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Kate McKinnon: Talented Comedian and SNL Star

Full Name Kathryn McKinnon Berthold
Born January 6, 1984 (age 39) in Sea Cliff, New York, United States
Occupation Comedian, Actress, Writer
Years active 2007–present
Net worth $9 million
Twitter @nbcsnl
Instagram No public account

As a devoted Kate McKinnon fan, I’m thrilled to provide this in-depth introduction to one of comedy’s most talented rising stars. Ever since McKinnon joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2012, she has continuously impressed me with her versatility, commitment to character work, and fearless comedic instincts.

Early Life and Path to Comedy

McKinnon showed a passion for performing from a young age. She was born in 1984 and raised in the Long Island town of Sea Cliff, New York as the daughter of Laura Campbell, a parent educator, and Michael Thomas Berthold, an architect. As a child, McKinnon was obsessed with watching comedy films and sketch shows. She started taking theater classes in grade school and starred in stage productions all through high school.

After graduation, McKinnon attended Columbia University, where she earned a degree in theatre in 2006. At Columbia, she sang with comedy troupe Nonsequitur and studied with acclaimed acting coach Greta Seacat. Right after college, McKinnon began performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. This improv training ground set her on the path to comedic stardom.

Rise to Fame on Saturday Night Live

McKinnon’s big break came in 2012 when she was hired as a featured player on Saturday Night Live at age 28. She immediately stood out thanks to her silly original characters and uncanny impressions. After one year, she was promoted to full cast member.

Over the past decade, McKinnon has become one of SNL’s most vital cast members. Her willingness to make bold choices and commitment to fully inhabit each role has made her an audience favorite. Some of her most hilarious and spot-on impressions include:

  • Hillary Clinton
  • Kellyanne Conway
  • Angela Merkel
  • Rudy Giuliani
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Justin Bieber
  • Ellen DeGeneres
  • Jeff Sessions

She also shines with original personas like the wacky Olya Povlatsky and the cage-dancing Sheila Sovage. McKinnon perfectly balances absurdist and dry styles of humor.

For her work on SNL, McKinnon has won two Emmy awards and been nominated for 9 overall. Her ability to morph into any character and crack me up week after week is what I love most about this singular talent.

Film and Other TV Work

While best known for SNL, McKinnon has appeared in a wide array of television shows and films. She starred as the scene-stealing Jillian Holtzmann in the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot. Her acclaimed performance as Katya in 2019’s Bombshell earned McKinnon her first Oscar nomination. Other notable movie roles include Rough Night, The Spy Who Dumped Me, and the upcoming Barbie film.

McKinnon has also voiced characters in several animated films like Finding Dory and The Angry Birds Movie 2. She currently hosts the podcast Talkin’ Toons with Kate McKinnon where she interviews voice actors from cartoons. McKinnon’s impressive range allows her to smoothly transition between film, TV, and voiceover work.

Comedic Brilliance

McKinnon’s funniest moments come from her mastery of subtle humor. Her background in improv shines through in how she intricately develops quirks for each new character. McKinnon fine-tunes every gesture and line delivery for maximum comedic effect.

Her willingness to contort her voice and body in service of a character is reminiscent of legendary sketch comic Kristen Wiig. But McKinnon also brings her own contemporary sensibility. Her commitment to finding the humor in each role has made her one of the most gifted physical comedians working today.

Cultural Impact

As an openly gay cast member, McKinnon acts as an inspirational trailblazer in an entertainment industry that is gradually moving towards inclusion and representation. She normalizes LGBTQ+ identities through her joyful, laugh-out-loud performances that focus on our shared humanity.

McKinnon also represents women’s voices in comedy. She joins influential female SNL alums like Molly Shannon and Amy Poehler who paved the way for wider acceptance of women’s unconventional humor.

With her keen understanding of satire, McKinnon excels at using comedy to help audiences gain new perspectives on public figures and challenge preconceived notions. By adding empathy and depth to her impressions, she reminds us of the humanity behind the personas.

Why I Adore Kate McKinnon

As a longtime fan, here are just some of the reasons I am endlessly delighted by Kate McKinnon:

  • Her whimsical spirit and mischievous smile exude joy
  • She fully surrenders to each bizarre character with gusto
  • Her flair for physical comedy and spot-on voice work make her incredibly versatile
  • She consistently breathes new life into the sketch comedy format
  • Kate radiates an endearing down-to-earth charm offstage
  • Watching her invent and inhabit original personalities is fascinating
  • She perfectly balances smart satire with goofy absurdism

Kate McKinnon possesses that rare “star power” that makes it impossible to take your eyes off her. I cannot wait to see what she does next! Her best work still lies ahead.