SNL's Kate McKinnon Had A Disastrous First Meeting With Beyoncé And Jay-Z

From 2012 to 2022, Kate McKinnon lent her unique comedic talents to "Saturday Night Live." With her portrayals of famous individuals like Justin Bieber, Rudy Giuliani,  and even Queen Elizabeth II, McKinnon's SNL skits still make us crack up. She's also appeared on the big screen in films like "Ghostbusters" and "Barbie."  But even though McKinnon is a celebrity in her own right, she still sometimes feels intimidated in the presence of other A-list stars.

The comedian was scheduled to present Ellen DeGeneres with the Carol Burnett Award at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards. Prior to the event, McKinnon discovered that she would be seated with DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi, Carol Burnett, Beyoncé, and Jay-Z. The actor was star-struck at the prospect of meeting Beyoncé and Jay-Z, whom she dubbed "The king and queen of America" when recapping the experience on "The Ellen Show."

Beyoncé and Jay-Z made their grand entrance an hour after the ceremony started, just as McKinnon was about to begin her presentation, and took their seats prior to Ellen accepting her award. When McKinnon returned to their table, her shyness prevailed. While the "SNL" alum's sister, who was her guest at the event, casually conversed with the living legends, McKinnon found herself speechless and was stuck looking down at her pants in embarrassment.

How McKinnon became good friends with Ellen DeGeneres

Although Kate McKinnon was reluctant to speak to Beyoncé and Jay-Z, acknowledging "I blew it" on "The Ellen Show," she delivered a heartfelt speech about Ellen DeGeneres with ease before presenting her with the Carol Burnett Award. McKinnon credited DeGeneres' historic coming out as a pivotal moment that helped her feel more comfortable about her own sexuality and the prospect of pursuing a TV career. 

Their friendship began in 2013. Degeneres was so charmed by McKinnon's impression of her that she invited the actor to perform on her talk show. McKinnon, who had revered the TV host for a long time, was shocked. "I was so nervous and weird and that was amazing that you called me," McKinnon reminisced during a 2022 appearance on "The Ellen Show." While she developed her impersonation, McKinnon took inspiration from DeGeneres' carefree dance style, which helped her overcome her own anxiety about dancing onstage.

Over the years, McKinnon made numerous appearances on DeGeneres' show. During a 2016 episode, the actor showed off her versions of both DeGeneres and Hillary Clinton, who was also a guest that day. McKinnon displayed her comfort with both women by standing next to them with her arms around their shoulders while performing her spot-on impersonations. Speaking as the talk show host, McKinnon greeted Clinton, before switching to her impression of the former presidential candidate. Clinton was particularly delighted with McKinnon's act, laughing and applauding her enthusiastically.

McKinnon is not the only celeb who's been spellbound by Beyoncé

Kate McKinnon isn't the only person who's felt overwhelmed in the presence of Beyoncé. Like McKinnon, model Chrissy Teigen was rendered speechless when she met Queen Bey after the 2020 Oscars. Teigen was so anxious that she couldn't stop staring at the music legend. Later, she felt compelled to apologize for her behavior on Instagram. However, unlike McKinnon, Teigen had met the singer before. "She just emits this aura that's spectacular," the cookbook author explained on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

During one of their earlier encounters, Teigen was so overcome with admiration that she knelt down and addressed the singer as "my queen." For "Game of Thrones" star Emilia Clarke, meeting Beyoncé was also an emotional experience. In 2019, Clarke attended a party hosted by Beyoncé and Jay-Z and, during the festivities, Bey approached the actor seemingly with the intention of speaking to her. Instead, as she revealed on "The Graham Norton Show," to her surprise, Clarke started crying when she met the iconic singer.

In contrast, Reese Witherspoon joked on "The Ellen Show" about her comfortable camaraderie with Beyoncé and their friendship via social media. At the 2020 Golden Globes, Witherspoon happened to be seated at a table near where DeGeneres and McKinnon were sat with Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Feeling thirsty, the actor requested a drink of Jay-Z's personal bottle of champagne. To Witherspoon's delight, the rapper shared it and even sent her a case after the event.