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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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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…