Kristen Wiig’s Best Characters – Rolling Stone
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Kristen Wiig’s Best Characters

The ‘Saturday Night Live’ MVP’s most outrageous personalities

kristen wiig

Dana Edelson/NBC

If you tuned in to the Saturday Night Live season finale on May 20th, you know there wasn't a dry eye in the house (or at home) as castmember Kristen Wiig said goodbye to the show. The writing's been on the wall since she starred in last summer's box-office blockbuster Bridesmaids, but it was still sad to see her sign off. (There's also a rumor it was the final farewell for Andy Samberg and Jason Sudeikis, yet there's been no official announcement from NBC yet.)

But the funny lady probably doesn't want us to shed any tears, unless it's from laughing too hard. With seven seasons under her belt, there's a lot to choose from, but here are some of Wiig's most memorable characters and impersonations.

By Katy Kroll

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Target Lady

She might be the most enthusiastic checkout lady on the planet, holding up customers in line with anecdotes about each and every product and irrelevant life stories. We've all encountered Target Lady at some point, standing there befuddled as she leaves her post to grab herself a copycat pack of chip clips because the store "just got them in stock." While customers can't wait to get away from the kooky chatterbox, her male co-workers can't get enough. She's entranced hosts like Justin Timberlake and Daniel Radcliffe. Now that's something to talk about!

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Penelope

A neurotic, hair-twirling attention-seeker who constantly one-ups people, Penelope over-inserts herself into every aspect of every conversation. Those newlyweds talking about their spectacular honeymoon? Who cares, she just got back from the moon. Have to pick up your 7-year-old daughter from piano lessons? Well, she’s got a 6-year-old teaching piano … and Spanish and computer classes. Wearing a World’s Greatest Chef apron? She’ll pull out one saying she’s the Universe’s Greatest-est Chef Ever. We all know someone like Penelope, but we’re usually not laughing with her.

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Rebecca Larue

Need help landing a man? Well, look no further, as this "flirting expert" knows all the hottest tricks. Tousling her blonde locks? Check. Sexy arm-flailing? Check. Spreading her legs? Um, yup, she nails that too. How can anyone resist? So, grab a pen and paper, 'cause you'll be single no more after watching this instructional video, featuring the one and only man-eater Rebecca Larue. Rawr.

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Suze Orman

Wiig's impersonation of the popular financial advisor-slash-TV personality soared to new heights when Glee star Jane Lynch appeared as a financially strapped former lesbian lover who "successfully" went straight. But Wiig always throws in a lot of wink-and-nudge nods to Orman's sexuality amid some very useful money-saving tips – like stealing candy from doctors' offices in preparation for Halloween and bathing in beef bouillon overnight for a cheap self-tan. Oh, the things she learned while attending Amelia Earhart Community College.

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Kathie Lee Gifford

"Drunk by noon!" seems to be Today hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb's morning mantra. And no one does tipsy, TMI-spewing Kathie Lee better than Wiig – except maybe for, um, Kathie Lee herself. The morning duo doesn't take itself too seriously, so nothing is sacred to Wiig when she tackles the motormouthed cornball with reckless abandon. This is one parody that could certainly use another round but, sadly, it's closing time.

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Dooneese Maharelle

Who has a big forehead, baby hands and a snaggletooth? This girl! Yes, Dooneese is the odd-one-out fourth sibling in the singing Maharelle Sisters act, featured on the retro Lawrence Welk Show. She can always be counted on to interject something totally awkward, irrelevant or disturbing into a song, like how she cooks roadkill, has worms in her hair or cracks nuts on her giant forehead. (Hey, at least those tiny hands are good for something, right?) But don't rain on her parade. She's out to prove fuggo freaks can have fun too.

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Garth and Kat

Alongside castmate Fred Armisen, Wiig plays one-half of the overzealous and scattered musical duo Garth and Kat, who make up songs on the fly during their Weekend Update appearances after showing up embarrassingly unprepared. Bedecked in matching turtlenecks and homemade vests celebrating various holidays – Valentine hearts! A Thanksgiving turkey! Halloween pumpkins! – the flighty couple improvises songs in which Wiig tries to follow her partner's awkward lead, sometimes leaving the two comedians cracking themselves up. Perhaps an album is in their future?

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Christine O’Donnell

Christmas came early for comedians like Wiig when ultra-conservative senate hopeful Christine O’Donnell admitted to dabbling in the occult – and then tried to clean up the political PR nightmare by proclaiming "I’m not a witch" in a highly publicized TV ad. Wiig's parody probably didn't help the Tea Partier's campaign (she lost), but it sure did bring the laughs just in time for Halloween. Truly bewitching stuff.

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Toni Ward

Welcome to The Cougar Den, where ladies of a certain age sit around trying to prove they're still red-hot mamas who can land men half their age … even if it means sharking around Dave & Buster's and McDonald's playgrounds. Toni Ward's celebrity guests have included boy toy James Franco, "cou-gay" Alec Baldwin and recurring pop-in Cameron Diaz. Now, where can I get my hands on a copy of the book Stop That Boy I Want to Get On?

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Gilly

The frizzy-haired, mischievous schoolgirl might be Wiig's most polarizing character, since the drawn-out skits rely on a one-note joke: Gilly terrorizing her teachers and classmates. Over the years she has stabbed a foreign-exchange student with a fork, ate a pet frog and brought a bomb to school, but all is forgiven once she utters her goofy-grinned catchphrase, "sorr-ay." Love her or loathe her, Gilly certainly got plenty of airtime, including her very own Christmas special in 2009. Sorr-ay, Gilly – you may be memorable, but you probably won't be missed.

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