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Creator / Kate McKinnon

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Kathryn "Kate" McKinnon Berthold (born January 6, 1984 in Sea Cliff, New York), is an American comedian and actor.

She's perhaps best known for being a cast member on Saturday Night Live. McKinnon is the show's first openly lesbian cast member (Denny Dillon, from the show's poorly-received 1980-1981 season, is a lesbian, but wasn't out of the closet when she was hired), the second of seven LGBTQ+ cast members in the show's historynote , the second lesbian cast member to be white (after Denny Dillon), and also the fourth LGBTQ+ cast member to be whitenote ).

McKinnon is also known for her dead-on celebrity impressions (specifically for her impressions of Hillary Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres, and Justin Bieber, among many others) that push gender boundaries (and the boundaries of just how good SNL's hair, make-up, and costume people are when it comes to making cast members look like real-world figures). McKinnon also has a good-sized arsenal of memorable recurring characters: Olya Povlotskynote ; Debette Goldrynote ; Barbara DeDrewnote ; Colleen Rafferty, note ; and Shudnote .

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For all of this, from 2016 to 2017, she won two Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, making her the first SNL cast member to win an Emmy for their performance on the show.

Outside of SNL, she's notable for having starred in the 2016 Ghostbusters film alongside Melissa McCarthy and fellow SNL stars Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones.


Selected filmography:


Kate McKinnon's work provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Most notably in the case of Hillary Clinton, whom she deeply admires and respects. Also Senator Elizabeth Warren (see The Knights Who Say "Squee!").
  • Beauty Inversion: As seen in the page image, she's a very beautiful lady. On Saturday Night Live, she's often shown playing old men, old women, or hideous monsters that aren't even human. She is also dressed down in Ghostbusters (2016).
  • Cross-Cast Role: She portrayed several men on SNL, most notably Jeff Sessions but also Julian Assange, Lindsey Graham, Robert Mueller (before Robert De Niro famously took over), Wilbur Ross, Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran and Rudy Giuliani.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Especially for her role in Ghostbusters, which had many straight women perplexed. Helped by Holtzmann being revealed by Paul Feig to be gay, and McKinnon is openly gay herself.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: She has one cat, Nino Positano, who is often brought up in interviews and whom she refers to as 'My son'. She also has a recurring series of SNL sketches, "Whiskers 'R' We", in which she plays the elderly owner of a Dysfunction Junction cat shelter. In one "SNL At Home" episode in Season 45, she filmed a "Whiskers 'R' We" sketch with Nino.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": She was plainly pretty thrilled to meet Elizabeth Warren, whom she had been playing throughout the 2020 Presidential race and a few times before that.
  • Large Ham: She gets hilariously over the top quite often, specially in Ghostbusters and SNL.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • She has been an SNL fan since she was 12.
    • She had made her love for Gillian Anderson known to the public well before the two worked together on The Spy Who Dumped Me.
  • Stage Name: Her surname is Berthold, but she uses her middle name as a last name when credited.
  • Trolling: According to an interview, she'd been using her "Jeff Sessions face" on the set of The Spy who Dumped Me to gross out Mila Kunis.

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