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Saturday Night Live Alum Kate McKinnon Reflects On The Sketches That Made Her Feel The Most ‘Connected’ To The Audience

Saturday Night Live lost Kate McKinnon and more stars earlier this summer, a development that saddened many viewers who loved her chameleon nature and hilarious characters. It’s only been a few months since she departed the late-night institution, but McKinnon is already reminiscing about her time on the show. And in a recent interview, she got candid about the sketches that made her feel most "connected" to the audience.

The Joe vs. Carole star spilled about her favorite SNL moments while being interviewed on Vulture's comedy podcast, Good One (opens in new tab). Though McKinnon enjoyed her time on the sketch comedy show and got to play a cavalcade of characters, she revealed doing weekly sketches has its limitations. She specifically felt the format didn’t allow those characters to grow, though she acknowledged that there were times in which she felt a firm link to the people for who she was performing. When discussing said moments, she named one major moment from 2016 that many viewers surely remember: 

I will share two moments when I felt most connected. One was after Hillary [Clinton] had lost [the 2016 Presidential election], and the cold open was me playing 'Hallelujah' on the piano. I felt that for the people for whom that was a tragic event, I felt very connected in a very real way.

The Hilary Clinton cold open was one of the actress' most memorable performances, as it hit just the right note after the 2016 Presidential election. Of course, the audience already loved the SNL alum’s impression of the Democratic nominee, but one can't deny that there was a sweetness to her solemn take on "Hallelujah." That's certainly a major moment, but the second that she brought up is arguably just as big if not bigger. The SNL alum went on to reminisce about the first time she played the outrageous Colleen Rafferty:

I also felt really connected that first time when I did the alien abduction sketch. [It was] a completely different experience, people were laughing instead of crying. And yet, the same recognition of, like, ‘We're all in this together, guys. We all feel the same way about something.’

Kate McKinnon's impeccable comedic timing and willingness to become the humorously traumatized alien abductee made every one of her appearances funnier than the last. SNL's alien abduction sketches, which have interesting backstory, could be tough to pull off, if one had lesser performers. But McKinnon more than pulled it off, and it's quite impressive that she was able to make the audience buy into the idea of a such an eclectic character like Collen Rafferty. Given how synonymous she is with the character, it was only fitting that McKinnon reprised the role for her final episode of the show.

Despite any limitations, the star does seem to hold sketches in high regard. Skits allow the audience to observe something as “show and tell,” according to the comedic actress. Having those moments was a delight for her, as she and the audience shared both human behavior and humor during the moment. All in all, the Bubble star called doing weekly sketch comedy the “greatest experience.” 

Kate McKinnon has since explained that she left SNL due to her body being "tired" from the constant grind. Since leaving the late-night institution, McKinnon has already moved on to what's next. She can be heard in DC League of Super-Pets as the supervillain guinea pig Lulu. She already has roles lined up with the Barbie movie and a screen adaptation of the children’s book The Lunch Witch. The fan-favorite star is bound to line up other major projects down the line, which should allow her to further connect with audiences the same way she did on the NBC series.

Fans can revisit Kate McKinnon's best SNL sketches by streaming them with a Peacock Premium subscription.

Adreon Patterson
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A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).