Host, Canada’s Smartest Person and The Goods
Global Ambassador, Free The Children
Known for her sharp wit, irreverent commentary and eclectic flare for fashion, television personality and comedian Jessi Cruickshank is one of the most widely recognized young stars in Canada and has been called “the funniest woman on TV today, period.” [The Province].
Jessi grew up in Vancouver, B.C., honing her comedic skills as the only girl in an all male comedy troupe alongside Seth Rogen. She went on to study theater in London, England and graduated at the top of her class from the prestigious University of Toronto Drama Program. Soon after, she was discovered in a nationwide search to become the new face of MTV in Canada and host of “The Hills After Show.” Jessi quickly became a fan favorite, and her show became an international smash hit, syndicated in 10 countries, generating record breaking ratings in the US and Canada, and securing her a Gemini Award.
Jessi went on to host, produce, and write her own spin-off prime time comedy series “The After Show” on MTV where she provided her witty commentary and refreshing perspective on the day’s entertainment news. From there she has hosted Live from E!, Jerseylicious, Olympic Morning and Canada’s #1 entertainment show, etalk. She currently hosts Canada’s Smartest Person and is a co-host on daytime show The Goods.
Jessi’s ability to connect to her audience has also allowed her to tackle global issues in a refreshingly relatable way. As the ambassador for the charity organization Free the Children, Jessi traveled to India for the acclaimed documentary “MTV Presents: Jessi in India” where she encountered child labor, hunger, and poverty first hand. She followed it up with “MTV Presents: Jessi in Kenya”, documenting her experiences of living in a mud hut for 10 days with a traditional Massai family. Jessi’s social activism has formed her into a renowned keynote speaker, speaking regularly at colleges and universities, and appearing at national conferences alongside The Dalai Lama, Jane Goodall, and Al Gore.
In addition to her work in television, film, and philanthropy, Jessi is also known for her unique sense of style. Named TV Guide’s Best Dressed Host she has appeared in top fashion publications such as Elle, Flare, Fashion and Verve Girl magazines. She also launched her own clothing line for Me to We style, which sold out within days.
As longtime Canadian ambassador for the non-profit organization Free the Children, Jessi speaks about her eye opening experiences leaving the comfort of her MTV studio and travelling to rural India and Kenya. From carrying poop in India to drinking goat blood in Kenya, Jessi’s often hilarious and always powerful stories about her travels allow her to tackle serious global issues in a refreshingly relatable way. She talks about the pop-culture bubble so many young people in North America get trapped in today and challenges them to pop it, to see beyond the MTV world and discover the power they hold to create positive change in their colleges, communities and in the world.
In North America, we spend more money on the diet industry than the government spends on health, education and welfare combined. One in four Canadian teens say they would rather be famous than work to make a difference in the world. As the face of MTV and the LA correspondent for ETALK, Jessi talks candidly about navigating a material and pop-culture obsessed world. She opens up about her own experiences working in an industry where quite often, how you look is more important than how you think, your net worth is more relevant than your self-worth, and success is measured by what you have rather than what you have to give. Jessi encourages her young audience to discover that happiness is not about what you have in your life, but what you choose to do with it.
Jessi attended the University of Toronto on a full scholarship and graduated with honors, but the things she cherishes the most about her university education had nothing to do with her formal “education.” Jessi will speak about how she got involved in university by starting a special needs drama program at a local high school, joining the student council, playing intramural sports and getting involved with Free the Children, and why students should strive to find a similar balance. Telling a series of wildly funny, honest and relatable anecdotes, Jessi displays an uncanny ability to relate to young audiences, leaving them motivated to create opportunities and make the most of their college experience.
As the host of a live daily talk show on MTV broadcasted to over 90 million homes across North America, Jessi knows how to work a room. With her signature warmth and wit, Jessi has MC’d and hosted charity fundraisers, private parties, red carpets, award shows, store openings and corporate events all across Canada and the US. Her sharp wit and charm allow her to relate to any crowd and make any event a truly memorable one.