Kristen Wiig to retire Gilly and Penelope characters on 'SNL': Good riddance?


Image Credit: NBC

Sorry? In a recent Time article about Saturday Night Live star Kristen Wiig (whose painfully funny flick Bridesmaids opens in theaters next week), it’s reported that two of the love ‘em or hate ‘em characters she’s created for the show — Gilly and Penelope — are about to be gone for good.

As the mag notes, the decision did not come at the request of SNL creator Lorne Michaels, who not only praised Wiig in this article (he compares her to vets like Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, and Dan Aykroyd), but also told the New York Times just last week that he would place her in the top three or four performers all-time on the show. But rather, Wiig herself has decided it’s time to pull the plug on the trouble-making child Gilly and the one-upping chatterbox that is Penelope.

Despite having her very own Christmas special, it’s safe to say Gilly has been one of the more unpopular characters on the show in a while. It’s no slight at Wiig though — most SNL recurring characters, particularly the ones that border on annoying from the get-go (see: Chris Kattan’s Mango… or Mr. Peepers), tend to outstay their welcome faster than others. And though part of me will miss Penelope — though, let’s face it, there really are only so many more things she can brag about — I’m just grateful she didn’t give Junice the axe. I would have cried into my tiny baby hands over that one.

Watching the clips below, will you be sad to see Gilly and Penelope go, PopWatchers? Or do you say good riddance to both?

Read more:
Kristen Wiig is amongst ‘top three or four’ ‘Saturday Night Live’ performers, says Lorne Michaels
‘Bridesmaids’ clips: The funny continues, ensemble-style

Comments (120 total) Add your comment
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  • meh

    Good riddance! They were lame at best, and now…glad to see them go

    • Ken

      HORRIBLE characters. I fastforward my TiVo every time those sketches come up.

      • Samantha

        I’d rather see half of these witless rookie EW go away.

      • Not even close

        about time, unfortunately Wiig is a one note comedian, the rest of her characters are about the same

    • LOL

      I’m not a Wiig basher (I actually like her), but those characters need to go. Good choice.

      • Cris

        Agreed. Penelope was funny the first time … but by the second time it was old. And Gilly … that was never funny at all.

      • kate

        I love Wiig but never enjoyed Gilly. Penelope sadly got old fast even though it was pretty funny. I will never ever understand why they stopped doing Two A**holes though, it was by far my favorite Wiig character…he looked like a rabbit

      • Mr Furley

        My sentiments exactly!

      • Caitlin @KL

        Agreed. Penelope was funny the first time. Gilly wasn’t that funny, but my little sister used to have a friend that was just like her. The same characteristics in some ways. She even said sorry like Gilly. So my family semi-enjoy the skit just for that, but I’m glad to see them go.

      • MelindaB

        I agree–I think Wiig is pretty good, but Penelope got old fast, and I never liked Gilly in the first place. OTOH, my daughter and I watch Junice and literally laugh until we cry every time.

        (Mr. Furley! I haven’t seen that name in a long time.)

      • thin

        Agree 100% with kate. The Two A-Holes skits were a riot!

    • Louise

      Bridesmaids is this year’s MacGruber movie: full of unfunny SNL hacks.

      • Catherine

        Really? Because it only has Wiig in it. Have you even seen it? People are comparing it to “The Hangover. It’s produced by Judd Apatow, basically the comedy King Midas; he’s only really had one flop, and even then, barely. What it’s full of is a bunch of INCREDIBLY funny ladies.

      • sm

        Bold statement, you really can’t compare them considering Macgruber is an SNL skit turned movie… Bridesmaids is an original movie that just happens to star a SNL cast member.

      • thin

        In fairness to Louise, there are actually two SNL actresses in it, although one of them (Maya Rudolph) is an alum.

    • RK

      Instead of retiring them, I think they should be killed off.

    • Cygnus

      She may be retiring them, but she’ll inevitably pull the same type character out to run into the ground. She’s gone farther on the same schtick than anyone else on SNL history. She’s so overrated. It’s a laugh that Michaels considers her one of the all-time MVPs of SNL. Maybe he just meant that she saved SNL for another 5-10 years, as long as she hangs around.

    • joblo

      Good choice. They were tired and long ago lost any humor. You know who I do miss, though, are the Two A-Holes. “I wanna go to Hogwarts.” “Babe… babe… what do you think babe…?”

      • orville

        I kind of miss them too.

    • Jen

      I would love see Kristen Wiig go. Every character is the same. How is she funny? Molly Shannon, now SHE was funny.

    • ttt


    • Color Me Impressed

      Uggh its thats awful, offensive, incredibly unfunny character with the tiny hands that needs to go!

  • RorySparrow

    Never liked Gilly, but Penelope was pretty funny. They need to rely less on characters and think up new ideas for sketches anyway.

    • e4ia

      My favorite character of hers is the woman who loves (and gets too overly excited) about surprise parties. I laugh everytime I watch it on the NBC website.

  • Elizabeth

    I might miss Penelope… only because I have a friend who we mock in that manner.

    • Woody7


    • ChaCha

      Yeah, I’ll miss Penelope for the same reason, only in my case this one-upper in my life never has a chance of being my “friend.” Gilly however was annoying enuf to just want to slap stupid. Good riddance to Gilly.

  • orville

    Such good news. Now she needs to get rid of the acting diva, the Target lady, and the movie reviewing aunt too.

    • kikidee

      I looooooooove the Target lady!!!

  • michael

    One of the top 3 or 4 performers on SNL ever? She has, with the help of Keenan Thompson, ruined this show for me. She can do an impression to save her life and almost all of characters are variations of Gilly. She is HORRIDLY unfunny, just like this show.

    • Tad

      totally disagree- she is the most talented SNL comic since Gilda Radner. Have you seen her Suzie Orman? Can’t do an impression? Ha. Gilly is so lacking in dialogue I don’t see how you can compare her other characters to that. She is just the opposite with her fast talking Judy “Just kidding” and she is a crack up as Bjork, the Target lady, etc. etc.

  • Kan


  • commentor

    It’s JUNICE? Wow, I always thought she was Judy.

    • Sandra

      Her name in that skit is Dooneese haha

  • SNLcharacter

    Gilly sucks but Penelope was pretty funny most of the time. The only problem is, the sketch was EXACTLY the same each time. Right down to the celebrity guest getting in on the action at like exactly the same time. Mad Tv had recurring characters all the time but the sketches were very different. SNL has trouble with that. Same sketches, different scenery.

  • Missy

    Penelope was really funny the first few times, then it got to be too much. But I am in the minority and LOVE Gilly! I always do a Gilly “sorry” when I goof up.

    But as long as she and Sudekis keep the “Two A-holes” bit, I’m good.

    • Jenn

      VERY unfortunately, the two A-holes have been gone for a long time! They were some of my favorites!

      • kate

        Totally my favorite! I quote it all the time! I don’t see why they can’t still do it!

  • Ethan

    Whatever, as long as Kristen Wiig’s there, I’ll watch and laugh. Gilly’s kinda dumb, but the thing I love of all of her characters is that they are who they are, she inhabits them 100%, and manages to subtly tweak her mannerisms to fit each person. I love her Michele Bachmann and Greta Von Susterin, and hope they both pop up often during the campaign season(s).

  • kay

    Can we just retire Kristen Wiig instead?

    • jj


      • TorontoTom

        Agree squared X 1,000,000

    • Jason

      Agree. She’s just not funny, and it makes me seriously judge Lorne Michaels that he would even utter her name in the same breath as Phil Hartman, Dana Carvey and Dan Aykroyd!

      • nate

        Well you can judge him all you want but he clearly knows comedy better than you. You are posting comments about a show he created, you may have the right to judge him, but your opinion is so disastrously insignificant to him that you really shouldn’t even speak your mind on here. He knows more than you about comedy…

      • Alma

        I thought that was bizarre also that Lorne Michaels would put Wiig in same category as Aykroyd, Hartman & Carvey! I have watched the show nearly all the time it’s been on(started watching in 1977)and Kristen Wiig is not bad, but most of the characters she does are very unfunny. She is certainly NOT one of the alltime top cast members on “SNL”! And I’ve been watching all these years, so I think I can safely say that I know what I’m talking about!

      • Tad

        Lorne knows his stuff. She is a genius. Best cast member in years and I too have been watching all these years – so that proves nothing.

  • JackieB

    I liked them both for exactly one sketch. I hate when SNL does this – beat a character to death.

    • Maria

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  • JN

    I have to be honest and say the first ever Gilly sketch made me laugh hysterically and I rewatched it multiple times, but she really should have been a one-time character. Penelope was amusing at first, then again, used too many times. And “sorry” but I am getting sick of Junice. That entire sketch is overrated.

  • BobS

    Grateful to get rid of those characters. While we are at it…..can we get rid of Wiig as well? NOT a funny person! Mugs everything she gets! WAY overexposed! NEVER has a “punch line”/ending to anything she does! Just lots of “look at me”! Ever notice that no matter what she plays, she pauses before her line? It’s either that she keeps forgeting to read them in advance or wants to make sure everyone is looking at her before she opens her mouth! WIIG COMPLETELY RUINS SNL!!!!!

  • Carole

    Good riddance!! Now let’s get rid the Target lady as well!

    • RK

      Oh wait, this isn’t one of them? They are all so similar…

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