We love Kate McKinnon, and after seeing her get tearful in the cold open of the season finale of Saturday Night Live, we're left wondering if this might be her last year on the comedy staple.
The standard length of an SNL contract is seven years, and this was McKinnon's 10th, so there's a good chance she'll be moving on, along with some other cast members like Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Kyle Mooney, and Kenan Thompson.
In the opening of the season finale, Bryant, Stong, Thompson and McKinnon all stood on the stage and spoke about the past year. "This is a year when we realized we are more than just a cast, we are a family," McKinnon said as she teared up.
McKinnon first joined the SNL cast in 2012, and has been nominated for eight Emmys for the show, winning twice. She won our hearts with both her hilarious impressions (including Ellen DeGeneres, Hillary Clinton, Jodie Foster, Anthony Fauci, Rudy Giuliani, and Elizabeth Warren) and her great original characters. Now, nearly a decade, and ten seasons, after she started, McKinnon has one of the most impressive SNL resumes of anyone.
Now that there are rumors she may be leaving SNL for greener, and gayer pastures, we wanted to take a look back at ten of her best moments that we’ll never forget.
God, the entire wlw internet EXPLODED when this sketch first aired. Kate McKinnon makes a sexier Justin Bieber than Beiber does. Honestly, I’m not sure if there are even any jokes in this sketch because I keep getting distracted by McKinnon's hotness every time I watch it. Beiber was a man-child at the time, but when McKinnon does an impression of him, she just looks and acts like a dykey fuckboy, causing the hearts of every single queer girl I know to soar.
Before the Supreme Court Justice passed away, McKinnon’s impression of RBG was one of our absolute favorites. In this one, she chugs a dry bag of Emergen-C, says she’s going to live forever to prevent Trump from replacing her, and brings out the catchphrase “You just got Ginsburned!” It’s a classic McKinnon kooky character with her trademark feminist slant.
McKinnon’s chaotic comedy skills are at the forefront in this sketch where she and two others are being interviewed by NSA agents about the first “verified case of alien abduction.” While Cecily Strong and Ryan Gosling’s characters experienced something beautiful and enlightening, McKinnon’s character sits legs askew, chain smoking while she describes her encounter. It involves peeing a bowl while the aliens watched, “Porky Pigging it” in the spaceship with her “coot coot” out, and “sitting on a stool while 40 grey aliens take turns gently batting my knockers.” No one in the scene can keep a straight face as McKinnon keeps escalating, least of all Gosling, who can barely finish his lines.
McKinnon is a master of impressions, and especially great at impressions of queer women. When she plays a pumped-up Billie Jean King as “President Obama’s big gay middle finger” to anti-gay Russian president Vladimir Putin, she portrays the tough, 70-year-old lesbian perfectly, saying she’s going to drive through Moscow blasting Melissa Etheridge, and summoning rescue pit bulls. There’s nothing gayer than describing tennis as “the primal grunting of two she-beasts with arms like the masts of a pirate ship.”
Many of us were looking forward to eight years of McKinnon’s pitch-perfect Hillary impression, but alas, instead we got memories of this sketch where she borrows a scene from Love, Actually to beg electors not to vote for Trump. It’s actually pretty dark now that we’ve seen four years under Trump.
Another Weekend Update character, McKinnon really unleashes her most unhinged side complaining about life in Russia. She complains that the last man she dated was “a real dog,” and when Seth Myers asks if she means he was ugly, she says, no, he was a real actual dog, but at least he was a lawyer. She jokes about her sister being eaten by wolves, does a truly terrifying Russian “laugh” and her favorite new dating app “Timber.”
McKinnon and Kristen Wiig play a couple of absurd cat ladies in this installment from a hilarious series of sketches that are filled with all the terrible cat puns and all the awkward lesbian flirting you could ever want. The descriptions of the cats and the flirting get more absurd and absurd as the sketch goes on, and we love every second of it.
McKinnon and Aidy Bryant play a couple of lesbians who washed up onto the shore of Wonder Woman’s all-woman island Themyscira and find out none of the Amazons are lesbians. As things among the women warriors get gayer and gayer, the two women get more and more frustrated, until finally Diana bends down and makes out with McKinnon. It’s a beautifully gay sketch, with the personal touch that comes from starring a queer comedian.
When Dan Levy hosted the show, he and Kate teamed up with other queer members of the cast for this instant classic where they check in on some of the people who told us It Gets Better in the original 2011 campaign to see if things really are better or not. McKinnon plays a lesbian mom who bought a giant pet iguana for her daughters. “I actually never worry about being gay anymore, I only worry about the iguana,” she says. The sketch was such a hit that It Gets Better started selling iguana pins!