"Mary Katherine Gallagher – Rosie" and "Spirit" (Spartan Cheerleaders)
Kate McKinnon, cast member, 2012-present: I love the Mary Katherine Gallagher Christmas special. Rosie O'Donnell was the headmistress. Penny Marshall was the pianist, and Whitney Houston was beautiful Jennifer singing her beautiful "Little Drummer Boy" solo. Mary Katherine Gallagher was playing "The Little Drummer Boy," and she was doing all these tiny movements that you wouldn't necessarily notice. But they become this very realistic portrait of a girl trying to be a girl in the right way but failing miserably.
That's my favorite setup for a sketch – when you have a recognizable scenario of women behaving as women should and then one girl is displaying abhorrent behavior, but isn't necessarily ashamed of it. They're just proudly displaying this weirdness. That's why I love that character so much. There's a long tradition of that, beginning with Gilda Radner. I think a lot of us girls on the show do that now. But it's not just the women.
Another of my favorites of all time is the Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri cheerleaders sketch, which is a man and a woman trying to be cool and just selling the crap that they've got. It's this combination of specificity and absolute general relatability and the willingness to talk about stuff that is just new enough that no one's written about it yet. That's what keeps SNL relevant.