Photo: NBC/Will Heath/NBC
Last weekend, much to the delight of SNL viewers, Kate McKinnon revived one of her bawdy recurring characters, Ms. Rafferty, a.k.a. the woman who experiences some pretty traumatic extraterrestrial encounters compared to the relative transcendence of her peers. To sum it up for the uneducated viewer: While Ms. Rafferty is getting her tits flicked by horny aliens, the other two are getting their consciousness laid beyond time and space. Ms. Rafferty, she’s caught in a net and brought into a spaceship in a snare. The others, they’re gently guided by a pathway of golden light. These otherworldly creatures either must really despise everything about her, or … nah, there’s really no other explanation. They just really despise everything about her.
While the premise of each sketch has been slightly tweaked each of the five times, the four SNL hosts subjected to these “encounters” — Ryan Gosling, Casey Affleck, Brie Larson, and most recently, Liev Schreiber — have all carried on the storied tradition of breaking at some point during the sketch, thanks to McKinnon’s unflinching dedication to her chain-smoking drawl and physical man-spreading comedy. To celebrate such a fun thing to witness, let’s GIF and recap all of these breaking moments.
In the first of the five sketches, we’re introduced to the basic premise that would later serve as the outlier of the sketches to come: McKinnon’s Ms. Rafferty, Cecily Strong’s polite Southern broad, and another Southern bumpkin played by the host (here, Ryan Gosling) are being interviewed by two NSA experts tasked with learning about their respective experiences. (Aidy Bryant has been in all five, while Bobby Moynihan was in the first three, with Mikey Day replacing him when he departed the show.) “Close Encounter” deals with the trio being the first verified case of an alien abduction, and within a minute, Gosling begins to crack when McKinnon pontificates about how the aliens instructed her to urinate.
But it was her musings about the aliens “slapping” her “knockers” that made Gosling — and Bryant — lose it. No, the aliens were not collecting biological data from her boobs.
McKinnon: “I dropped down seven feet onto the roof of a Long John Silver’s. They threw out my pants separately; they missed the roof. My slacks landed in a frickin’ pine tree, 30 feet away. So I had to just chill up there with my coot-coot and prune shoot hanging out until the place opened up.” Gosling:
In the only sketch not to deal directly with the paranormal, a group of gal pals (featuring Brie Larson) becomes of great interest to the scientific community after they were all declared technically dead for 55 minutes. (They took a wrong turn into a lake during a road trip, yikes.) Unlike the others whose souls left their bodies and were beckoned to a golden light by their deceased relatives, Ms. Rafferty has reasons to believe she was accidentally sent to dog heaven — mostly because she was left to “fight off a gaggle of cold snouts trying to sniff my drainer and my strainer.” Moynihan begins to break, and, in a rare moment, so does McKinnon herself.
Muffled laughter from Larson can’t be neatly tied up in a GIF bow, but looking for the slightest cracks of her smile — and bulging eyes — while trying to suppress her giggles is a fun exercise.
In a major win for the secular and religious communities, Ms. Rafferty and her two friends (one being Casey Affleck) had genuine encounters with the real Santa Claus — well, not Ms. Rafferty, as she was instead met by a “nine-foot tall goat man named Crinklemouse” who forced her to work in the reindeer stables with his “lez” wife and Gollum-esque elf named Shart. Of all the hosts, Affleck managed to get off the most unscathed with breaking — and, like Larson, GIFs can’t capture his muffled laughter — but Ms. Rafferty’s aside about Mrs. Crinklemouse’s pointy knockers momentarily tripped up Affleck and Strong.
Reuniting the original gang for a sequel, the NSA once again interrogates the trio due to them being the only people to experience two verified alien abductions. Lucky them! Gosling, bless his heart, starts out great, but he soon succumbs to a giggle fit when McKinnon recounts what it was like for the aliens to discover her butt …
… Yeah, those aliens were definitely not doing an anatomical study, face-in-ass be damned.
And one more for good measure, in which Gosling compares coming back down to Earth to being cradled in a big, fuzzy mitten.
Breaking from the alien theme for the most recent installment, the group is interrogated by paranormal specialists after they had experiences to prove the existence of ghosts. As always, Ms. Rafferty got the short end of the stick — while Strong and Liev Schreiber’s characters helped deliver the final wishes of friendly ghosts to their loved ones, Ms. Rafferty had to fulfill the bizarre quest of a demon to “upper deck that bitch’s toilet” with a fresh deuce. When she visualizes to everyone what exactly that means in a bathroom setting, Schreiber can hardly contain his smiles.
Did we mention his smile is very cute?