Kate McKinnon's 22 Greatest Characters On "Saturday Night Live"

·9 min read

Kate McKinnon has been dominating Saturday Night Live for years thanks to her variety of hilarious characters and impressions.

Kate McKinnon holding her Emmy Award for her performance on "Saturday Night Live"

With her recent absence from the show and the rumors of her eventual departure, it seems like a good time to take a look back at her greatest characters from her time on the show. Here's my list for Kate McKinnon's 22 Greatest Characters on Saturday Night Live.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

David Livingston / Getty Images

22.The Dancing Lady

Kate McKinnon dressed as an old lady, dancing on a Central Park bench next to a group of musicians in "Saturday Night Live"

This one was just weird. In what looked like a regular PSA paying tribute to New Yorkers during the pandemic, we get numerous glimpses of an old lady dancing randomly across Central Park. She also sunbathes topless, goes skiing with roller-skates, and does her one-woman version of The Lion King. It looks like they just let Kate go all-out with this one, and the audience can't help but love it.

NBC / Via youtube.com

21.Penélope Cruz

Kate McKinnon impersonating Penélope Cruz with Sofia Vergara and Jason Sudeikis in "Saturday Night Live"

In this parody of a Pantene commercial, we see host Sofia Vergara advertising their shampoo with Kate playing Penélope Cruz. Though Sofia nails her lines, Penélope is left unable to pronounce the scientific ingredients of the product she's promoting. Being one of Kate's first sketches on the show, she makes a lasting impression with the way she hilariously mispronounces her lines.

NBC / Via youtube.com

20.Dr. Wenowdis

Kate McKinnon as Dr. Wenowdis on Weekend Update in "Saturday Night Live"

After the rise of the worldwide pandemic, Kate brought out this breakout character on Weekend Update once SNL returned to Studio 8H. Repeatedly saying the phrase, "we know dis," this eccentric doctor shares her knowledge of COVID until she starts laughing uncontrollably and Colin Jost has to ask if Kate is okay. She then completely breaks characters and talks about how stressed she is, capturing everyone's anxieties about the current state of the world. While we don't know what the future holds, we do know dis: this character is always hilarious.

NBC / Via youtube.com

19.Cecilia Gimenez

Kate McKinnon impersonating Cecilia Gimenez on Weekend Update in "Saturday Night Live"

Here, Kate impersonates the Spanish woman who notoriously re-painted the portrait of Jesus Christ called "Ecce Homo." Appearing on Weekend Update to talk about her own work and that of other criticized artists, the way she describes these works of art is a masterpiece in itself. And the cherry on top is her showing her butchered portraits of the hosts on Update.

NBC / Via youtube.com

18.Shannon Delgado

Kate McKinnon as Shannon Delgado in a cursed mirror in "Saturday Night Live"

Though this role was a one-time gig, Kate shines as this unfortunate lady trapped in a cursed exercise mirror.

NBC / Via youtube.com

17.Wilbur Ross

Kate McKinnon as Wilbur Ross on "Meet the Press" in "Saturday Night Live"

His description of what he thinks a "d*ck pick" is will never fail to get a laugh.

NBC / Via youtube.com

16.The Devil

Kate McKinnon as the Devil in Hell with her minions on "Saturday Night Live"

When Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz suffers a heart attack, he is briefly taken to Hell, where he meets Kate McKinnon's version of the Devil, appearing as a woman to Alan. It's hilarious to see Satan fangirl over Trump's attorney and all the evil acts he's done, and her one-liners are fiendishly funny. Also, the fact that the Devil has a podcast and that they were his invention makes this character even better.

NBC / Via youtube.com

15.Jodie Foster

Kate McKinnon as Jodie Foster in her home in "Saturday Night Live"

Kate really nailed it with this one. The resemblance she has to Jodie Foster is almost frightening, and she plays the Silence of the Lambs actress to pure perfection. Whether she's parodying her Golden Globes speech, playing a Bond girl, or auditioning for Jurassic Park, Kate's impression of her will have you all screaming with laughter.

NBC / Via youtube.com

14.Olya Povlatsky

Kate McKinnon as Olya Povlatsky on Weekend Update in "Saturday Night Live"

This has been one of Kate's earliest and longest-running characters on the show. Kate repeatedly appears on Weekend Update as their Russian correspondent to discuss news about her homeland. Hailing from an unnamed village in Mother Russia, Olya hilariously talks about the miserable life she and her other villagers have to endure. So much so, that you'd be surprised to hear that she's actually 18.

NBC / Via youtube.com

13.Kellyanne Conway

Kate McKinnon as Kellywise the Dancing Clown in a storm drain in "Saturday Night Live"

Both sick of her job but thirsty for attention, Kate's version of Kellyanne Conway is seen painfully working for President Trump or doing whatever it takes to get on TV. But when she goes on to become "Kellywise the Dancing Clown," the real laughs start to come out. Want a quote?

NBC / Via youtube.com

12.Justin Bieber

Kate McKinnon dressed as Justin Bieber on "Family Feud" in "Saturday Night Live"

Always trying to act cool but adorable for his fans, Kate's airheaded Bieber is frequently seen making ridiculous poses and failing to convince his audience that he's all grown up. The highlight of this character comes during that Calvin Klein sketch where he is dancing around in briefs, bragging about his bulge like a teenage boy going through puberty.

NBC / Via youtube.com

11.Angela Merkel

Kate McKinnon as Angela Merkel on Weekend Update in "Saturday Night Live"

This version of the German Chancellor is basically a stressed-out nerd with a massive crush on Barack Obama. Typically seen on Weekend Update, Angela goes on to talk about how stressful her job is and how she has to deal with other world leaders. By the end of each sketch, you end up rooting for her to get together with her "sweet Barack."

NBC / Via YouTube

10.Barbara DeDrew

Kate McKinnon as Barbara DeDrew next to her girlfriend (Kristen Wiig) in their cat store in "Saturday Night Live"

This character is the co-owner of "Whiskers-R-We," a cat store that has been repeatedly seen on SNL. In this popular skit, Barbara is depicted advertising her store with her lesbian girlfriend, who hilariously hits on her every few seconds. She cares for many adorable and sometimes sinister cats, but they're all just as lovable as she is. No wonder she's seen with so many girlfriends.

NBC / Via YouTube

9.Lindsey Graham

Kate McKinnon as Lindsey Graham in the Supreme Court in "Saturday Night Live"

Kate disappears into her role as Lindsey Graham right down to the jowls. Her riotous impression shows the Southern Senator absolutely whipped on Donald Trump, and the way she speaks and shakes as he points to the camera is a laugh riot. While James Austin Johnson's impersonation of his is also great, let's hope Kate stars as this uber Trump fan one more time.

NBC / Via youtube.com

8.Ellen DeGeneres

Kate McKinnon as Ellen DeGeneres on the set of "Ellen" in "Saturday Night Live"

Given how much Ellen inspired Kate as a comedian, the latter was able to pay tribute to her hero in the best way possible. Unable to stop dancing or say her own name, Kate's spotless impression of Ellen is a barrel of laughs that can't be contained. Though the real Ellen isn't looked at so nicely today, Kate's version of her will always remain a fan favorite. Speaking of fan favorites.

NBC / Via youtube.com

7.Jeff Sessions

Kate McKinnon as Jeff Session behind a podium in "Saturday Night Live"

Kate's version of the former Attorney General was immediately loved by audiences thanks to his adorable mannerisms, Southern drawl, and inappropriate statements. Her over-the-top impression of Sessions basically a cute but racist possum who tries to hide the truth, along with his tail. This naughty man-child always succeeded in getting a laugh out of audiences, and it was a great shame to see Kate's character go.

NBC / Via youtube.com

6.Elizabeth Warren

Kate McKinnon as Elizabeth Warren in front of her supporters and an American flag in "Saturday Night Live"

Kate's Elizabeth Warren is basically a mixture of her Jodie Foster and a teacher's pet. Smart and energetic, her character goes to great lengths to call out injustice and make things right in government. Though her character didn't last long due to the outcome of the Warren campaign, it was a real treat seeing Kate stand next to the real-life Senator while in character.

NBC / Via youtube.com

5.Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Kate McKinnon as Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Weekend Update in "Saturday Night Live"

She sure knew how to play a legend. Kate has repeatedly appeared as the late great Supreme Court Judge on SNL, mainly during Weekend Update. While in character, she went on to make fun of the politicians running the country with her self-proclaimed "Ginsburns" before getting up and dancing around like the boss that she is. Many people saw the great RBG as a legend, and Kate sure knew how to honor her legacy.

NBC / Via YouTube

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4.Debette Goldry

Kate McKinnon as Debette Goldry and Melissa McCarthy as Gaye Fontaine in "Saturday Night Live"

Kate plays this legendary performer in skits with other women debating gender relations in the film industry. While her fellow panelists stay on point and promote female empowerment, Kate's character trails off and talks about the ridiculously horrifying life she lived working in Old Hollywood. But the way she recounts it all with a smile on her face is enough to make you pass out from laughing too hard.

NBC / Via youtube.com

3.Hillary Clinton

Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton behind a podium in "Saturday Night Live"

It's a shame we didn't get to see more of Kate playing her on SNL. In the lead-up to the 2016 election, Kate frequently portrayed the former First Lady as she tried to claim the presidency. Kate's Clinton is always seen desperately trying to be hip for her voters and bragging about her achievements. Whatever you think of the real Hillary Clinton, you can't deny that Kate's impersonation of her is comedy gold.

NBC / Via YouTube

2.Colleen Rafferty

Kate McKinnon sitting down as Ms. Rafferty in "Saturday Night Live"

This is probably the craziest character Kate has ever played. This lady always finds herself being interviewed after having supernatural and extraterrestrial experiences with her friends. However, she always ends up getting the short end of the stick and has a ridiculously terrible time. The rhymes she comes up with to describe her private parts and the way she reenacts these events with her friends is just hysterical, especially the time she motor-boated Ryan Gosling's butt.

NBC / Via YouTube

1.Rudy Giuliani

Kate McKinnon as Rudy Giuliani behind a desk in "Saturday Night Live"

Kate steals the show whenever she impersonates the Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. Her exaggerated mannerisms are played to perfection as she hilariously portrays the former New York mayor like a bug-eyed vampire with barely any grasp of reality. Somehow, this wacky caricature is not so different from the actual guy, which only makes it even funnier. And just like the real Rudy, audiences can't believe the character that Kate has become.

NBC / Via youtube.com

Do you agree with this list? Were there any other Kate McKinnon characters that I missed? Please let me know in the comments section below.

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