The Hollywood Reporter polls industry insiders and mines the data to assemble the second annual list of the artists and executives with the clout to make the world laugh, delivering eyeballs to film and TV and billions in arena grosses.
Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson
CATEGORY The Breakouts
On SNL, McKinnon, 35, is the undisputed MVP, known for her impersonations of Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Jeff Sessions and Kellyanne Conway. Davidson, the youngest castmember at 25, is known for headline-making Weekend Update appearances (his back-and-forth with Rep. Dan Crenshaw) and his “scumbro” fashion sense. (There also was that low-key engagement to Ariana Grande.) Outside of SNL, McKinnon’s career continues to crackle; she’s tackling shamed Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes in Hulu’s The Dropout. Meanwhile, Davidson stars in Sundance standout Big Time Adolescence and is collaborating with Judd Apatow on a Universal project about his Staten Island childhood and the death of his firefighter father on 9/11. Somehow, he also found time for a successful comedy tour with fellow power lister John Mulaney. He says one highlight in a year full of them was “seeing Adam Sandler enjoy himself while performing Opera Man on Weekend Update. It made me cry and my heart smile.” McKinnon recalls Sandler’s song tribute to Farley: “We all stood together and wept watching. It felt like a celebration of their friendship, and of the love-you- forever kind of friendships I’m lucky enough to have at SNL.”