Kate McKinnon's speech teaches something ya need to know

  • Kate McKinnon’s speech is beautiful, sad, funny and true
  • A life-saving message is woven into Kate McKinnon’s speech
  • Kate McKinnon isn’t an alien… and neither are you

Kate McKinnon’s speech was the highlight of the 2020 Golden Globes where she presented the Carol Burnett Award to Ellen DeGeneres.

The Golden Globes is the:


warm up to the Oscars.

And you know Kate McKinnon…

She’s the longest serving female cast member on SNL (Saturday Night Live). Kate plays The Biebs (Justin Bieber), Angela Merkel, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (LOVE her), Hilary Clinton and countless other characters.

kate mckinnon's speech - some of her snl her characters

Her funniest impersonation, in my opinion, is when Kate’s the fictional “Mrs. Rafferty” in an alien abduction sketch called “Close Encounter.”

kate mckinnon's speech - snl sketch close encountersThree people (Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Ryan Gosling) share stories about their alien abduction – source youtube, NBC

I LOVE Mrs. Rafferty because she’s utterly apologetically herself.

I worry about all the dynamics of any situation and that can stop me from being a clear communicator.

…Mrs. Rafferty leaves nothing to the imagination.


At the 2020 Golden Globes, Kate McKinnon’s speech reveals the life-changing impact Ellen DeGeneres had on Kate’s life. And it teaches us something I wish I knew when I felt ashamed, frustrated and alone.

Kate McKinnon’s speech

Kate arrived on center stage by pulling out a neatly folded piece of paper, that doubled as a pocket square, and read a list of things that Ellen had given her over the years.

First Kate thanked Ellen for her “best collared shirts” and comedy techniques, like:

“A desire to bring everyone together by laughing about the things that we have in common.”

Then Kate said, struggling to stay composed, that Ellen had also given her “a sense of self.”

Kate explained:

In 1997, when Ellen’s sitcom was at the height of its popularity, I was in my mother’s basement lifting weights in front of the mirror and thinking, ‘Am I gay?’ And I was. And I still am. But that’s a very scary thing to suddenly know about yourself. It’s sort of like doing 23AndMe and discovering that you have alien DNA. The only thing that made it less scary was seeing Ellen on TV. She risked her entire life and her entire career in order to tell the truth, and she suffered greatly for it. Of course attitudes change, but only because brave people like Ellen jump into the fire to make them change. And if I hadn’t seen her on TV, I would’ve thought, I can never be on TV; they don’t let LGBTQ people on TV. And more than that, I would’ve gone on thinking that I was an alien and that I maybe didn’t even have a right to be here, so thank you, Ellen, for giving me a shot at a good life…
– some of Kate McKinnon’s speech at the 2020 Golden Globes

If you’d handed me a microphone and asked “So what did you think of Kate McKinnon’s speech?”

I would’ve said:

I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats.

After Kate McKinnon’s speech

Alex and I spent the remainder of the Golden Globes finishing up some work and popping back over to the TV whenever there was a monologue or big award given out.

…Like the Cecil B. DeMille Award that Tom Hanks received.

Then Ricky Gervais dismissed everyone (!) and the Golden Globes was over.

Still on a Kate McKinnon high, we stood and eventually planted ourselves firmly in front of my laptop to watch more of her sketch videos.

I kept thinking “I love her.”

But it wasn’t until later that night—while Rocky and I were leaving foot prints around a freshly snowed-upon Toronto, when all the streets were empty and most lights were off, even in high-rise windows—that I realized why Kate McKinnon’s speech resonated so much with me.

Kate McKinnon’s speech has the power to teleport

When Kate described what it felt like when she figured out that she’s gay:

kate mckinnon's speech - It’s sort of like... discovering that you have alien DNA

Her words brought me right back to the lonely feeling I carried around with me from the ages of 14 to 24.

I was sure I was the only person in my school and beyond, whose yo yo dieting had escalated into the full-time job my bulimia had become.

Even after I got healthy I didn’t tell anyone what I went through for years because I was so ashamed.

And this secret sat between me and everyone I met.

It took years before I understood what happened and that kept me silent. And staying silent kept me from understanding what went on.

See how that works?

Kate McKinnon's speech - I feel like an alienKate McKinnon isn’t an alien… and neither are you

Kate McKinnon’s speech teaches a universal truth

When I heard Kate’s story we suddenly had this lonely experience in common.

Sounds like an oxymoron!

But just talking about isolating experiences makes everyone feel less alone.

There are so many parallels between any obstacle anyone encounters, whether it’s:

  • gender identity
  • eating disorder(s)
  • divorce
  • physical, sexual or mental abuse
  • addiction
  • mental health
  • trauma
  • grief
  • illness…

So when you open up you realize, no matter what you’ve been through, others have been there, felt that and bought the t-shirt too.

Talk about what you're going through

Everybody’s recovering from something.

Healing and getting healthy are all about connection

So how do we break down barriers so we can stop isolating ourselves?

While listening to the radio this past Saturday I heard this nifty acronym for HOPE that helps you get healthy and connect.

H – Build healthy HABITS
P – Reach out to other PEOPLE
EEMPATHIZE with others

Hope is a pathway to recovery

People like Kate McKinnon bring hope to so many people.

Kate shows us that not only can we survive, we can THRIVE.

On da flip side…

It’s important to practice the choices outlined in the HOPE acronym above, but it’s also KEY to recognize that a good life and a real life isn’t all warm lattes and love notes.

And that’s ok.

Now that I’ve overcome my eating disorder I recognize that so much happens in those lonely moments that make us better people than we would have been without our trials and tribulations.

What we must bear in mind is that all these trials and tribulations that pop up in our lives, well, they serve a very useful purpose: they build character, as long as we can hold on to the lessons we've learned from our mistakes.— Miss Stacey, Anne of Green Gables

Like the years I spent preoccupied by yo yo dieting and bulimia helped me:

  • put myself in other people’s shoes
  • know that no matter what happens I can get through it
  • learn to look at and appreciate the big picture
  • stop taking myself so seriously
  • discover that I’m never alone

These skills & outlooks have also served Kate McKinnon well

I’m sure that along with Ellen DeGeneres guidance, Kate’s lonely times have also heightened her:

“desire to bring everyone together by laughing about the things that we have in common.”

Rather than regret, embrace what you learn and share it with others—EXACTLY what Kate McKinnon’s speech achieved at the Golden Globes.

share what you learn

Make Today Count

make today count - the10principlesI hope that you always have hope.

And when you don’t, I hope you create hope by practicing the HOPE acronym above, no matter what you’re going through.

For instance, let’s look at the letter “P“. Who’s one PERSON you can talk to today?

Start by giving them a call and asking how they’re doing.

Build healthy eating and exercise habits. A healthy weight will follow.

Kate McKinnon's speech teaches something ya need to know - summary

Next Steps

You can break down barriers by following the acronym HOPE.

How ’bout the letter “H“?

It stands for HABITS.

What’s one habit you can improve today?

Want to know the BIGGEST weight-loss mistake so you can start to improve this unhealthy habit?

Sign up below, and you’ll get it instantly!

If you didn’t see Kate McKinnon’s speech here are the highlights:

Kate McKinnon comes from what she describes as a funny family. Devastatingly, her father passed away from a brain tumor when she was just 18. Kate doesn’t have social media. Gotta love her for that! And she plays the piano, cello and guitar. What a talent.

What do you love about Kate McKinnon or Kate McKinnon’s speech? Let me know in the comments below!

Kelly Clark



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