Given her output on this season of “Saturday Night Live,” Kate McKinnon is likely to find herself on the Emmy Awards red carpet once again this year. This past September she became the first regular “SNL” cast member to win an Emmy as Best Comedy Supporting Actress.
Real life interfered with McKinnon’s career trajectory late last year when Hillary Clinton failed to win the Presidency, thus depriving the comic the chance to portray her for the next four (or eight) years. Instead, McKinnon was forced back to the drawing board to develop a whole new bench of characters to try out and revive several others from her past, thus keeping her act fresh throughout this 42nd season.
As just as a reminder of the wide range of her talent, click through our photo gallery above for our favorite McKinnon characters on “SNL”:
1. HILLARY CLINTON
McKinnon’s signature creation, who was introduced as a wild-eyed candidate who believed that the Presidency was her destiny (think Gloria Swanson ready for her close-up in the final shot of “Sunset Boulevard”) but evolved into a rueful defeated candidate, singing “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen (who had died that very week) and still thinking about what might have been. It’s a performance that will likely be remembered come Emmy time.
2. JUSTIN BIEBER
One of her most unexpected celebrity creations was the slouchy pop star who regularly begins his sentences with the phrase “Hey, girl.” McKinnon’s Bieber managed to capture the wannabe thug (complete with tats and attitude) without ever losing the scared little boy hiding within.
3. COLLEEN RAFFERTY
Colleen is the chain-smoking survivor of paranormal activity whose experience was so much worse than those around her. McKinnon is hilarious, calmly recounting all of the atrocities inflicted upon her, but her best moments are her shocked facial expressions when she hears the blissful experiences of her fellow survivors.
4. RUTH BADER GINSBURG
In McKinnon’s hands, the Supreme Court Justice lives up to her nickname as “The Notorious R.B.G.” whenever she visits Weekend Update. She always seems to be in the mood to settle some scores and casts some serious shade on her targets, capping it all with a hip-hop dance and the gleeful tagline, “You’ve been Gins-burned!”
5. OLYA POVLATSKY
A Russian woman who, while discussing current events, compares them to how much worse it was in her village. But it’s not the fact that Olga is Russian that gets McKinnon the laughs — it’s Olga’s “woe is me” attitude of a character whom we’ve all encountered somewhere, sporting an attitude that knows no borders.
6. KELLYANNE CONWAY
Once a tireless campaign promoter of Donald Trump who seemed to be omnipresent on cable news shows, Conway as channeled by McKinnon, is later devastated by the fact that, thanks to her “untruths,” she now a TV pariah that turns her into a Jake Tapper stalker who will not be ignored.
7. MRS. SANTINI
Another Weekend Update regular, Mrs. Santini, a passive-aggressive woman who lives in anchor Colin Jost‘s building, sends “helpful” notes to her neighbors, such as to the “elephant family” who tromp around in the apartment above hers and the neighbor who cooks next door and whose favorite ingredient, Mrs. Santin swears, is “dookie.”
8. ANGELA MERKEL
Merkel is the German Chancellor who clings to the romantic hope that Barack Obama will be President again. McKinnon brings a desperate longing to her voice when she answers a call from the Oval Office with “Hello? Is this my sweet Barack? Barack Obama, I miss you” and watch her face fall when she realizes she’s talking to Trump.
9. LES DYKAWITZ
Les is a lesbian cop in the Chicago Police Department, who, paired with her heavy-set partner, are “Dyke & Fats,” in a trailer for a 1970s style cop-show. McKinnon eerily channels Sharon Gless in her toughness on the job, but she is very very particular in who gets to call her “Dyke.”
10. DEENIE (aka “Somebody’s Mom”)
Deenie is an elderly housewife who tries to explain soap opera plots while giving the characters generic names (“Moustache” and his twin brother “No Moustache”), all this while McKinnon as Deenie scarfs down a leftover container of Brussels sprouts (“They smell like a fart, but they actually taste like a burp”).
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