Women’s History Month: an appreciation of comedian Melissa Villaseñor

Written by: Evan Wessman – March 21st 2020, 2:10pm pst

The current cast of SNL is not lacking in female talent with veterans like Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and Cecily Strong. However, I want to shout out a cast member that fans have seen but might have overlooked: Melissa Villaseñor. Villaseñor started her career as a stand-up comedian, making it to the semi-finals of America’s Got Talent for her celebrity voice impressions. She garnered a following on YouTube through a variety of sketches and impression reels.

credit: SNL

She is best known for her broad range of impressions including Owen Wilson, Shakira, Natalie Portman, Barbara Walters, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Kristen Wiig, Brittany Spears, Sarah Silverman, Zooey Deschanel, Gwen Stefani, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She has also done voice acting for a few animated works including Family Guy, Adventure Time, American Dad, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and Toy Story 4.

credit: @melissavcomedy Instagram

More recently, Villaseñor has expanded her career beyond comedy into music. She has released a few original EP’s and in October 2019 released an album of original songs, Dreamer, which features her most successful single: Dreamin’ You Up.  Though her music has yet to blow up in the mainstream, I would recommend checking out her songs.

Villaseñor’s most prominent work, however,  is with SNL. She joined the cast in 2016, becoming the show’s first Latina full-time cast member. Now in her fourth season, she has become a fan favorite. Some of her best-known sketches are her recent “Hoops” sketch with Jennifer Lopez, her two “Dirty Talk” sketches with Donald Glover and Aziz Ansari, and “Dying Mrs. Gomez” in which she plays an old woman on her deathbed deliriously singing Nickelback’s How You Remind Me.

credit: @melissavcomedy Instagram

In both her standup and sketch work, she embraces and leans into her personality which gives her comedy an identity and style that is truly unique.


About The Author:

Evan Wessman is a screenwriting and playwriting major at Drexel University and the creator of the screenplay analysis podcast “Interior Analysis.”

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