Kate McKinnon Randolph Theatre, Toronto ON, March 9
Published Mar 10, 2015Hot off of appearing in basically every sketch on the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live, Kate McKinnon appeared fresh-faced and excited to be in Canada for the first time and, to get her set across, leaned hard on that exuberance.
If SNL has a current cast MVP, McKinnon is likely tied with Cecily Strong as the most utilized player. She is physical and her eyes are manic and magically hypnotic. She can express anything with her rubbery face. McKinnon is also beloved and hit the stage like the charismatic star she is.
She did the by now standard, passive-aggressive American-trying-to-get-Canada thing and we were flattered and insulted in-kind. The room ate it up; the audience was enthralled just to be in the midst of a young, current TV personality. For her part, McKinnon didn't palpably play this up, simply setting to the task of making people laugh with an A/V type of presentation.
There was a PowerPoint presentation about preposterously pretentious thesis titles. She strapped on a hollow-body and conjured '90s feminist folk icon Ani Difranco with a funny original song called "Tampon Farm." And she performed a kind of pre-taped segment, calling the play-by-play on a terrible figure skating performance (she too played the hapless ice dancer).
In between she did some unremarkable bits about giving stool samples and New York (it's crowded!) that, in the arsenal of an emerging comic, would've made for an okay set. McKinnon made out far better than this but it wasn't for the substance of her 40-minute appearance, it was because she was loved so hard from the second she appeared on stage, all she had to do was coast. And as prepared and game as she was, that's basically what she did.