Kate McKinnon

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Kate McKinnon
Born Kate McKinnon Berthold[1][2]
(1984-01-06) January 6, 1984 (age 32)
Sea Cliff, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress, voice actress, comedian
Years active 2006–present

Kate McKinnon Berthold[1][2] (born January 6, 1984), commonly known as Kate McKinnon, is an American actress, voice actress, and comedian. She is best known for her sketch comedy work as a cast member on Saturday Night Live and The Big Gay Sketch Show.[3] She is cast as Jillian Holtzmann in the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters.

McKinnon is known for her strong character work[4] and celebrity impressions.[5] She is known for her impressions of pop singer Justin Bieber, comedian and television host Ellen DeGeneres, politician Hillary Clinton[6] and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.[7] She has been nominated for three Primetime Emmys, two for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and one for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics.

Early life[edit]

Kate McKinnon Berthold was born and raised in Sea Cliff, New York.[1][8] She is the daughter of Laura Campbell, a parent educator, and Michael Thomas Berthold, an architect.[9][10][11] She has a younger sister, Emily.[1][11] Her father died when she was 18 years old.[1][10]

As a child, McKinnon played the piano, cello, and guitar. She graduated from North Shore High School in 2002[12] and from Columbia University in 2006, where she co-founded a comedy group, Tea Party, which focused on musical improv comedy.[1][2]


In 2007, McKinnon joined the original cast of the Logo Network's Big Gay Sketch Show, where she was a cast member on the series for all three seasons.[4] Among her best-known characters was Fitzwilliam, a British boy whose only wish is to have a vagina.[13]

Since 2008, she has performed live sketch comedy regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City.[4][14] She has also worked as a voiceover actress, and has voiced characters for series such as The Venture Brothers, Robotomy, and Ugly Americans.[13][14] In 2009 McKinnon won a Logo NewNowNext Award for Best Rising Comic.[15] She was nominated for an ECNY Emerging Comic Award in 2010.[4] In January 2015, she was cast in the reboot of Ghostbusters, in which she co-stars with fellow SNL cast members Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones.[16]

Saturday Night Live[edit]

McKinnon debuted as a featured player on Saturday Night Live on April 7, 2012. She is SNL's first openly lesbian cast member,[17] as well as the series' third known gay cast member (after Terry Sweeney and Danitra Vance, the latter of whose sexual orientation was not made public until after her death).[18]

In 2013, McKinnon was nominated for an EWwy for Best Supporting Actress, Comedy.[19] McKinnon won the 2014 American Comedy Award for Best Supporting Actress, TV for her work on SNL.[20] In 2014 she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series,[21] as well as for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics along with four of her colleagues for the song "(Do It On My) Twin Bed".[22] She was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the second time in 2015.[23]

She began appearing as Hillary Clinton on the show leading up to the 2016 presidential election. The real Clinton appeared alongside her in a sketch during the show's Season 41 premiere.[24]


  • Olya Povlatsky, a Russian woman who appears on Weekend Update and voices her opinions on current events, comparing them to the outrageous struggles she faces in her village.
  • Sheila Sauvage, a heavily intoxicated woman at a bar who meets and hooks up with a heavily intoxicated man, played by the host, at closing time.
  • Jodi Cork, one of the hosts of Women in the Workplace
  • Barbara DeDrew, a lesbian volunteer at a Cat Shelter called Whiskers R We
  • Mrs. Santini, an apartment dweller who writes passive-aggressive notes to her neighbors. Originally performed as Effie Villalopolus on Comedy Bang! Bang!

Celebrity Impressions[edit]

Other work[edit]

Aside from SNL, she also co-created and co-stars in the web series Notary Publix with her sister, Emily Lynne.[25][26] In addition to Aidy Bryant, who stars in the series, McKinnon's SNL co-stars Beck Bennett, Jay Pharoah and SNL writer Paula Pell all guest starred in the six-episode first season of the web series.[25]



Year Title Role Notes
2010 Mr. Ross Debby Short film
2011 Elizabeth Taylor's Video Will Elizabeth Taylor Short film
2011 Pudding Face Amy Short film
2012 My Best Day Heather
2012 Hannah Has a Ho-Phase Nicky
2014 Life Partners Trace
2014 Balls Out Vicky
2015 Giant Sloth Nina Short film
2015 Ted 2 Herself Cameo
2015 Sisters Sam
2016 Masterminds Jandice Post-production
2016 The Angry Birds Movie Stella (voice)
2016 Ghostbusters Jillian Holtzmann Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Mayne Street Olga Svenson Episode: "Parking Tickets"
2010 We Have to Stop Now Angela Episode: "Celesbianism"
2006–2010 The Big Gay Sketch Show Various 23 episodes
2010 Vag Magazine Bethany 6 episodes
2010–2011 Robotomy Various voices 5 episodes
2010–2013 The Venture Bros. Various voices 4 episodes
2011 The Back Room Susan Boyle Episode: "Todd Barry"
2012 Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday Voter, Ann Romney, Woman 2 episodes
2012–present Saturday Night Live Herself, Various Main cast
2013 Toy Story of Terror PEZ Cat (voice) TV special
2013 Hudson Valley Ballers Just Jamie 2 episodes
2014 Comedy Bang! Bang! Effie Villalopolus Episode: "Nick Offerman Wears a Green Flannel Shirt & Brown Boots"
2014 The Awesomes Lola "The Agravator" Gold (voice) Recurring role
2015 The Spoils Before Dying Dallas Boudreaux[27] Miniseries
2015 Difficult People Abra Cadouglas[28] Episode: "Pledge Week"[29]
2015 Family Guy Karen Griffin (voice) Episode: "Peter's Sister"
2015 Nature Cat Squeeks Voice
2015 Moonbeam City Panache Miller (voice) Episode: "Lasers and Liars"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2012 Ashland Independent Film Festival Award Special Jury Mention for Acting Ensemble: Feature My Best Day Won
2014 American Comedy Award[30] Comedy Supporting Actress – TV Saturday Night Live Won
2014 Dorian Award[31] Wilde Wit of the Year Nominated
2014 Primetime Emmy Award[32] Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Saturday Night Live Nominated
2014 Primetime Emmy Award[32] Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics Saturday Night Live for "Home For The Holiday (Twin Bed)" Nominated
2015 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Saturday Night Live Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Shuster, Yelena (March–April 2007). "One Funny Voice at a Time". Columbia College Today. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Gay, Verne (March 29, 2012). "Kate McKinnon joining 'SNL' cast". Newsday. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Cast Bios: Kate McKinnon". NBC.com. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d McGlynn, Katla (29 March 2012). "Kate McKinnon Joining 'SNL' As Featured Player". Huffington Post. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Kate McKinnon: Who is SNL's first open lesbian cast member?". The Week. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  6. ^ Hanks, Henry (March 9, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' takes on Hillary Clinton email controversy". CNN. 
  7. ^ "Watch Angela Merkel Sketches From SNL Played By Kate McKinnon - NBC.com". nbc.com. 
  8. ^ "Kate McKinnon Bio Repertory Player Saturday Night Live NBC". Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Columbia College Today". College.columbia.edu. 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  10. ^ a b "Obituaries". Antonnews.com. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  11. ^ a b Marcelle S. Fischler (2000-05-14). "LONG ISLAND JOURNAL; Impossibly Appealing Views of Main Street - New York Times". Long Island (Ny): Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  12. ^ "Kate McKinnon returning to North Shore High School for fundraiser". Newsday. 2013-05-29. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  13. ^ a b Vary, Adam B. (30 March 2012). "Kate McKinnon to join 'Saturday Night Live'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Kate Mckinnon". Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  15. ^ Warn, Sarah (21 May 2009). "2009 NewNowNext Awards". AfterEllen. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  16. ^ Warn, Sarah (21 May 2009). ""GHOSTBUSTERS" Reboot Adds Cast, Release Date". Fangoria. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  17. ^ Gilchrist, Tracy E. (April 8, 2012). "SNL's First Out Lesbian Featured Player Kate McKinnon Makes Splash with Penelope Cruz Pantene Sketch". SheWired (Here Media). Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  18. ^ Brantley, Ben (August 23, 1994). "Danitra Vance, 35, an Actress; Worked at Shakespeare Festival - New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  19. ^ Bierly, Mandi (2013-09-13). "EWwy Awards 2013: Meet Your 10 Winners!". EW.com. Retrieved 2015-06-22. 
  20. ^ Bendix, Trish (May 9, 2014). "Watch now! Kate McKinnon wins American Comedy Award - AfterEllen.com". AfterEllen.com. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  21. ^ Jacobs, Matthew (July 10, 2014). "Emmy Nominations 2014: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Orange Is The New Black' Among Top Nominees". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Kate McKinnon". Emmys.com. 
  23. ^ "67th Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners". Emmys.com. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  24. ^ Rosen, Christopher (4 October 2015). "Hillary Clinton mocks Donald Trump during SNL appearance". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  25. ^ a b Kumari Upadhyaya, Kayla (8 April 2015). "Kate McKinnon’s new web series is about notaries, because why not". A.V Club. Retrieved 22 June 2015. 
  26. ^ Schroeder, Audra (16 April 2015). "The best webseries from 'SNL' cast members". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 22 June 2015. 
  27. ^ Stephens, Emily L. (July 9, 2015). "The Spoils Before Dying: “That’s Jazz”/“Fear Steps In”". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  28. ^ Wiegand, David (August 1, 2015). "It’s not ‘Difficult’ to love Hulu’s new comedy". San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco). Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  29. ^ Planje, Alexa (August 13, 2015). "Difficult People: “Devil’s Three-way”/“Pledge Week”". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Amy Poehler, Seth Rogen win American Comedy Awards". Entertainment Weekly. May 9, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  31. ^ The Hollywood Reporter, January 9, 2013, by Gregg Kilday, "Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Announce Dorian Award Nominees"
  32. ^ a b "2014 Emmy Nominations: ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘True Detective’ Among the Honored". New York Times. July 10, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 

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