10 of Kate McKinnon's Most Memorable Hillary Clinton Impressions

12:20 PM 10/26/2016

by THR staff

Watch the Emmy-winning actress in all of her 'Saturday Night Live' glory.

Kate McKinnon and Hillary Clinton 4 - SNL - Screenshot - H - 2016
Screenshot/Saturday Night Live/YouTube

Kate McKinnon's Hillary Clinton impression has been widely praised this election year. 

The comedian did her first Saturday Night Live impersonation of Clinton in 2013, but it really took off for her in the past year as Clinton became the Democratic nominee and the presidential election took center stage. McKinnon follows in the footsteps of SNL Hillary Clinton impersonators Amy Poehler, Vanessa Bayer, Jan Hooks and Ana Gasteyer.

McKinnon's Clinton uses a plethora of facial expressions to emulate Clinton, mixing in robotic gestures, awkward narration of her attempts to be natural and a dash of desperately wanting to appeal to millennials. The comedian also adds charm, empathy and ambition to her impression, allowing her character some gleeful and joyous moments of celebration as well.

Here's a look at some of McKinnon's best work as the former secretary of state.

  • First Presidential Debate

    The first presidential debate was parodied on SNL in a much-anticipated cold open, with Alec Baldwin playing Donald Trump.

    McKinnon started out by mocking Clinton's stilted use of "trumped-up trickle-down economics" and then proceeded to use comical facial expressions to punctuate Trump's words. As Baldwin's Trump fuddled with his words and babbled on about Clinton and Obama breaking his microphone in Kenya, Clinton said, "I think I'm going to be president."

    Later on after a different Trump tirade, when she was asked to respond she said, "Not a response, more of a request: Can America vote right now?"

  • Hillary Meets Hillary

    The real Hillary Clinton made a cameo alongside McKinnon last season. The presidential candidate played a bartender named Val, serving drinks to a tired McKinnon as Clinton.

    "I needed to blow off some steam. I've had a hard couple of 22 years," said McKinnon's Clinton. She joked that she had a one-year-old granddaughter that calls her Madam President and teased Clinton about taking a while to decide on her positions on the Keystone XL Pipeline and same-sex marriage. Darrell Hammond even makes a cameo as a horrified Bill Clinton.

  • Feeling the Bern For Her

    In this SNL campaign ad, fictional Clinton addresses millennials, of whom there are "so, so many" in the United States that they could help determine the election. 

    McKinnon's Clinton tries so hard to connect with them, talking about not letting the country be just about millionaires and billionaires and calling for a "revolution in the streets." She starts waving her arms and speaking like Bernie Sanders as she tries desperately to emulate him.

    "I've always said that, ever since I was a young boy growing up in Brooklyn," laughs Clinton. She physically transforms into a Sanders lookalike and ends the ad by saying, "I'm whoever you want me to be and I approve this message."

  • Town Hall Debate

    McKinnon's Clinton started the town hall by attempting a "casual lean." 

    Baldwin's Trump brought up all of the alleged Bill Clinton accusers he brought to the debate and McKinnon feigned fake despair. "Wait I'm sorry. Mistresses? Bill — how could you? No, how will I go on with the debate I'll never be able to remember my facts and figures now!" she exclaimed.

    "Get real I'm made of steel, this is nothing — hi, girls," McKinnon said, smiling and waving. She later added that she appreciated how generous Trump was. "Just last Friday he handed me this election."

  • Hillary Impressions Collide

    McKinnon's Clinton goes to sleep in Dec. 2015 and 2008 Clinton, played by Amy Poehler, appears in her dream to give her advice. Poehler's Clinton reminds McKinnon about how Barack Obama stole her life after he stumbled out of a soup kitchen with a basketball and a cigarette.

    After learning that Donald Trump is the Republican frontrunner, Poehler exclaims "Oh my God, we're going to be president." Tina Fey's Sarah Palin makes an appearance too.


  • Election Video

    Clinton tries to film a video declaring her candidacy in this sketch, but she struggles to look natural as she addresses Americans. Even off-camera she is stiff, telling her aide, "Meet my hand in the air" instead of asking for a high-five.

    McKinnon is joined by Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton. He walks over to her while she's filming and says, "Hillary, isn't it crazy that phones can take videos now? I mean if they could have done that in the '90s, I'd be in jail."

    "Great, Bill; I love jokes about that," says Hillary with a strained smile. "Aren't we such a fun approachable dynasty?"

  • The Third Presidential Debate

    "Tonight I feast" says McKinnon's Clinton as she gets her butcher knives ready for the final presidential debate. In the sketch she pivots proudly, pounds her head against the microphone and hocks a "limited edition Nasty Woman" mug.

    "America, you deserve better than an F," she says. "So on November 8th, vote for me, and I promise I will be a stone cold B."

  • The First Democratic Primary Debate

    "I think you're really going to like the Hillary Clinton that my team and I have created for this debate," says McKinnon as she walks out onstage as Clinton for the Democratic primary debate. "She's warm but strong, flawed yet perfect, relaxed but racing full-speed toward the White House like the T-1000 from Terminator."

    Later in the debate she worries that she's losing. "In 2008, of course, I lost. I was running against a cool black guy, but this year I thought I got to be the cool black guy," she says.

    By the end, she's telling the audience that she gets the appeal of Bernie Sanders. "He's cool," says McKinnon. "He's the song of the summer. He's "Trap Queen" by Fetty Wap. But I'm the birthday song and you're going to be singing me until the day you die."

  • Running Rodham

    In 2013 McKinnon made her first appearance as Hillary in a skit dedicated to all of the fake Hillary Clinton biopics that were then in the works. McKinnon played Clinton in "Running Rodham" a fictional AMC series along the lines of Breaking Bad.

    She talks about why she's running for POTUS: "I'm doing it for me, because I like it, because I'm good at it, because it makes me feel alive." 

  • Trump Tape Celebrations

    In October, SNL opened its show with the vice presidential debate, but the skit quickly turned to Donald Trump's Access Hollywood comments, revealed just the day before that week's episode aired. Alec Baldwin's Trump "apologized" for his 2005 remarks and said he was just trying to impress Billy Bush. At the 6:43 mark, CNN checked in with McKinnon's Clinton who was celebrating with her staff and chugging champagne after "just receiving news of the leak."

    "It was incredibly disturbing and when I heard it I was deeply, deeply saddened," said Clinton, trying to suppress her glee. "It is a very, very sad day for our country, and for all women, minus one," she added with a wink.