus People: The Movie” (2009), “Starlight & Superfish” (2009), “Public Relations” (2009), “Tug” (2009) and “Dick Tracy Special” (2009, TV) as well.
McLendon-Covey is a spokesperson for the charity COPS 4 Causes.
Wendy Anne McLendon
Childhood and Family:
Wendy Anne McLendon, who would later be famous as Wendi McLendon-Covey, was born on October 10, 1969, in Bellflower, California. She received a B.A. in liberal studies and creative writing from California State University in Long Beach.
On August 10, 1996, Wendi married Greg Covey. They reside in Long Beach, California, with their two cats.
Wendi McLendon-Covey is a member of the Los Angeles based improv/comedy troupe The Groundlings. In 2001, she branched out to film acting by playing Judy in the 22-minute short “Henry and Marvin,” which was directed and written by Adam Rehmeier and starred Gregg Gilmore and Brian Beljanski. She received a big breakthrough when she began the regular role of Deputy Clementine Johnson on the Comedy Central series “Reno 911!” in 2003, a character she developed at The Groundlings. She stayed with the show until the finale on July 10, 2008.
In 2005, McLendon-Covey made her feature film debut in Nora Ephron's “Bewitched.” The comedy gave her a chance to work with top names Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell and Michael Caine. It was followed by a small role in the comedy film “Cook-Off!” (2006), which she also wrote with Cathryn Michon and W. Bruce Cameron and co-executive produced, and the supporting role of Hillary in “Closing Escrow” (2006), which was co-directed by Armen Kaprelian and Kent G. Llewellyn. For her performances in the latter two films, she was handed a Film Discovery Jury Award for Best Comedy Performance in Film at the 2007 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.
While still working on “Reno 911!,” McLendon-Covey took on a regular role in “Lovespring International,” an improvisational comedy series that debuted on Lifetime Television on June 5, 2006. Executive produced by Eric McCormack from “Will & Grace,” the series was canceled in August.
McLendon-Covey returned to film when she reprised her popular TV role of Deputy Clementine Johnson in the big screen version “Reno 911!: Miami,” which was directed by costar and TV show's creator Robert Ben Garant. Released on February 23, 2007, the movie enjoyed significant success at the box office (debuted at #4), but garnered primarily negative reviews from critics. McLendon-Covey next played Mrs. Jenkins, opposite Tim Bagley as Mr. Jenkins, in Joe Wein's acclaimed short “Goldfish” (2007). “Goldfish” won many awards, including the Audience Award for Best Narrative Short at the 2007 Austin Film Festival and the Audience Award for Best Short Film and Grand Jury Award at the 2008 Gen Art Film Festival.
2008 found Wendi creating and producing the Internet series “G.I.L.F.,” in which she also played the role of Joyce. The same year, she also costarred with Eva Longoria Parker, Paul Rudd, Lake Bell and Jason Biggs in the comedy film “Over Her Dead Body,” which was written and directed by Jeff Lowell. The movie was released on February 1, 2008. She then made a guest appearance in a 2008 episode of ABC Family's “Greek.”
After leaving “Reno 911!,” McLendon-Covey appeared in an episode of the American version of the hit British series “The Office” called “Business Trip,” which aired on November 13, 2008. She also appeared in “Friends” (2008) and “Kath & Kim” and served as a pilot judge on the game show/reality TV series “Celebracadabra” (2008). In 2009, the actress starred as Mrs. Pruitt in the L.A. Shorts Fest winner for Best Comedy, “Boutonniere,” written and helmed by Coley Sohn, and played the supporting role of Linda in the Drake Doremus directed drama ”Spooner.” Starring Matthew Lillard, the film premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in January 2009. Wendi next received the recurring role of Vivian in the ABC Family sitcom “10 Things I Hate About You” (2009), which was adapted from the 1999 film of the same name.
McLendon-Covey has completed filming “Jesus People: The Movie” (2009), directed by Jason Nauman and co-written by Dan Ewald and Rajeev Sigamoney. She is also set to portray Candice in Gianna Sobol's “Public Relations” (2009), Dawn in Steve Kopera's “Starlight & Superfish” (2009), Taylor in Abram Makowka's “Tug” (2009, with Haylie Duff) and will appear in Shira Piven's “Fully Loaded” (2009, with David Koechner, Mark Boone Junior and Ana Gasteyer). On television, she will costar in the comedy film “Dick Tracy Special” (2009), opposite Mindy Sterling, Tim Bagley, Steve Monroe and Leonard Maltin. Warren Beatty will sit in the director's chair for the project.
U.S. Comedy Arts Festival: Film Discovery Jury Award for Best Comedy Performance in Film, “Cook-Off!” and “Closing Escrow,” 2007