Kate McKinnon SNL Skits That Still Make Us Crack Up

Kate McKinnon is the Swiss Army Knife of the comedic lineup on "Saturday Night Live." She cuts straight to the heart of comedic genius with her incomparable timing and full-throttle physical embodiment of the characters she portrays. From impersonations to from-scratch characters, her comedic versatility cannot be overstated. But let's not forget that she serves up that "what can't you do" vibe on the silver screen too. With roles in "Bombshell," "Rough Night," and 2016's "Ghostbusters," McKinnon unfurls the seemingly infinite reach of her on-screen skills, and we're super jazzed to see what she does next (via IMDb).

Her much-loved portrayals of Hillary Clinton, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Elizabeth Warren have placed her in the upper ranks of political impersonations. Still, her brilliance goes beyond the bounds of partisan puns. Here's a look at some of our favorite skits that will go down in history among the comedy gold of the show's legacy.

Watch Kate McKinnon's portrayal of Justin Bieber if you want some coming-of-age comedy laughs

Kate McKinnon's portrayal of Justin Bieber in "SNL"'s Calvin Klein Ad spoof is iconic. The skit is an example of her ability to channel the physical nuances of the characters she takes on. As you can see on Youtube, the bit is taped as a fake ad. This means there's no live audience reaction to the performance, which levels up the laugh threshold. Without the energy that a live audience infuses into a skit — by way of their laughter and enthusiasm — comedians must deliver a perfect performance for the humor to land as intended.

The Calvin Klein ad focuses on the innocent hilarity of a young, coming-of-age Bieber – a star stuck between being perceived as a boy and a manly sex symbol, as described by Refinery29. McKinnon delivers an unflinching and hilarious performance. For example, her version of Bieber vacillates between whiny temper tantrums and awkward crotch thrusts. 

The audience watches the then-young Bieber — who was often sexualized by the media, as evidenced by PopSugar – see-saw between manufactured sexiness and toddler-like shenanigans. By the same token, the skit opens with McKinnon's Bieber saying in a sexy whisper, "I'm a big boy now." From there, the ad is a series of classically stark, Calvin Klein-Esque vignettes in which McKinnon portrays Bieber in a series of childish behaviors and hilariously forced moments of sexiness. The ad — and McKinnon's performance — are spot on.

Stock up on McKinnon's famously hilarious feminine fire

This loving homage to Kate McKinnon would not be complete without a bit of love-sesh for her endearing impersonation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Even the Notorious RBG herself loved McKinnon's impersonation of her, as reported by Rolling Stone Magazine. In a 2018 interview with Sundance Film Festival's Nina Totenberg, Ginsburg admits that although she doesn't watch "Saturday Night Live," her children showed her McKinnon's skit. She chuckled when Totenberg asked her about it and said, "I like the actress who portrayed me. And I would like to say Gins-burns sometimes to my colleagues."

If you live in a windowless, humorless cave in a land void of the ol' world wide web, please do yourself a solid and watch the genesis of the "Gins-burn." In the now-famous "Weekend Update: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Not Retiring," McKinnon delivers one of her best performances to date (via Youtube). Notably, she translated RBG's tendency to make low-toned but powerful statements into an internet sensation — now known as "Gins-burns," per Vulture

Each time she unleashes a "Gins-burn," she does a campy yet hardcore pop-and-lock style dance. As expected, it brings the live audience to a roil. We love seeing the spicy Supreme Court Justice portrayed as we saw her — an unapologetic feminist badass whose intellect gave her an unrivaled, soft-spoken swagger.

This chain-smoking Kate McKinnon character will make you laugh 'til you cry

Are there goats in outer space? We vote "yes," because Kate McKinnon is the absolute GOAT. Her recurring chain-smoking character Ms. Rafferty has us in tears. The "Close Encounter" skit is definitely the one to save on the home screen of your phone. It's the "break glass in case of emergency" comedy gem that will extinguish the flames of a lousy day, breakup, or DIY project gone awry. It's been lauded by the likes of BuzzFeed and Thrillist alike, and it's 100% worth the hype.

Ms. Rafferty is a comedic amalgam of stereotypes, physical devotion to character portrayal, and straight-up unexpected genius. McKinnon's character often finds herself in awkward alien abductions. You know, typical weekday stuff. Her skit counterparts always have stereotypically existential experiences. For example, in this first skit featuring the character, she stars alongside Ryan Gosling and Brie Larson. Gosling and Larson mention things like, "beautiful being...beautiful calming light," and, "yeah, [it felt] like a blanket made out of pure love" (via Youtube). 

This prompts Rafferty — in all her man-spread glory — to remark, "Wow, what floor were you guys on? I woke up in a dirty metal dome, and uh ... 40 little gray aliens watched me pee in a steel bowl. ...they just stared as I peed. I don't think I was dealing with the top brass." The aliens ultimately — and unceremoniously — drop McKinnon's pantless character onto the roof of a Long John Silvers, leaving her with her "coot-coot and prune shoot hanging out."

Yeah — she said what she said, and we're dabbing the laugh-tears from our faces as we play it on repeat.