Saturday, January 06, 2018

Happy Birthday to Kate McKinnon, SNL's First Out Lesbian Cast Member
Kathryn McKinnon Berthold was born today, January 6, in 1984. Known professionally as Kate McKinnon, she is an actress, comedian, and impressionist who is best known as a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live.

McKinnon is primarily known for her character work and celebrity impressions of pop singer Justin Bieber, comedian television host Ellen DeGeneres, and political figures Hillary Clinton, Kellyanne Conway, Elizabeth Warren, Betsy DeVos, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Jeff Sessions. She has been nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards; one for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics and four 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. 

In 2007, McKinnon joined the original cast of Logo TV's The Big Gay Sketch Show, where she was a cast member for all three seasons.

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. 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.

McKinnon debuted as a featured player on Saturday Night Live on April 7, 2012. She was promoted to repertory status in season 39 in 2013. Following the departure of Vanessa Bayer, McKinnon is now the longest serving female cast member.

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 place of 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 Trump.

McKinnon is SNL's first out lesbian cast member, as well as the series' third known LGBTQ cast member after Terry Sweeney and Danitra Vance. 

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