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Entertainment Weekly


'SNL': Ranking Kristen Wiig's recurring characters

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Lorne Michaels once named Kristen Wiig among the best performers in Saturday Night Live history — and Wiig’s stable of quirky original characters certainly dominated the show for the last few years. From her first SNL episode as a featured player in 2005 to her last show this past Saturday, she played about 18 characters who appeared in three or more sketches — no small feat, especially considering Wiig’s equally huge roster of impressions. But which of these made-up ladies should join beloved creations like Wayne Campbell, Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, and Darrell Hammond’s Sean Connery (who might as well be fictional) in the SNL Recurring Characters Hall of Fame…and which deserve to be lambasted alongside the likes of Rob Schneider’s “Makin’ copiiiiieeees!” guy? Re-familiarize yourself with Wiig’s 11 most memorable characters by reading the list below, then vote for your favorite and least favorite in the polls at the end of this post. We’ll then use the results to rank Wiig’s creations from worst to first in a photo gallery. Gilly’s fate is in your hands, people.

Target Lady

Debuted 12/3/05; 9 total appearances

This enthusiastic, chatty cashier helped Wiig break out as a scene stealer. No wonder Daniel Radcliffe’s stock boy fell for her during her last appearance.


One of the Two A-Holes

Debuted 12/17/05; 8 total appearances

Alongside fellow a-hole Jason Sudeikis, Wiig noisily snapped her gum, stared blankly, and irritated everyone she met. But, you know, in a funny way.


NEXT: Aunt Linda, Penelope, and gross Shanna

Aunt Linda

Debuted 11/11/06; 6 total appearances

The only thing America’s Midwestern aunt hates more than Hollywood is running out of hairspray. I’d give her three eye rolls and a big “Oh, brother!”


Debuted 3/24/07; 7 total appearances

The consummate one-upper is always undermining, but her brags aren’t always lies: Penelope really is best friends with Liza Minnelli and a tomato!



Debuted 10/4/2008; 7 total appearances

The black sheep of the singing Meryl family is one of Wiig’s weirder creations — but admit it, even you were touched when she found love, Italian-style, with Jon Hamm’s swaggering Gionni Prosciutto.



Debuted 12/6/08; 4 total appearances

If you like gross-out humor, then you’ll love Shanna, a breathy bombshell who’s not as sexy as she seems.



Debuted 1/17/09; 5 total appearances, plus 1 Christmas special

Her name is Gilly, and she’s at it again… and again… and again. Considering your reaction to this post, I’m guessing this mischievous grade schooler won’t be winning any popularity contests. Sorry.


NEXT: Kat of Garth and Kat, Judy Grimes, and the final poll

Kat of Garth and Kat

Debuted 2/19/09; 8 total appearances

As one half of this never-prepared musical duo, Wiig showed her chops by keeping up with Fred Armisen’s wacky improvised songs. The bit was impressive — but it always seemed like these two cared more about cracking each other up than making the audience laugh.


Judy Grimes

Debuted 4/12/09; 6 total appearances

A nervous travel agent who talkslikethis — just kidding, she talks like this — just kidding, she talks really fast and doesn’t give very many travel tips just kidding just kidding, just kidding.


Anastasia Sticks of Hollywood Dish

Debuted 11/7/09; 3 total appearances

One Wiig character who could have stood to recur more often: this rubber-faced entertainment show host, who weirded out celebrities alongside Bill Hader’s Brady Trunk.


Mindy Elise Grayson

Debuted 11/21/09; 8 total appearances

Mindy Grayson, ’60s stage siren, is as bad at playing Secret Word as she is at acting; as the Post once wrote about one of her plays, “The only way it could be called a hit is if you put an ‘s’ before the ‘h.'”


So, who gets your vote — for both best and worst? And is anyone hoping to mount a write-in campaign for Triangle Sally? Have at it!

Who is Kristen Wiig's best 'SNL' character?Who is Kristen Wiig's WORST 'SNL' character?

Read more:

‘SNL’: Sorry ‘Boston Powers’ and Dave Grohl, you didn’t make the cut

‘Saturday Night Live’ poll: Who will be the next Kristen Wiig?

‘Saturday Night Live’ recap: Welcome to Will Ferrell’s Cameo-fest 2012

The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Micheals.
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