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Why are 'Saturday Night Live' fans Wiig-ing out?

Kristen Wiig

Kristen Wiig Credit: Getty

If you accept the commonly held premise that “Saturday Night Live” in 2010 is not what it once was, then, after producer Lorne Michaels and, maybe, head writer Seth Meyers, there’s one obvious culprit.

No cast member has logged as much airtime as Kristen Wiig during the first few seasons of the post-Tina Fey era.

So it’s no surprise that a healthy dose of the ire of longtime fans has been directed toward the comic.

amNewYork scoured some of the anti-Wiig sentiment percolating online to identify three common complaints.

Her similiar characters
The most commonly held anti-Wiig refrain is that her “SNL” creations are all — as described by a commenter on deadline.com — the same “disturbed-woman-with-singular-tic.” That fits her roles as schoolgirl Gilly, the fast-talking, insecure Penelope, manic Target Lady and more.

Simplistic comedy
Her skits primarily turn on scatological jokes and bursts of broad, slapstick weirdness. The “Kristen Wiig is destroying Saturday Night Live” Facebook group’s description asserts that, “her immature and basic humor is desperate and cannot hope to rival the comedy of the greats.”

She’s overused
“How can we appreciate the woman if she never leaves the screen?” Entertainment Weekly asked, as it offered its suggestions to fix “SNL” last season. Indeed, less is more, and the best way to quell the anti-Wiig contingent is selective use. Keep the audience wanting more, Lorne, and remind us why we once loved her.

 

One-trick ponies
These late-night alum are still playing similar characters to the ones from their “SNL” days.

• Rob Schneider: “The Schneid” has spent his entire career playing different versions of “The Richmeister,” always “making copies” in some figurative way.

• Cheri Oteri: Most of her characters were dim-witted, aggressive types and, since leaving “SNL” in 2000, she’s largely been stuck playing small, similar parts in movies and on shows such as “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

• Chris Kattan: Best known for playing the childlike butt of jokes as one of the head-bobbing Butabi brothers, the anthropomorphic “Mr. Peepers” and the exotic dancer “Mango,” Kattan has had a hard time being taken seriously in his post-“SNL” career.
 

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