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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.

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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.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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GIFs via Giphy

Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

via GIPHY

IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

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

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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