Early lifeYi was born January 4, 1986 in Los Angeles, California. Her mother is of Filipino-Spanish descent and her father is of Korean, Irish, German, French and Native American ancestry. She attended the University of California, Riverside before leaving to pursue full-time stand up comedy.
CareerYi began by performing in Fontana, California. She has since performed shows in Los Angeles at The Steve Allen Theater, and The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. In 2005 and 2006 she performed in the New York Comedy Festival, and in 2007 HBO's U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. Yi's film debut was on June 1, 2007 in Judd Apatow's 2007 film, Knocked Up. In 2008, Yi performed as part of the Apatow for Destruction Live comedy show at Montreal's Just For Laughs Festival. The role of Leslie Winkle in The Big Bang Theory was originally written for Yi, but she was eventually fired and replaced by Sara Gilbert.
In the 2009 film Paper Heart, a "hybrid documentary" which Yi executively produced in addition to co-writing, she stars as a fictionalized version of herself, alongside Michael Cera.
Yi was chosen as one of Venus Zine’s “25 under 25” women for 2009.
Yi appeared on the Comedy Central series Important Things with Demetri Martin as a musical guest, performing a number of duets with Martin, though these segments were cut from the final episodes when aired.
She has also appeared alongside Saturday Night Live cast member Fred Armisen in the music video for the song "Rabbit Habits" by Philadelphia experimental band Man Man.
Yi and Paul Rust formed the band The Glass Beef. The duo share one electric guitar and both sing lead vocals. In 2006, they released their debut album, The Farewell Album, produced by John Spiker, bassist of Tenacious D. Since then Yi has done solo projects such as Chandelier Teeth and written songs for other musicians in her experiment The Music Scientist.
Charlyne Yi, recentely split with her long-term boyfriend Michael Cera actor the pair had been together for three years, but sources claim Cera's head has been turned by the attention of other ladies since his career kicked off, thanks to roles in Juno, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Year One - he says he "wants to date around".
She is currently in the band Old Lumps, with Jessica Cowley and Dave Horwitz.
Social activismYi has been involved with Oxfam America since 2010, working to raise awareness about poverty and hunger around the world.
|2009||Paper Heart||Charlyne Yi|
|All About Steve||Young Protester|
|2006||Help Me Help You||Charlyne||1 episode, "The Sheriff"|
|2007||30 Rock||Grace Park||1 episode, "The C Word"|
|Cold Case||Dorky Girl||1 episode, "Stand Up and Holler"|
|2008||Miss Guided||Karey||1 episode, "Pool Party"|