There is life after Kristen Wiig, and her name is Kate McKinnon.
After the auspicious debut of “The Miley Cyrus Show” sketch, I thought Vanessa Bayer might step into Wiig’s role as Saturday Night Live’s go-to-girl. But that sketch lost its relevance when Miley herself grew up, and Bayer has yet to lay any other claim to the throne. How disappointing was her Honey Boo-Boo?
Meanwhile, Kate McKinnon rolled up mid-season last year and started snatching wigs left and right. She won’t be a Featured player for long with the way she’s owning everything she tries. She came in guns blazing, refusing to be intimidated by getting down and dirty with A-lister hosts like Daniel Craig, and declaring that she will absolutely not become a workhorse cast member (ahem. Nasim Pedrad.) Maybe you missed SNL a few weeks ago and asked your coworker about it. And maybe he was like, “Well there was this amazing Ann Romney sketch…” And you were like, “I’m sorry…what?” Because it would be impossible for a mere human to make Ann Romney funny. But you know…Kate McKinnon.
Take any of the three episodes so far this season: compare the sketches that worked to those that feature McKinnon, and you’ll find they’re basically the same. I officially fell in love with her halfway through this sketch on this week’s Update:
“I say, ‘Jesus: why you look-a like a shark?'”
And if she ever loved me back, we could get married; because we both live in New York and Kate is SNL’s first openly lesbian female cast member. Bad ass.
Let’s take a look back at some of Kate’s pre-SNL work, starting with her 3-year stint with The Big Gay Sketch Show. (Apologies for the atrocious quality.):