Kate McKinnon SNL

Kate Plus Great

Kate McKinnon’s 10 Funniest SNL characters

Catch Kate McKinnon cohosting the 2016 Spirit Awards live Saturday Feb. 27th starting at 5P ET.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: SNL/NBC

New Saturday Night Live cast members often struggle to make an impression. But not Kate McKinnon. She’s been the MVP of SNL since, well, pretty much her first episode, and never looked back. In four short years she’s gone from an unknown, first plying her wares for Logo’s The Big Gay Sketch Show, to a Ghostbuster. She’s been nominated for three Emmys, and will be cohosting the 2016 Spirit Awards with Kumail Nanjiani on Feb. 27th at 5P ET on IFC. To get you ready for Kate’s big cohosting gig, here are ten of her most drop dead funny SNL characters . Watch these, and tell us she isn’t the next big thing in comedy.

10. Hillary Clinton

McKinnon isn’t the first comedian to play Hillary Clinton, and if things work out for the former First Lady this November, she won’t be the last. But her spin on the Democratic frontrunner, who doesn’t understand why the people won’t just let her lead, is so spot on, even Hillary had to stop by and give her a scalding hot vodka along with some props.


9. Alien Abductee

For a recent sketch, this character is already approaching cult status. Playing a poor woman snatched by a bunch of aliens with some odd fetishes, McKinnon nailed it so hard, host Ryan Gosling could barely get through the sketch. Here’s hoping this high-waisted chain smoker gets to see God next time, and not just be dumped on the roof of a Long John Silver’s with her coot coot and prune shoot hanging out.


8. Justin Bieber

Listen girl, don’t nobody tell us that McKinnon doesn’t own this Justin Bieber impression. Playing the Biebs as a cocky little twerp who loves to seduce the ladies between naps, she nailed the King Joffrey of pop music so hard, he had to go on a year long apology tour.


7. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

McKinnon’s impression of Ginsburg paints the 82-year-old Supreme Court Justice as the Queen of Insult Comedy. Nobody’s safe, from the state of Kentucky to that the late Justice Scalia, when the “Gins-Burns”start up. Thankfully, when the Grim Reaper came for young Ruth, she punched his lights out and stole his robe, so she isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.


6. Sheila Sovage

Broadway Video

It doesn’t get much darker than poor Sheila, who turns last call into a playground of regret. McKinnon told Seth Meyers that she and the hosts often share a silent moment of reflection after these sketches, knowing they shared something truly horrible. If ever you need a definition of going for it in comedy, look no further than this nightmare of tongues and hairlines.


5. Ellen DeGeneres

McKinnon is a master mimic. Just look at her impression of Ellen, which can be hard to tell from the real thing. Somehow, SNL‘s take on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, full of vanilla rap songs and puppy dog writers, is spot on, and yet oddly more entertaining.


4. Penelope Cruz

Broadway Video

Broadway Video

Kate came out swinging in her very first episode of SNL, when she played Penelope Cruz as a shampoo pitch person in way over her head. Her ability to turn nonsense words into laughs, while still nailing a pitch perfect impression, announced that the next big SNL star had arrived.


3. Mrs. Santini

Broadway Video

Broadway Video

And then there’s Mrs. Santini, “Weekend Update” host Colin Jost’s nosy neighbor. Just because she can’t stand the other tenants in her building doesn’t mean she has to be rude about it. A nice note will always make your point, whether you’re thanking the “elephant family” upstairs, or the parents who apparently gave birth to a car alarm.


2. Olya Povlatsky

Broadway Video

Oh poor Olya, the Russian villager who wakes up crying and can’t throw herself into the sea because the line is too long. McKinnon has a rare ability to turn the desperate and intense into comedic gold, notably with her impressions of Hillary Clinton, and Angela Merkel. But no one is more desperate than poor Olya, who knows just what song she wants played at her funeral — “At Last.”


1. German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Broadway Video

Another in McKinnon’s series of sad sacks in pantsuits, poor Angela would have the world by the string, if it weren’t for all those moron Heads of State. Why do they always seem to be having so much more fun than she is? McKinnon’s brilliance is in finding the perfect angle for a character, allowing a bland German bureaucrat to become a deeply sympathetic gal who loves her some Nickelback and just wants to Google “Jason Segel shirtless” in peace.

Check out Kate McKinnon and Kumail Nanjiani proving they’re the best team to host the 2016 Spirit Awards.

IFC_ComedyCrib_ThePlaceWeLive_SeriesImage_web

SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

via GIPHY

IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

Neurotica_105_MPX-1920×1080

New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

Posted by on

Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

IFC_CC_Neurotica_Series_Image4

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

Neurotica_series_image_1

IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

via GIPHY

Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

via GIPHY

And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.