Kristen Wiig’s Favorite ‘SNL’ Character Almost Didn’t Make It On Air

It took four or five pitches to convince Lorne Michaels
Kristen Wiig’s Favorite ‘SNL’ Character Almost Didn’t Make It On Air

Was Kristen Wiig the last great originator of the Saturday Night Live recurring character? 

Between Dooneese, Target Lady, Penelope, Sue the Surprise Lady and Gilly, Wiig created a menagerie of weirdos that Lorne Michaels kept summoning for repeat performances. But Wiig’s favorite character almost didn’t make it to SNLshe told Bruce Bozzi on the Table for Two podcast this week

Wiig developed several funny characters as a member of the Groundlings, but “things that work on a stage don’t necessarily work on a TV show,” she explained. Aunt Linda was a character who scored big in a theater but wasn’t quite working during Wiig’s SNL pitches. “I tried to get her on the show like four or five times, and it just wasn’t (working).”

“There was something about it because she’s so unlikable,” Wiig remembered. “It was kind of like, ‘Why aren’t people just getting up and leaving?’ Like the scene doesn’t make sense because why are people still talking to her?”

The solution was putting Aunt Linda at the Weekend Update desk, where she could be as unlikable as she wanted “and Colin (or Seth) just has to sit there.”

Why does Wiig call the confused movie critic her favorite character? “I really do love doing Aunt Linda because I really get to release — she’s very animated, so I lose myself in her a little bit so it kind of de-stresses me.”

The real Aunt Linda is walking around out in the wild, too. “She was based on someone that was on a plane,” Wiig said on the Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend podcast.  This was back in the day when there was only one movie screen at the front of the plane, requiring a rented headset if you wanted to hear the audio. The movie that day was The Matrix and the passenger “was so confused. She was just like, ‘What??? Why is he flying?’”

“She was so loud, and I was listening to her and writing down things she was saying,” Wiig admitted. “She was so upset and confused, and it just made me laugh.” 

O’Brien loved Aunt Linda’s film reviews since she had “nothing but disdain” and “doesn’t seem to understand the movies.” 

Wiig recently brought back her favorite character to review last year’s most popular movies. Her take on Barbie? “There was so much pink!” Aunt Linda complained. “The only good thing that came out of it is I was reminded to take my Pepto-Bismol. And hey, America Ferrari, save your speech for women’s libbers. I love wearing a bra.” 

She concluded her review by giving Barbie two “What in the—???”s and four “Gahhhhs.”


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