How Kate McKinnon Gets Ready To Play Hillary Clinton On SNL

The work of a Saturday Night Live performer is never done, especially if celebrity impressions are your bread and butter on the show, like Kate McKinnon. Here's how she gets ready to play Hillary Clinton when the politician's presence is needed on the show, and it turns out that it may be a simpler process than what you might have imagined. All it takes, really, is a lot of repetition.

Kate McKinnon spoke to the Today show recently about her prep work for playing Hillary Clinton on SNL, and it sounds like watching Monday night's big debate was a huge part of her homework for playing Clinton on the upcoming season.

We're watching from the office, as a group. This is our work --- this is the work of being an American citizen --- and so we're going to do it together in the office... Whenever I do watch her, I repeat all the sentences that she says --- so yes, there will be some of that.

Well, of course watching the first big political debate between the two main candidates was a big deal for the cast and writers of Saturday Night Live. Many would argue that the show is at its best when it finds ways (usually pretty easily) to skewer politicians during election years, and this has been one of the craziest election years since the show began. Obviously, the debate was a big deal, as they'll likely be using it to fuel material for at least one sketch during the Season 42 premiere this Saturday.

Seeing as how political sketches are a big deal on SNL, Kate McKinnon will have to constantly keep her Hillary Clinton game up during the season. It's not impossible, with the election being so close now, that she could be called upon to play the presidential candidate on a weekly basis. So, it just makes good sense for her to prep by watching the debate, and, I bet, any interview of Clinton that she can, to get the woman's speech patterns and mannerisms down as much as possible. It would seem that the best way to realistically mimic someone who's in the public eye would be to watch them and repeat what they say and do as often as you can.

In Kate McKinnon's short time on SNL, she's already become one of the show's currently best loved performers. She's known for her celebrity impersonations, which range from Clinton to Justin Bieber, Ellen DeGeneres, Shakira and Keith Urban. McKinnon has also been nominated for three Emmys for her work on SNL, winning this year for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

Season 42 of SNL is already shaping up to be a good one. With the election just a few weeks away, a new actor lined up to play Donald Trump on the show, and Kate McKinnon studying up for her part as Hillary Clinton on the legendary sketch program, things are looking like they couldn't get any funnier.

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.