Kristen Wiig’s movie star moment is almost upon us, which means we’ve been seeing more and more of her on the talk-show circuit. Which is awesome! People who don’t like Kristen Wiig completely mystify me, kind of like Republicans and pageant moms do. Like, are you kidding me? You don’t enjoy hilarious and brilliant writer/performers? Well, okay then! Enjoy your miserable life! I’ll be over here, laughing away.
Not to drop the “I was into the band before they got big” card on you, but I was totally into Kristen before she got big, having seen her perform numerous times at The Groundlings theater in LA. (So I guess I am dropping that card on you.) Just like on SNL, her characters always stood out. Then she appeared on Season 1 of The Joe Shmo Show, an elaborate prank and reality show spoof that I was completely and utterly obsessed with. (Both seasons are on YouTube at the moment. Watch them now before someone takes them down!) She played Dr. Pat, the show’s shrink/quack, and was actually sent to the hospital during a sumo wrestling challenge gone horribly wrong. It was really upsetting! (She was okay, though, and came back to finish the season out.)
Shortly after that, I MET Kristen Wiig! It was so exciting. A mutual friend introduced us, knowing I was a Joe Shmo mega-fan. She was very nice, but clearly still freaked by the whole sumo mishap and probably a little regretful of having signed on to that insane show. Anyway, that’s it. She would go on to be cast on SNL and steal scenes in many memorable films, quickly earning her status as a celebrated comedienne and America’s sweetheart. In my book, she’s operating at the level of Carol Burnett/Madeleine Kahn/Lily Tomlin (my three all-time faves), except she seems a little ill-at-ease with the whole stardom/spotlight thing. Which kind of makes her even more appealing? The success of Bridesmaids should boost her confidence in that department—but hopefully not too much.
Last night, Kristen popped by Late Show with David Letterman, where Dave asked if any of her SNL characters have ever been rejected. She said that yes, of course some have, and gave us a taste of two of them. Considering she’s just retired two of her most popular creations, maybe there’s some space on the schedule for Tony the Italian Ladies’ Man or Joan Hawaii, P.I. to dance/kayak their way into our hearts. Both made me laugh.