Sunday, September 11, 2011
Emmys 2011: Making a Case for Kristen Wiig
There’s a special dedication to the craft of humor that exists in a select few comedians and comic actors—what separates the good from the great is their willingness to do anything for a laugh. The great ones are willing to completely debase themselves, experiment with the absurd and the dangerous, and throw themselves entirely into a performance. With that in mind, one contemporary comedian comes immediately to mind: Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig.
Wiig’s performances are never underwhelming. They are often outlandish, regularly scene-stealing and frequently unflattering. She plays inherently dislikeable characters that are somehow impossible not to love.
Oftentimes, sketch comedians are branded with certain character types they’re forced to revive over and over again. Wiig, on the other hand, exemplifies an insuperable versatility; she plays obnoxious and bawdy as terrifically as she plays skittish and neurotic. Even her formulaic characters, such as the one-trick pony Penelope (the “topper”), are consistently enjoyable watches.
As ostentatiously silly as Wiig is, an incredible respect for her work emanates from her in every performance. She seems to hold all of her characters and skits in the same high regard; she puts her all into sketches wherein she may not even be the comedic focus. What she seems to hold in the highest esteem is the production of laughter. Whether she is the one directly inciting that laughter, or she is simply helping to set the scene for another SNL cast member’s spotlight, she is always very clearly investing all of her talent and passion into her act.
In addition to her dedication, Wiig’s comedic momentum is boundless. She handles demanding roles tirelessly. She is in many ways a physical comedian—rarely will there be an episode of Saturday Night Live in which Wiig is not challenged to bounce around the stage for one reason or another. But her subdued performances are often even stronger. With tiny glances and glimmers, Wiig delivers nuanced, unforgettable characterizations.
There is more to her characters than just a playing up of eccentricities and the wickedly irresistible tool of slapstick. Wiig's performances are more than funny; they are inviting and gripping. None of her characters' jokes or quirks would be so markedly powerful were it not for the earnest charm that the actress carries with her at all times. It’s not simply the likeability with which she was fortunate enough to be born—she is, at all times, with every piece of dialogue and action, working so admirably hard to construct a character we cannot help but fall in love with. And beyond her ambition are her talent and knowhow; she gives us everything she has. And everything she has is filled with a definitive understanding of the craft of comedy and graceful skill -- something few comedians are lucky enough to exemplify.
Wiig is the best thing Saturday Night Live has to offer today. She deserves to be remembered among the comic greats the show has spawned. Her attitude and abilities are remarkable, and her career in film and television from this point forward promises nothing but excitement.
Enjoy this great song that shows how Kristen Wiig has a great singing voice! I wonder if Will Forte's "I'm sorry; can'...
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UPDATE: Added three more images. Originally posted 1/22/10. ============== These are from the Mike Judge film (the creator of Beavis and ...
At the beginning of this episode, Kristen Wiig walks by while Tom delivers a pickup line, and then at the end of his pickup lines, we see Kr...
A goddess works at the Dairy Queen. This is the awkward character that Kristen plays where she comes on to a woman. Enjoy!
SNL starts out with a bang as Kristen Wiig gives us her most popular character that isn't potentially too annoying, Doonees on the Lawre...
Kristen Wiig's rumored to be dating Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti, but still linked to beau Brian Petsos Kristen Wiig got togethe...
So this is another video with Kristen's boyfriend (after her divorce last year, Kristen hooked up with Brian Petsos, her friend of 21 ye...
So that adorable little shite-talking alien PAUL (Seth Rogen) looks to get under the skin of us Earthlings come March 18th. As such, Empir...
Sketch: Ski Retreat A ski bunny tries to turn up the heat. Charles Barkley ... Mr. Jergs Will Forte ... guy Andy Samberg ...
Kristen Wiig Daily - WHAT'S HOT
- News - Nominated for 2 Peoples Choice Awards!!!
- Photos - Kristen & Will Forte
- Videos - "Paul" update (Kristen does improv)
- Video - fakes orga$m$ (Tamara Parks)
- Video - Trina (New Secretary)
- Video - Belle (Beauty & the Beast)
- News - Our Whip It Movie Review (photos)
- News - Kristen & Taylor Swift
- News - #13 most successful SNL film star
- Videos - Extract clips and photos
- Photos - Whip It with Drew Barrymore & Ellen Page
- Video - Gilly with Drew Barrymore (10/10/09)
- Interview - Jenny Slate's curse & new Judd movie
- Video - Whip It interview and clips
- Photos - McGruber movie
- Video - SNL Promo with Drew Barrymore
- Article - Kristen writes about her favorite purse
- Interview - Whip It (written interview)
- Photos - Darth Vader Gown (Emmys)
- Videos - Bored to Death (TV show)
- Videos - On Jimmy Fallon (3/31/09)
- Video - Miss Ice Tia: Deep House Dish (10/3/09)
- Videos - Whip It clips
- Video - Mom talking to Megan Fox
- Video - Suze Orman (10/1/09)
- Videos - Madonna (9/17/09)
- Videos - Ignores Jenny Slaters flubs
- Video - Flight Attendants
- Video - Judy Grimes (9/26/09)