Since Saturday Night Live first aired in 1975, the series' cultural reach has been one of its defining legacies. That wouldn't be the case without the series' cast members and the impressions of celebrities and politicians that they've brought into the world. Thanks to Kate McKinnon's superhuman ability to impersonate nearly anyone - male or female - that SNL legacy of taking an impression and making it more notable than the subject of that impression has been magnified and enhanced.
While everyone can remember McKinnon's hilariously robotic and manic impression of Hillary Clinton, it's her dozens of lesser-known impressions that really, well, make an impression. By latching onto one recognizable thing about a person that may not be as recognizable as, say, a Presidential nominee, McKinnon is able to inject each of her impressions with enough oddball energy to be hilarious, even if not completely accurate. McKinnon doesn't deal in pitch-perfect impressions that look and sound like the real thing. Rather, she uses her Emmy-winning charm to capture the essence of everyone she plays, and she throws in just enough insanity them all completely unique. Kate McKinnon as Justin Bieber is somehow just as eerily accurate in emotion as her Ellen DeGeneres.
Just by looking at all the Kate McKinnon impressions from Saturday Night Live on this list, it's obvious that McKinnon is one of the best things to come out of the show in the last decade. To celebrate her talent before she leaves the halls of Studio 8H for good, let's practice our Hillary Clinton human walk and put on our Justin Bieber Calvin's because it's time to rank this list of all the Kate McKinnon impressions from Saturday Night Live.
There's not much to say about Kate McKinnon's Hillary Clinton impression that the world doesn't already know. It was iconic, it was fantastic, it changed perceptions of Hillary Clinton throughout the 2016 election. In fact, McKinnon's Clinton is so pitch-perfect that what most people don't know is she was far from the first person to play Clinton on SNL. Before McKinnon perfected Clinton, there was Jan Hooks, Janeane Garofalo, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Drew Barrymore, Rachel Dratch, Vanessa Bayer, and Miley Cyrus.240Do you love this impression?
There's so much to use in a Kellyanne Conway impression, and that's why McKinnon has used it 15 times so far throughout her SNL run. Playing Conway like a bratty teenager, McKinnon's impression has at times featured singing, dancing, and even a spoof of Carmen Sandiago.222Do you love this impression?
McKinnon's impression of Spanish artist Cecilia Gimenez isn't one for accuracy, but that doesn't make it any less hilarious. As the little-known painter of the well-known Ecce Homo Jesus painting, McKinnon's Gimenez appeared on Weekend Update to tell us that art is all about figuring out what the subject "would look like if he had a stroke."160Do you love this impression?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Kate McKinnon has appeared as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg a few times, and each instance has been more hilarious than the last. Playing Ginsburg as the badass octagenarian that she is, it's arguable that McKinnon helped make Ginsburg cool, while still impersonating her in the most ridiculous McKinnon way possible.184Do you love this impression?