Top 10 Times Kate McKinnon Broke Character on SNL
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Top 10 Times Kate McKinnon Broke Character on SNL

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Jaye Beekhuis
We love it when Kate McKinnon breaks character on "SNL." For this list, we'll be looking at both scripted and unscripted Saturday Night Live moments so funny that even Emmy-award-winning actress Kate McKinnon failed to disguise her laughter. Our countdown includes "The Corporal," "Apple Picking Ad," "Honda Robotics," and more!
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Top 10 Times Kate McKinnon Broke Character on SNL


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Times Kate McKinnon Broke Character on SNL.

For this list, we’ll be looking at both scripted and unscripted Saturday Night Live moments so funny that even Emmy-award-winning actress Kate McKinnon failed to disguise her laughter, broke the fourth wall, or just couldn’t keep it together on live tv.

Which of Kate’s characters had you laughing along with the other cast members? Do you have a favorite break we didn’t include? Let us know in the comments below.

#10: “The Corporal”


While Kate McKinnon is well-known for making her scene partners break character with her hilarious antics, all bets are off when she’s paired with fellow cast member Aidy Bryant. According to Kate: [“If you don’t wanna break, you don’t wanna look at Aidy,”]. This skit is a good example of why. The comic duo play a pair of sisters working together to secretly sabotage a third sister, played by guest host J.Lo, to keep her from winning over the affections of a visiting corporal. Desperately trying to disguise her beauty, everything they do only makes her even more attractive. As things get increasingly sensual, Kate can barely hold back her smile when Aidy admits that even she’s starting to feel actress J.Lo’s charms.

#9: “Honda Robotics”


In this skit, Honda Robotics presents their brand new catering smartbots to an eager expo crowd. Robot Dossima, played by guest host Emily Blunt, is sent to offer the guests quesadillas, and the distorted filter on Blunt’s voice only makes her over-pronunciation of “ooey gooey” quesadilla even funnier. Blunt makes Kate the first target, but when Kate refuses the initial offer, the robot fails to take no for an answer. With each insistent quesadilla offer, Blunt adds even more descriptive adjectives and gets closer and closer to Kate’s ear, forcing Kate to struggle to suppress her smile.

#8: “Weekend Update: Deenie”


In this segment, Weekend Update host Colin Jost interviews Deenie, Kate’s all-too-relatable caricature of “somebody’s mom.” Deenie catches Colin up on her favorite soap that she’s been watching everyday for decades, but she only knows it as [“that one before the other one.”] Colin struggles to keep up with her made up character names and quick recaps of confusing plot twists. He can’t help but start to laugh as Kate furiously chews what she reveals is leftover baked salmon. Eventually, the prop gets the best of Kate too, as she breaks into laughter when she nearly spits out her salmon mid-chew.

#7: Presidential Debate Cold Open


Before the 2016 election, Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon opened the show by reprising their iconic roles as presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. While the skit begins with the usual jokes and jibes of an SNL debate spoof, Baldwin flips the script by taking a step back mid-debate. Breaking character, he apologizes to Kate and steps forward to address the audience. Kate follows suit, expressing just how “mean” the election season has felt, and together they offer a united call to action, urging the audience to use their voices to vote. While this break was scripted, it marked an important intersection of modern politics, media, and comedy by offering a lighthearted but sincere break from a crazy election season.

#6: “Apple Picking Ad”


In this skit, Kate and Aidy return as sisters, only this time they play the genuine and cheery owners of a lackluster pick your own apple farm. In a cheesy and all-too-honest ad that highlights questionable customer feedback and mediocre amenities, Kate and Aidy struggle to remain straight-faced, especially as they make eye contact and deliver their monotone lines in unison. As the ad becomes more and more bizarre, Kate and Aidy continue to up the ante, feeding off of each other’s energy until they’re laughing so hard they can barely get the next line out.

#5: “Weekend Update: Rudy Giuliani on Trump’s Election Lawsuits”


Kate Mckinnon doesn’t get much funnier than her dedicated impression of Rudy Giuliani. Thanks to the talented SNL makeup and wardrobe team, the impressive physical transformation is brought to life by Kate’s mimicked gestures, crazy eyes, and improvised physical comedy. Kate does a masterful job of holding onto her character while delivering Giuliani’s delusional plan to combat voter fraud. Once again, Colin Jost fights to hold back his laughter. However, when Kate is hit with a head of lettuce after suggesting Giuliani returns to New York, she can’t help but join Colin in laughing her way through the outro.

#4: “Weekend Update: Smokery Farms”


In this segment, Aidy is once again the culprit of Kate’s uncharacteristic character break. The beloved duo play the owners of Smokery Farms: a meat farm combatting veganism by exclusively selling meat from “stupid” and “bad” animals. Yet the skit takes an unexpected turn when Kate and Aidy are handed a prop tray full of raw meat. They both immediately start laughing as Aidy comments on the prop’s intense smell, and while seemingly veering from the script, they struggle to stay in character. Even Colin comments on the smell, and while Aidy tries to continue on, Kate can only manage to wrinkle her face, both in response to the smell and her attempt to hold back her laughter.

#3: “Whiskers R We with Tiffany Haddish”


In a recurring sketch that boasts an impressive lineup of past guests such as Charlize Theron, Amy Adams, and more, Kate plays a cat lady going through her “feline-up” for potential adoption. Chock full of dry cat puns, the scripted laughter quickly turns real, like when Kristin Wiig guest-hosted in 2016 and began pinching Kate instead of the kitten. However, when Tiffany Haddish joined in the fun the next season, it isn’t a human guest star that makes Kate break, but a feline one. When a kitten tries to jump out of the pen, Tiffany quickly reacts, holding the kittens close to her chest. Kate’s surprise catches her off guard, but Tiffany’s improvised line catapults her into a fit of laughter.

#2: “Weekend Update: Dr. Wenowdis on Trump’s Televised Health Exam”


In a viral 2020 SNL moment that made headlines, Colin Jost welcomes Kate’s character Dr. Wenowdis to Weekend Update. Kate answers every one of Jost’s questions about Trump’s latest health exam with her character’s signature “wenowdis” catchphrase. But when she and Jost are reduced to giggles by the doctor’s bizarre method of blood pressure taking, Colin stops to ask “Kate, are you okay?” Kate, breaking character, laughs before launching into everything we really don’t know about the world. In a later reprise of the skit, she even jokes that her problem could also be that she had to block her therapist’s number. Kate’s break hit home because it represented exactly what audiences were feeling amidst the uncertainty of navigating a worldwide pandemic.

#1: “Close Encounter”


And finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the iconic skit that has over 50 million views and counting on SNL’s YouTube channel. Kate originates the hilarious Colleen Rafferty, a brash woman whose alien abduction stories seem to be much more racy than her fellow abductees’ romanticized tales. Kate’s commitment to the character is well-known for making her fellow actors break, whether it’s targeting Aidy until neither of them can keep a straight face or demonstrating the alien’s treatment of her backside in a sequel with Ryan Gosling. (xref) But even Kate can’t keep it together when Gosling starts to heave with laughter. Aidy is nearly reduced to tears, and their strained giggles become so infectious you can’t help but laugh along while watching.
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