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Comedian Kristen Wiig's Saturday Night Live characters Penelope and Gilly, and spot-on impressions of Suze Orman and Nancy Pelosi, became fan favorites.
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SNL producer Lorne Michaels caught wind of her talent, and asked her to audition for the program. She was hired midway through the show's 31st season, moving from Los Angeles to New York City on a week's notice.
Kristen Wiig debuted on SNL on November 12, 2005. Her characters—including the one-upping Penelope, squirrelly Gilly,
and spot-on impressions of financial advisor Suze Orman and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi—became fan favorites. Within two years Wiig established a reputation as the hardest-working comedian on the show, appearing in more sketches per episode than any other cast member. When Amy Poehler left SNL in November 2008, Wiig became the most senior female cast member on the program.
On the heels of her success at SNL, Wiig made her film debut as a scene-stealing passive-aggressive television executive in 2007's Knocked Up. She then went on to star in well-received films like Adventureland, Extract, Drew Barrymore's directorial debut Whip It, and MacGruber, a spinoff of an SNL sketch starring Wiig and fellow cast member Will Forte.
She continued her work in high profile comedy films, such as Despicable Me (2011) and Bridesmaids (2011). Bridesmaids was a hit, both at the box office and critically. For her work in the film, Wiig was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress-Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy. She was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the film. In 2012, Kristen Wiig gave a heartfelt goodbye as she filmed her final episode as a cast member of SNL.
Despite her over-the-top characters, Wiig remains fairly shy in real life. She was married to actor Hayes Hargrove from 2005 to 2009, a topic she declines to discuss publicly. She won an Emmy nomination for her work on SNL in 2009, the same year that Entertainment Weekly named her one of the 25 Funniest Actresses in Hollywood. "It's a mystery to me what makes people laugh," Wiig says. "I just try to be as real as possible."
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Learn more about the cast of Saturday Night Live, including old-timers such as John Belushi, Billy Crystal, Jane Curtin, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy and David Spade, as well as newer stars of the series, including Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis, Seth Meyers, Kate McKinnon, Molly Shannon and Kristen Wiig.
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