Ever since I can remember, my family has always tuned in to Saturday Night Live every Saturday night. SNL has something for everybody, whether you like political comedy, impersonations, or just completely random sketches. One thing that has kept me watching this show is the amazing women on the show. These incredible women have blessed the SNL stage with the most iconic characters and sketches. In honor of SNL returning October 3rd, here are my all-time favorite female cast members of SNL.
1. Gilda Radnor
You can’t talk about SNL women without Gilda Radnor. She goes down in SNL history as the first woman Lorne Micheals hired for the first season of SNL. I will always remember Gilda Radnor for her character Rosanna Danna with her frizzy hair and loud voice.
2. Leslie Jones
One of the most iconic African American women to grace the SNL stage. In any skit she is in, Jones is not afraid to do whatever it takes to get a laugh. She has provided some iconic skits like Katz’s Deli, Leslie Wants to Play Trump, and Love & Leslie, and we can’t forget her “Weekend Update” banters with Colin Jost.
3. Kristen Wiig
If you ask someone to name an iconic female cast member, Kristen Wiig would probably be one of the first to mind. She has brought some of the most memorable characters to the SNL stage like Shana, Penelope, Target Lady, and many more. Wiig is not afraid to do outrageous things like wear small baby doll hands and say ridiculous things while she plays her character Dooneese. Even when she breaks character laughing like she did anytime she played Karina in the “Californians” skit with fellow cast members Fred Armisen and Bill Hader, she still makes anything funny.
4. Maya Rudolph
This Black Jewish comedian never fails to make her audience laugh. Whether serving impersonations like Beyonce or Kamala Harris or performing characters like Nuni or the Bronx Beat, Maya Rudolph will forever be an icon. Her ability to change voices for different characters amazes me to this day. Hopefully, with this election coming up, we see more of her as Kamala Harris.
5. Tina Fey
Not only did she act on SNL but she was a writer until 2006. Tina Fey was one of the co-hosts for “Weekend Update”. It started with her and Jimmy Fallon, but after Fallon left, Fey decided to make Amy Poehler her new co-host for “Weekend Update”, making them the first all female hosts of the “Weekend Update” segment. To this day, I still can’t think of tina Fey without thinking of her hilarious Sarah Palin impression. Cue Tina Fey saying “I can see Russia from my house.”
6. Cecily Strong
This Illinois comedian joined the show in 2012 and has been making people laugh ever since. She has given us iconic characters like Dana, the loud mouthed retail employee, and Kyra of “Girlfriends Talk Show.” She has also given us impersonations like Dianne Fienstein and most recently Melania Trump. I still can’t forget the spoof she did of Beyonce’s Lemonade as Melania Trump.
7. Kate Mckinnon
She is probably one of my absolute favorites. Kate Mckinnon has had so much range in the characters she has played throughout her time on SNL. She’s done impersonations like Justin Bieber, Elizabeth Warren, Ellen, Hilary Clinton, Kellyanne Conway, Penelope Cruz, and my favorite Ruth Bader Ginsburg (literally love watching her dance after she says “you just ginsburned”). She has also created some iconic characters like Barbara DeDrew of Whiskers R We and Olya Povlatsky. Also she is the first openly lesbian cast member of SNL.
Without these extraordinary women and more, SNL wouldn’t be the show that it is today.
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