What's that sound? It's the noise of countless internet trolls registering their displeasure! Yes, Ghostbusters – the much-maligned but really quite magnificent female reboot thereof – comes to Sky Cinema this week, and introduces star Kate McKinnon to the world. The best thing produced by Saturday Night Live in years, McKinnon is the next big comedy star in the making, so to celebrate her arrival, we rounded up her 10 funniest SNL sketches so far.
Hillary Clinton Bar Talk
SNL comedians areonly as popular as the characters they play, and if they're lucky enough to play a recurring politician as McKinnon did with Hillary Clinton, it could end up defining them. McKinnon played Hillary several times throughout the US presidential campaign, including this memorable sketch opposite the real Clinton, here playing humble barkeep 'Val'. It's not that the impression is great, more that it's played with just a hint of wide-eyed lunacy, the kind of which you hope might be hiding deep down inside poor old Hillary.
Casablanca alternate ending
This alternate ending from classic 1942 drama Casablanca casts JK Simmons as Rick Blaine and McKinnon as Elsa,but with a twist – this time, the mere mention of the word “concentration camp” kinda makes Elsa's mind up on the spot. Cue McKinnon doing her best Ingrid Bergman impression (“Oh nooo, Richard, nooo”), desperate to cut short Rick's noble speech so she can get up in the air (“I don't want to turn around and not see a plane behind me”). Byeeeee!
Justin Bieber – My Calvins
Justin Bieber is ripe for impersonation and Kate McKinnon was up the task, transforming herself from a 33-year-old woman into a 20-something man-child as he shoots his Calvin Klein commercials. “All this underwear is making me tired,” moans McBieber, as he runs around the set like a child on caffeine, attempting to prank his model co-star. It's funny because you know the real Bieber is exactly like this (just not half as entertaining).
Jeff Sessions is Forrest Gump
Proof that she can play absolutely anyone, McKinnon played Alabama-born 70-year-old Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a parody of Forrest Gump. Sessions – the controversial Trump-appointed Attorney who may have perjured himself by lying about his meetings with the Russian ambassador – likes the play the humble hick card, despite the fact his past is littered with racist allegations. “Life is like a box of chocolates...” says McKinnon's AG. “There sure are a whole lot of brown ones in there.”
Some of the best Kate McKinnon sketches are just plain silly ones. Here, she plays one third of a trio of mermaids, opposite castmate Cecily Strong and guest host Ariana Grande. The only problem is, McKinnon's mermaid Shud is “working with about 35% woman, 65% blobfish” - and, worryingly, looks exactly like Mike from Breaking Bad. McKinnon keeps a straight face under those prosthetics, but funniest of all is the fact you can just about make out magical mystical mermaid Shud is wearing tracksuit bottoms on her bottom half.
“What floor were you guys on?” Kate McKinnon plays Miss Rafferty, an alien abduction survivor who had a decidedly different close encounter from her friends. While Ryan Gosling had aliens reveal every emotion in his head, and Cecily Strong was bathed in a robe of pure light, poor old Miss Rafferty was left pantsless and had her knockers slapped around by 40 grey aliens with fat eyes (“I don't think I was dealing with the top brass”). The cast corpsing is what elevates this sketch from a great one to a classic one.
Kellyanne Conway's Fatal Attraction
With Hillary walking off her electoral defeat in the woods, McKinnon applied her impersonation skills to the next most iconic woman of the election – Donald Trump's spokesperson Kellyanne Conway. McKinnon perfectly captures the vocal tics and the hair flicks, but taps into the reservoir of insanity that's clearly running deep in Conway's soul – casting her as a Fatal Attraction-style femme fatale opposite CNN anchor Jake Tapper was a masterstroke. “I just want to be on the news, Jake!”
It feels like a skit that could have been made any time in the last 30 years, but Kate McKinnon's performance as humble Russian villager Olya Povlatsky is one that remains funny no matter the era. In her Weekend Update appearance alongside Seth Meyers in the week of the Winter Olympics, Olya tells the American people what living in Vladimir Putin's Russia is really like: “I have been to Sochi one time. It was to throw myself into sea. But I could not do it because the line was too long.”
Another political figure falls under Kate McKinnon's reign, this time German chancellor Angela Merkel. The writing in this Weekend Update is brilliant but it's McKinnon's commitment to the bit that makes it shine. We particularly love Angela's sadness that she'll never be 'besties' with Hillary (“We'd do each other's makeup... just chapstick unt sunblock”) and her German scream (“In Germany, we shout our problems into our stomachs”).
Actress Round Table
Meet Debette Goldry, star of stage and screen for over 80 years, and lead in that movie where Clark Gable hits her with a shovel. McKinnon plays the octogenarian just the right side of crazy: watch how guest host Margot Robbie fails to conceal her laughter as Debette reels off anecdotes about how she once stripped for Nazis and ended up married to a homosexual chimp: “I did what I had to do to support our troops, sweetheart.”