Kate McKinnon Berthold
January 6, 1984
Sea Cliff, New York, U.S.
|Education||Columbia University (BA)|
Kate McKinnon Berthold (born January 6, 1984) is an American actress, comedian, and writer. She is known for her character work and celebrity impressions on the sketch comedy series The Big Gay Sketch Show (2007–2010) and Saturday Night Live (2012–present). McKinnon has appeared in films such as Balls Out (2014), Ghostbusters (2016), Office Christmas Party (2016), Rough Night (2017), The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018), Yesterday (2019), and Bombshell (2019).
McKinnon has been nominated for nine Primetime Emmy Awards, including one for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics and eight for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, winning in 2016 and 2017.
McKinnon was born and raised in the Long Island town of Sea Cliff, New York, to Laura Campbell, a parent educator, and Michael Thomas Berthold, an architect. She has a younger sister, comedian Emily Lynne, with whom she has collaborated on the Audible series Heads Will Roll, as well as the digital series Notary Publix. Their father died when Kate McKinnon was 18 years old.
McKinnon's knack for accents began when she was in fifth grade. She auditioned to be "the queen of reading week" and used an English accent. In an interview with Rolling Stone, she says, "I think the genesis of my entire life, probably, was the smiles I elicited doing this British accent. I've been chasing that dragon ever since."
She graduated from North Shore High School in 2002, and from Columbia University in 2006 with a degree in theatre. There she co-founded a comedy group, Tea Party, that focused on musical improv comedy. At Columbia, she starred in three Varsity shows: V109 Dial D for Deadline, V110 Off-Broadway and V111 The Sound of Muses. She was also a member of Prangstgrüp, a student comedy group which set up and recorded elaborate college pranks.
Since 2008, she has performed live sketch comedy regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. She has also worked as a voice-over actress, and has voiced characters for series such as The Venture Bros., Robotomy, and Ugly Americans. In 2009, McKinnon won a Logo NewNowNext Award for Best Rising Comic. She was nominated for an ECNY Emerging Comic Award in 2010. In 2014, she appeared in the Kennedy Center Honors as part of a tribute to Lily Tomlin. In 2016, she starred in the reboot Ghostbusters, alongside Melissa McCarthy, and fellow SNL cast members Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones. In 2017, McKinnon is attached to star in Amblin Entertainment's Lunch Witch, an adaptation of a young adult graphic novel by Deb Lucke. She has been set to play the title role of Grunhilda, an out-of-work witch who takes a job in a school cafeteria to make ends meet.
McKinnon has made appearances as a voice actress in series like The Simpsons (as Hettie in season 27, episode 14 "Gal of Constant Sorrow") and Family Guy (a voice in season 14, episode 15 "An App a Day", as Karen / Heavy Flo in season 14, episode 6 "Peter's Sister", and a voice in season 15, episode 9 "How the Griffin Stole Christmas"), and films such as Finding Dory (as Stan's fish wife), The Angry Birds Movie (as Stella / Eva the Birthday Mom) and Ferdinand (as Lupe). McKinnon currently voices the character of Ms. Frizzle in the reboot of the Magic School Bus children's series. McKinnon also voices Squeeks the Mouse In The PBS Kids TV Series Nature Cat.
McKinnon is known for her character work and celebrity impressions of pop singer Justin Bieber, comedian television host Ellen DeGeneres, and numerous political figures, including Hillary Clinton, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Senator Lindsey Graham, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Kellyanne Conway, Robert Mueller, Angela Merkel, and Rudy Giuliani. She has been nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards, including one for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics and six for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, winning in 2016 and 2017.
Saturday Night Live
McKinnon joined the cast of Saturday Night Live as a featured player on April 7, 2012, following a March 28, 2012, report of her being hired. She was promoted to repertory status in season 39 in 2013.
In 2013, McKinnon was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Comedy. McKinnon won the 2014 American Comedy Award for Best Supporting Actress, TV for her work on SNL. In 2014, she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, as well as for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics along with four of her colleagues for the song "(Do It On My) Twin Bed". She was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the second time in 2015. She won the following year, becoming the first actor from SNL to win the award since Dana Carvey in 1993.
McKinnon began appearing as Hillary Clinton on the series leading up to the 2016 presidential election. The real Clinton appeared alongside her in a sketch during the show's season 41 premiere. McKinnon has said that her impression of Hillary Clinton comes from a deep admiration, and that she "unequivocally want[ed] her to win" the 2016 presidential election. On November 12, 2016, which was the first show after Clinton's loss in the election, she reprised the role to open the show with a solo performance of "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen, whose death was announced two days before her performance. After the election, McKinnon began to impersonate Kellyanne Conway alongside Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump. On February 11, 2017, she debuted her impression of Elizabeth Warren during Weekend Update and Jeff Sessions in the cold open.
Saturday Night Live characters
This section needs additional citations for verification. (March 2021)
- Olya Povlatsky, a Russian woman who voices her opinions on current events, comparing them to the outrageous struggles she faces in her village. She also appeared in a cold open with Beck Bennett as Vladimir Putin reading a prepared statement against her will.
- Sheila Sovage, a heavily intoxicated woman at a bar who meets and hooks up with a heavily intoxicated man or woman, played by the host, at closing time.
- Jodi Cork, The Art of the Encounter and Women in the Workplace co-host with Donna Fingerneck (played by Cecily Strong).
- Barbara DeDrew, a lesbian volunteer at the cat shelter Whiskers R We.
- Deenie, a.k.a. "Somebody's Mom", a middle-aged woman who attempts to recap shows she's been watching, but only knows the characters by self-applied nicknames, such as "Big Boobs" and "Mustache". She is always eating some foul concoction out of Tupperware, such as Brussels sprouts and imitation crab, which generally both revolts and breaks up Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost. The character is based on longtime SNL writer Paula Pell's mother.
- Mrs. Santini, an apartment dweller who writes passive-aggressive notes to her neighbors. Originally performed as Effie Villalopolus on Comedy Bang! Bang!
- Colleen Rafferty, a twenty-seven-year-old woman (despite looking middle-aged, impliedly due to her repeated traumas) who appears in panels with two of her friends (played by Cecily Strong as a hippie named Sharon, alongside the episode's host). The three friends recount their experience of a shared paranormal event (such as being abducted by aliens, having a near-death experience, discovering that Santa Claus is real, being visited by ghosts, and discovering that time travel is possible). The other two friends always have an idyllic experience, while Rafferty instead goes through a different, traumatic experience during the event and invariably loses her pants.
- Les Dykawitz, a lesbian cop from the 1970s who works for Chicago PD along with her partner Chubina Fatzarelli (played by Aidy Bryant) in "Dyke & Fats".
- Debette Goldry, a senile elderly actress whose harsh experiences with being an actress in old Hollywood (including the on-going issues of equal pay, sexual harassment and abuse, racial diversity in film roles, and actresses getting involved behind the camera as directors and writers) are more outrageous than what modern actresses have gone through.
- A member of Woodbridge High School's theatre troupe who make their performances obsessively and solely about social justice issues that they know very little about.
- Noelle LeSoup, the co-host of the French show "America's Funniest Cats" who appears on the American version of the show along with Joelle LaRue (played by Cecily Strong).
- Shud, a crass mermaid who is based on a blobfish, and makes sexual advances on an unfortunate marooned sailor.
- Dr Wayne Wenowdis, a strangely accented middle-aged medical doctor, who debuted in 2020, as part of the Weekend Update segment with Colin Jost.
- Madame Vivelda, a fortune teller who predicts people's 2020 experiences
Saturday Night Live impressions
- Julian Assange
- Iggy Azalea
- Joy Behar
- Barbara Corcoran
- Ingrid Bergman
- Mary Berry
- Justin Bieber
- Mika Brzezinski
- Theresa Caputo
- Liz Cheney
- Emilia Clarke
- Hillary Clinton
- Kellyanne Conway
- Penelope Cruz
- Ellen DeGeneres
- Betsy DeVos
- Robert Durst
- Elizabeth II
- Anthony Fauci
- Jodie Foster
- Cecilia Giménez
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Rudy Giuliani
- Lindsey Graham
- Savannah Guthrie
- Bella Hadid
- Laura Ingraham
- Billie Jean King
- Heidi Klum
- Lisa Kudrow
- Lori Loughlin
- Jane Lynch
- Theresa May
- Frances McDormand
- Angela Merkel
- Nancy Pelosi
- Ann Romney
- Wilbur Ross
- Jeff Sessions
- Maggie Smith
- Martha Stewart
- Tilda Swinton
- Greta Thunberg
- Keith Urban
- Greta Van Susteren
- Elizabeth Warren
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Work as a creator
Aside from SNL, McKinnon also co-created and co-stars in the web series Notary Publix with her sister Emily Lynne. 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.
McKinnon and Lynne also created and released the fantasy-comedy Audible audio series Heads Will Roll, which premiered in May 2019. The show features guest appearances from Meryl Streep, Peter Dinklage, Audra McDonald, Bob the Drag Queen, Queer Eye's Fab Five, and Tim Gunn. Additionally, many of McKinnon's SNL co-stars are featured, including Aidy Bryant, Alex Moffat, Heidi Gardner and Chris Redd.
McKinnon is in a relationship with photographer and actress Jackie Abbott. While presenting Ellen DeGeneres with the Carol Burnett Award at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards, McKinnon opened up about being a lesbian and thanked DeGeneres for making it less scary for her to accept her sexual orientation while watching her TV sitcom Ellen. While attending Columbia University, she dated future journalist Bari Weiss.
McKinnon has a cat, Nino Positano—named after a pizza restaurant where he was found—whom she jokingly refers to as her son. Nino recently appeared in a "Whiskers R We" sketch filmed from McKinnon's home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, playing the role of all the cats up for adoption.
She does not have any social media accounts, citing fear that she will "misrepresent [her] real feelings".
|2010||Mr. Ross||Debby||Short film|
|2011||Elizabeth Taylor's Video Will||Elizabeth Taylor||Short film|
|Pudding Face||Amy||Short film|
|2012||My Best Day||Heather|
|Hannah Has a Ho-Phase||Nicky|
|Balls Out||Vicky Albrecht|
|2015||Giant Sloth||Nina||Voice role|
|Staten Island Summer||Mrs. Bandini Jr.|
|2016||The Angry Birds Movie||Stella / Eva||Voice roles; Cameo|
|Finding Dory||Inez||Voice role|
|Ghostbusters||Dr. Jillian Holtzmann|
|Office Christmas Party||Mary Winetoss|
|Leap!||Régine Le Haut / Felicie's Mother / Mother Superior||Voice roles|
|2018||Irreplaceable You||Glass Half Full Kate|
|The Spy Who Dumped Me||Morgan Freeman|
|2020||The Magic School Bus Rides Again: Kids in Space||Miss Fiona Frizzle||Voice role|
|2022||DC League of Super-Pets||TBA||Voice role; in production|
|TBA||The Lunch Witch||Grunhilda||Announced|
|2007–2010||The Big Gay Sketch Show||Various||23 episodes|
|2008||Mayne Street||Olga Svenson||Episode: "Parking Tickets"|
|2010||We Have to Stop Now||Angela||Episode: "Celesbianism"|
|2010||Concierge: The Series||Mary||3 episodes|
|2010||Vag Magazine||Bethany||6 episodes|
|2010–2011||Robotomy||Additional voices||5 episodes|
|2010–2016||The Venture Bros.||Nikki and Margaret Fictel / Additional voices||10 episodes|
|2011||The Back Room||Susan Boyle||Episode: "Todd Barry"|
|2011||The 40-Year-Old 20-Year-Old||Kate||5 episodes|
|2012–present||Saturday Night Live||Various||Main cast|
|2012||Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday||Various||2 episodes|
|2013||Toy Story of Terror!||PEZ Cat (voice)||Television 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"|
|2014–2015||The Awesomes||Lola Gold / Additional voices||7 episodes|
|2015||China, IL||Sunshine (voice)||5 episodes|
|2015||The Spoils Before Dying||Dallas Boudreaux||Episode: "That's Jazz"|
|2015||Difficult People||Abra Cadouglas||Episode: "Pledge Week"|
|2015||Moonbeam City||Panache Miller (voice)||Episode: "Lasers and Liars"|
|2015–2016||Family Guy||Karen Griffin / Additional voices||3 episodes|
|2015–present||Nature Cat||Squeeks (voice)||31 episodes|
|2016||31st Independent Spirit Awards||Herself (host)||Television special|
|2016||Maya & Marty||Heidi Cruz||Episode: "Jimmy Fallon & Miley Cyrus"|
|2016||The Simpsons||Hettie Mae Boggs (voice)||Episode: "Gal of Constant Sorrow"|
|2017||Friends from College||Shawna||Episode: "All-Nighter"|
|The Magic School Bus Rides Again||Fiona Felicity Frizzle (voice)||Main role|
|2018||Sesame Street||Mother Goose||Episode: "Elmo's Nursery Rhyme"|
|2019||Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner||Herself|||
|TBA||Joe Exotic||Carole Baskin|||
|2015||LEGO Dimensions||Dr. Jillian Holtzmann|
|2019||Heads Will Roll||Queen Mortunana of the Night Realm||Co-creator and star|
Awards and nominations
- LGBT culture in New York City
- List of LGBT people from New York City
- Saturday Night Live parodies of Hillary Clinton
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Berthold (under the stage name of Kate McKinnon — her "gentler" middle name)...
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2002 North Shore High School grad Kathryn Berthold was voted "Funniest" and "Most Theatrical" by her fellow seniorsCS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
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Also a former fixture of the comedy scene is the dearly departed Prangstgrüp, which staged pranks and performances, kind of like Improv Everywhere. Kate 'McKinnon' Berthold of SNL was a member.
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...UCB's McKinnon, will make her debut on SNL's next show next Saturday hosted by Sofia Vergara
- April 7 - Sofía Vergara: S37 E18 04/06/12. Saturday Night Live. NBC. Event occurs at 06:42. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
Featuring Vanessa Bayer, Taran Killam, Kate McKinnon, Jay Pharoah.
- May 18 - Ben Affleck: S38 E21 05/18/13. Saturday Night Live. NBC. Event occurs at 04:42. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
With Fred Armisen, Vanessa Bayer, Bill Hader, Taran Killam, Seth Meyers, Bobby Moynihan, Nasim Pedrad, Jay Pharoah, Jason Sudeikis, Kenan Thompson. Featuring Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Tim Robinson, Cecily Strong.
- September 28 - Tina Fey: S39 E1 09/28/13. Saturday Night Live. NBC. Event occurs at 07:10.
With Vanessa Bayer, Aidy Bryant, Taran Killam, Kate McKinnon, Seth Meyers, Bobby Moynihan, Nasim Pedrad, Jay Pharoah, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson. Featuring Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney…
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