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Why did Kristen Wiig leave 'SNL' after seven years? Here are some of her most memorable characters on the show

Wiig landed in New York from Southern California in 2005 to join the cast of ‘Saturday Night Live’ and that's when her journey with them
Kristen Wiig (Getty Images)
Kristen Wiig (Getty Images)

When ‘Saturday Night Live’ released their December show schedule, fans were extremely excited. On one hand, there was Timothee Chalamet making his debut as a host on the show and then there was Jason Bateman who was coming on the show after over a decade. He has hosted it in 2005. However, one name that was equally exciting and maybe a little more thrilling for loyal fans was actor and former 'SNL' cast member Kristen Wiig.

This will be Wiig’s fourth time hosting the show. The musical guest for that episode will be Dua Lipa. Wiig was a cast member on the long-running late night comedy from 2005 to 2012.

She even hosted the Season 45 final which was part of the ‘At Home’ series, early this year. Since the episode was closer to Mother’s Day, during her monologue she said, “I don’t know if I truly appreciated my mom the first 45 years of my life, but this year I’m feeling especially grateful — for her advice, her love. I’m so thankful for all of the things she taught me," she said.

Wiig further shared that her mother helped her become a good mother herself while adding that she taught her many things including breastfeeding.

Why did Wiig leave SNL?

A 2012 Marie Claire story states that Wiig landed in New York from Southern California in 2005 to join the cast of ‘Saturday Night Live’. In that interview, Wiig opened up about her departure from the show.

She said, “I know a lot of people probably assume, 'Oh, she's leaving because she is going to be doing movies now and things like that,' which I will be. But I just always knew it was going to be seven and that was it. I think maybe if I were 22, I could see myself staying a little bit, but it just felt like the right time."

(Getty Images)

Wiig’s last episode on the show was one of the memorable ones. It featured Mick Jagger as a school head at a graduation ceremony. He called Wiig up and danced to ‘She's a Rainbow’. One by one all the cast members and SNL producer Lorne Michaels danced with a teary-eyed Wiig.

Talking about the experience, she shared, “It was a very surreal moment. You have all this stuff going on in your head, like, 'I can't believe seven years has gone by, and I'm going to miss all these people.' And I'm like, 'Oh, by the way, Mick Jagger is to my right, and I just danced a waltz with him.' So there's that.”

Wiig's most memorable characters from 'SNL'

Wiig need not prove her comedy prowess to anyone. Even though she isn’t part of ‘SNL’ anymore, many still remember some of her memorable characters from her seven-year stint. Here are some of the entertaining performances by Wiig.

Target Lady

It is one of Wiig’s most iconic characters on the show. Wiig stars as a Target employee who seems to be extremely excited and happy in life. The eccentric cashier also strikes up bizarre conversations with her customers. Here’s one of the skits which features Justin Timberlake as her chatty friend Peg talking about products, neck injuries, Peg's upcoming date night and other crazy stories.



In the ‘Gilly’ series, Wiig dons the eponymous character who is always up to some trouble and she’s “Sorry” about it — or at least pretends to be. Each time she does something wicked, the other children in the class are questioned before it gets back to Gilly. Even though the sketches might come across as nonsensical, Wiig’s expressions do generate laughter.



Wiig's Shana is usually assumed as “the attractive girl”. Initially, she gets all the attention from the men and they seem to think she’s “sexy”. But that bubble is burst soon as she starts doing a number of innocent yet "gross" things, and they increasingly get more and more disgusting as the skit goes on. One needs to watch a sketch to understand what we are saying.


Sue, The Surprise Lady

This over-the-top yet funny character is so excited in life that she has a hard time trying not to spill a surprise. She loves a surprise but she finds it extremely hard to keep calm before it is actually revealed. Sue tries everything possible to stop herself from spilling the secret, and it never really works.


Judy Grimes

This character used to make an appearance on ‘Weekend Update’. Judy Grimes is a nervous writer who is extremely scared to be on TV. And this nervousness makes her talk incredibly fast, saying all sorts of crazy statements and she also keeps repeating "just kidding". She is a complete mess on camera, and Wiig makes it even more hilarious.


The new episode of ‘Saturday Night Live’ Season 46 will air on Saturday, December 19, at 11.30 pm ET on NBC.