Kristen Wiig's Best 'Saturday Night Live' Characters and Sketches [Video]

The "Bridesmaids' star returns to host "SNL" for the first time since leaving the cast.

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Kristen Wiig on "Saturday Night Live."
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Kristen Wiig as Gilly, Target Lady, and Kat (of Garth and Kat) on "Saturday Night Live."

We're not "sorry" to see Kristen Wiig back on the "Saturday Night Live" stage!

The "Bridesmaids" star is returning this week to her old stomping grounds after she left the cast last season to pursue her hot movie career. And fans are abuzz with speculation about which of her many memorable recurring characters will pop up during the evening.

One that would make an equal number of people squeal and groan is the frizzy-haired Gilly, the trouble-making schoolgirl who shrugged her mischief away with a sly little "Sorry!" and strange smile. The idea for Gilly sprang from that creepy, goofy pulled-back smile.

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Though Wiig retired her (and Penelope) while she was still on "SNL," she just may revive what Entertainment Weekly called "one of the more unpopular characters on the show in a while." Even Wiig's own mother hated Gilly!

"The first time that I did [Gilly], my mom, the next day, was like, 'Oh, I did not like that. That new character you did, I did not like her!'" Wiig told Movieline.

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We kind of hope to see Gilly again, at least in a small dose and maybe with a friend, as in this sketch with Drew Barrymore:

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Let's look back at some of Wiig's other memorable characters and sketches:

The Target Lady

Wiig often based her characters on the smallest gesture, or in this case of a Los Angeles-based Target clerk, "Just the accent, nothing she actually said." The Target Lady was a creation from Wiig's days in the Groundlings troupe and one of the characters she played in her audition for "SNL."

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Penelope

Another love-her-or-hate-her character, this exaggerating one-upper was also retired by Wiig's own choice. But Wiig never thinks of her own characters as annoying.

"If I had to put them in a category like that, I would just say a lot of my characters are that person at a party that you don't want to talk to, because maybe they're talking too much," she told the New York Times. "It's fun for me to play people that are just kind of odd."

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Aunt Linda

The grouchy movie critic -- whose view on Hollywood can be summed up as "Oh brother!" -- was born on a plane when Wiig heard a woman complaining about the in-flight film. "I just got my pen out and started writing on a napkin," she told the Sioux City Journal.

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Kat (of Garth and Kat)

Wiig and Fred Armisen improvised when playing "Weekend Update's" improvising holiday singers. "We don't rehearse," she told Movieline. "The first time we do it that week is literally at the dress rehearsal."

This often led to their (hilarious) cracking up.

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Dooneese

Wiig was at the top of her game playing the demented, odd fourth sister on "The Lawrence Welk Show." Dooneese was always one of our favorite characters, and perhaps one of Wiig's -- her final episode opened with a "Welk" sketch. That it featured Jon Hamm was icing on the cake.

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Kathie Lee Gifford and Suze Orman

Wiig is also a gifted impersonator, and her takes on "Today" host Kathie Lee and financial guru Suze Orman were the cream of the crop. When she tackles an impression, she starts with the voice.

"When I'm working on something or they give me a tape and say you have to be this person, I don't watch it. I just listen to it," she told the New York Times.

When Wiig left "SNL" last season, Gifford joked, "I'm happy to see her go!"

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"Saturday Night Live" airs Saturdays at 11:35 PM on NBC.

Check out photos of Wiig:

 

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