Kate McKinnon

Kate McKinnon
Born Kathryn McKinnon Berthold[1][2][3]
(1984-01-06) January 6, 1984
Sea Cliff, New York, United States
Alma mater Columbia University
Occupation Actress, comedian, singer
Years active 2007–present

Kathryn McKinnon Berthold[1][2][3] (born January 6, 1984), known professionally as Kate McKinnon, is an American comedian and actress. She is best known for her sketch comedy work as a cast member on Saturday Night Live and The Big Gay Sketch Show.[4] She played Dr. Jillian Holtzmann in the Ghostbusters reboot.

McKinnon is known for her character work[5] and celebrity impressions.[6] She is known for her impressions of pop singer Justin Bieber, comedian television host Ellen DeGeneres,[7] and politician Hillary Clinton.[7][8] She has been nominated for four Primetime Emmys, three for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, winning one in 2016, and one for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics.


Kate McKinnon Berthold was born and raised in Sea Cliff, New York.[1][9] She is the daughter of Laura Campbell, a parent educator, and Michael Thomas Berthold, an architect.[10][11][12] She has a younger sister, Emily.[1][12] Her father died when she was 18 years old.[1][11]

As a child, McKinnon played the piano, cello, and guitar. She graduated from North Shore High School in 2002[13] and from Columbia University in 2006 with a theater major, where she co-founded a comedy group, Tea Party, which focused on musical improv comedy.[1][2] She was also a member of Prangstgrüp, a similar student comedy group who set up and recorded elaborate college pranks.[14]


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.[5]

Since 2008, she has performed live sketch comedy regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City.[5][15] She has also worked as a voice-over actress, and has voiced characters for series such as The Venture Bros., Robotomy, and Ugly Americans.[15][16] In 2009, McKinnon won a Logo NewNowNext Award for Best Rising Comic.[17] She was nominated for an ECNY Emerging Comic Award in 2010.[5] In 2016, she starred in the reboot Ghostbusters, alongside Melissa McCarthy, and fellow SNL cast members Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones.[18]

Saturday Night Live

McKinnon debuted as a featured player on Saturday Night Live on April 7, 2012. She is SNL's first openly lesbian cast member,[19][20][21] as well as the series' third known gay cast member (after Terry Sweeney and Danitra Vance, the latter of whose sexual orientation was not made public until after her death).[22] She was promoted to repertory status in season 39.

In 2013, McKinnon was nominated for an EWwy for Best Supporting Actress, Comedy.[23] McKinnon won the 2014 American Comedy Award for Best Supporting Actress, TV for her work on SNL.[24] In 2014, she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series,[25] as well as for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics along with four of her colleagues for the song "(Do It On My) Twin Bed".[26] She was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the second time in 2015.[27] She eventually won the very next year, becoming the first actor from SNL to win the award in many years.

She 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.[28] McKinnon has said that her impression of Hillary Clinton comes from a place of deep admiration, and that "I unequivocally want her to win" the 2016 US presidential election.[29] On the Saturday following the election she reprised her role as Hillary Clinton to open the show with a solo performance of "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen, whose death was announced two days before her performance.[30][31]


Celebrity impressions

Other work

Aside from SNL, she also co-created and co-stars in the web series Notary Publix with her sister Emily Lynne.[32][33] 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.[32]

In 2015, she appeared in a number of commercials for the Ford Focus.[34]

In 2016, she co-hosted 31st Independent Spirit Awards with Kumail Nanjiani.[35]

She 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" and as Karen / Heavy Flo in season 14 episode 6 "Peter's Sister"), and films such as Finding Dory (as Stan's fish wife) and The Angry Birds Movie (as Stella / Eva the Birthday Mom).

Personal life

McKinnon is openly gay.[36] McKinnon has a pet cat, Nino Positano,[29] whom she jokingly refers to as her son. She does not currently participate publicly on any social media platform, citing a fear that she will "misrepresent her true feelings".[37]



Year Title Role Notes
2010 Mr. Ross Debby Short film
2011 Elizabeth Taylor's Video Will Elizabeth Taylor Short film
2011 Pudding Face Amy Short film
2012 My Best Day Heather
2012 Hannah Has a Ho-Phase Nicky
2014 Life Partners Trace
2014 Balls Out Vicky
2015 Giant Sloth Nina Voice role
Short film
2015 Ted 2 Herself Cameo
2015 Staten Island Summer Mrs. Bandini Jr.
2015 Sisters Sam
2016 The Angry Birds Movie Stella / Eva Voice roles
2016 Finding Dory[38] Wife Fish Voice role
2016 Ghostbusters Dr. Jillian Holtzmann
2016 Masterminds Jandice
2016 Office Christmas Party Mary Winetoss
2017 Rock That Body In post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2007–10 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
2010–11 Robotomy Additional voices 5 episodes
2010–16 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 Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday Various 2 episodes
2012–present Saturday Night Live Various Main cast
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"
2014–15 The Awesomes Lola Gold / Additional voices 7 episodes
2015 China, IL Sunshine (voice) 5 episodes
2015 The Spoils Before Dying Dallas Boudreaux[39] Episode: "That's Jazz"
2015 Difficult People Abra Cadouglas[40] Episode: "Pledge Week"[41]
2015 Moonbeam City Panache Miller (voice) Episode: "Lasers and Liars"
2015–16 Family Guy Karen Griffin / Additional voices 2 episodes
2015–present Nature Cat Squeeks (voice) 19 episodes
2016 The Simpsons Hettie (voice) Episode: "Gal of Constant Sorrow"

Video games

Year Title Role
2015 LEGO Dimensions Dr. Jillian Holtzmann

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2009 NewNowNext Awards[42]Brink of Fame: Comic Won
2010 ECNY Awards[5] Emerging Comic Award Nominated
2012 Ashland Independent Film Festival Award Special Jury Mention for Acting Ensemble: Feature My Best Day Won
2013 EWwy Award Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Saturday Night Live Nominated
Gold Derby Awards Breakthrough Performer of the Year Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award Best Female Performance in a Fiction Program Nominated
2014 American Comedy Award[43] Comedy Supporting Actress – TV Won
Behind The Voice Actors Awards Best Vocal Ensemble in a TV Special/Direct-to-DVD Title or Theatrical Short Toy Story of Terror! Nominated
Dorian Award[44] Wilde Wit of the Year Nominated
Gold Derby Awards Best Variety Performer Saturday Night Live Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award Best Female Performance in a Fiction Program Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award[45] Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics Saturday Night Live for "Home For The Holiday (Twin Bed)" Nominated
2015 Gold Derby Awards Best Variety Performer Saturday Night Live Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award Best Female Performance in a Fiction Program Nominated
Best Ensemble in a Fiction Program Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2016 Gold Derby Awards Best Variety Performer Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award Best Female Performance in a Variety Program Nominated
Best Ensemble in a Variety, Reality or Non-Fiction Program Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Actress in a Comedy Ghostbusters Pending
People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedic Collaboration Saturday Night Live (shared with Alec Baldwin) Pending

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Shuster, Yelena (March–April 2007). "One Funny Voice at a Time". Columbia College Today. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 Gay, Verne (March 29, 2012). "Kate McKinnon joining 'SNL' cast". Newsday. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
  3. 1 2 "Long Island celebrity yearbook pictures: The 2000s". Newsday. July 19, 2014. Archived from the original on July 27, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  4. "Cast Bios: Kate McKinnon". NBC.com. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 McGlynn, Katla (March 29, 2012). "Kate McKinnon Joining 'SNL' As Featured Player". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  6. "Kate McKinnon: Who is SNL's first open lesbian cast member?". The Week. March 30, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 Lal, Kanika (August 25, 2016). "Kate McKinnon reveals she was 'destitute' and 'unemployed' before landing her job on Saturday Night Live". Daily Mail.
  8. 1 2 Hanks, Henry (March 9, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' takes on Hillary Clinton email controversy". CNN.
  9. "Kate McKinnon Bio Repertory Player Saturday Night Live NBC". Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  10. "Columbia College Today". College.columbia.edu. June 18, 2008. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  11. 1 2 "Obituaries". Antonnews.com. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  12. 1 2 Marcelle S. Fischler (May 14, 2000). "LONG ISLAND JOURNAL; Impossibly Appealing Views of Main Street - New York Times". Long Island (Ny): Nytimes.com. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  13. "Kate McKinnon returning to North Shore High School for fundraiser". Newsday. May 29, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  14. Matlow, Orli (19 November 2014). "Spectrum investigates: The club graveyard". Columbia Daily Spectator. Retrieved 25 September 2016. 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.
  15. 1 2 "Kate Mckinnon". Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  16. Vary, Adam B. (March 30, 2012). "Kate McKinnon to join 'Saturday Night Live'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  17. Warn, Sarah (May 21, 2009). "2009 NewNowNext Awards". AfterEllen. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  18. Warn, Sarah (May 21, 2009). ""GHOSTBUSTERS" Reboot Adds Cast, Release Date". Fangoria. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  19. Gilchrist, Tracy E. (April 8, 2012). "SNL's First Out Lesbian Featured Player Kate McKinnon Makes Splash with Penelope Cruz Pantene Sketch". SheWired. Here Media. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  20. "Kate McKinnon: Who is SNL's first openly lesbian cast member?".
  21. "Kate McKinnon: Who is SNL's first openly lesbian cast member?". The Week.
  22. Brantley, Ben (August 23, 1994). "Danitra Vance, 35, an Actress; Worked at Shakespeare Festival - New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  23. Bierly, Mandi (September 13, 2013). "EWwy Awards 2013: Meet Your 10 Winners!". EW.com. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  24. Bendix, Trish (May 9, 2014). "Watch now! Kate McKinnon wins American Comedy Award - AfterEllen.com". AfterEllen.com. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  25. Jacobs, Matthew (July 10, 2014). "Emmy Nominations 2014: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Orange Is The New Black' Among Top Nominees". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  26. "Kate McKinnon". Emmys.com.
  27. "67th Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners". Emmys.com. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  28. Rosen, Christopher (October 4, 2015). "Hillary Clinton mocks Donald Trump during SNL appearance". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  29. 1 2 Dowd, Maureen. "Kate McKinnon Hates Letting Her Hair Down". New York Times.
  30. "Election Week Cold Open - SNL, Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon) performs Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah.". YouTube, November 12, 2016.
  31. "SNL's Kate McKinnon opens show singing 'Hallelujah'". CNN, November 13, 2016.
  32. 1 2 Kumari Upadhyaya, Kayla (April 8, 2015). "Kate McKinnon's new web series is about notaries, because why not". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  33. Schroeder, Audra (April 16, 2015). "The best webseries from 'SNL' cast members". The Daily Dot. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  34. Salandra, Adam (September 27, 2015). "Kate McKinnon Is Hilarious In The New Ford Focus Ads". New Now Next. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  35. "Spirit Awards: Kumail Nanjiani, Kate McKinnon Parody 'Room,' Mock #OscarsSoWhite in Opening". The Hollywood Reporter. February 27, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  36. Piccoli, Dana (July 18, 2016). "10 Reasons Why Kate McKinnon is Hollywood's New Queer Heartthrob". After Ellen. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  37. "Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham, Gina Rodriguez and More Actresses on THR's Roundtables". Youtube.
  38. Pixar Post. "Additional 'Finding Dory' Vocal Cast Details - Bill Hader, Kate McKinnon, Bob Peterson & More".
  39. Stephens, Emily L. (July 9, 2015). "The Spoils Before Dying: "That's Jazz"/"Fear Steps In"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  40. Wiegand, David (August 1, 2015). "It's not 'Difficult' to love Hulu's new comedy". San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  41. Planje, Alexa (August 13, 2015). "Difficult People: "Devil's Three-way"/"Pledge Week"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  42. "The 2009 NewNowNext Awards". Logo. May 21, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  43. "Amy Poehler, Seth Rogen win American Comedy Awards". Entertainment Weekly. May 9, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  44. The Hollywood Reporter, January 9, 2013, by Gregg Kilday, "Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Announce Dorian Award Nominees"
  45. "2014 Emmy Nominations: 'Breaking Bad,' 'True Detective' Among the Honored". New York Times. July 10, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014.

External links

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