Raised in Highland, Indiana, actress and comedian Jill Bartlett was a student of Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana, on the back of a softball scholarship. After graduating with degrees in communication and theater, she moved to Chicago, where she trained with comedy troupe The Second City, and later with Improv Olympic. She then performed in numerous venues across the country, most notably on stage as a lead character in The Vagina Chronicles at the Apollo Theatre in New York.
Bartlett then moved to Los Angeles, where she pursued opportunities in acting for the screen. There, she joined her colleagues in Chicago as part of the comedy troupe Dry Hump. While there, she also appeared in several television shows, playing guest roles in Guilty or Innocent? and Las Vegas, and also participating in pranks for the reality show Punk’d. She also appeared in the movies Well Sooted and Ground Zero, and performed for the short-lived sketch show Frank TV. In 2007, she got her first regular acting gig, when she joined the cast of the Comedy Central sitcom American Body Shop, playing the role of daydreaming receptionist Denise.