Melissa Villaseñor is one of three new Saturday Night Live cast members set to make their debut in Studio 8H this fall, but the actress is already a comedy master. Case in point: her impressive range of impressions, which includes everyone from Owen Wilson to Gwen Stefani. And her YouTube channel is just the beginning of the fun.
A stand-up comedian of 10 years, Villaseñor has headlined over 100 comedy clubs and colleges across the U.S. Her notable mark in pop culture was made as a top 16 finalist on season 6 of America’s Got Talent in 2011. In the acting world, Villaseñor has lended her comedic voice to the animated series Adventure Time and Family Guy, as well as acted in Comedy Central’s TripTank. To top it all off, the multi-talented performer has had two different one-woman shows in the Hollywood stage scene.
Keep reading to discover the chops she’s bringing to SNL.
1. She can actually sing
While impersonating singers is part of her repertoire, Villaseñor has proven that she has a genuine singing talent. After posting an impression of Michael Jackson talking, the comedian followed it up with a heartfelt rendition of her favorite Jackson track, “Man in the Mirror.” “It’s a really inspirational song and it always feels good to sing,” said Villaseñor.
2. She can do Michael Jackson’s moonwalk
In one of her shortest videos, Villaseñor takes a break from a game of bowling to show that not only can she sing and talk like Jackson, but she can imitate his dance moves.
RELATED: Hear More About the Recent SNL Changes
3. Her Snapchat game is strong
A modern comedian, Villaseñor uses social media to share her off-the-cuff impressions. She’s used Snapchat to share hilarious takes on Jennifer Lopez and Winona Ryder, complete with Face Swap effects and hilarious lines. Fresh off the success of Stranger Things, Villaseñor’s Ryder is very thankful for the new attention from fans. “I cried so much throughout the whole show, that now, I can’t shake it off,” she says. Meanwhile, her version of Jenny from the Block explains why she still gives attention to ex-husband Marc Anthony: “You know my nickname for Marc Anthony? He doesn’t know, but I call him Little Skinny Bone Jones.”
4. She practices improv with her cat
Villaseñor has been uploading original videos since 2009, and among them are a few samples of what a vlog looks like through the eyes of a comedian. Using her cat Ella, the video “Ella’s Vlog” takes viewers through the cat’s routine, with Villaseñor providing the cat’s internal dialogue. “If you ever get in a brown paper bag,” she says, “just scratch it like that and it moves around. It’s kind of cool.”
5. She has already impersonated an SNL alum
Villaseñor and former Saturday Night Live cast member Kristen Wiig don’t just have their Björk impression in common. In a special video on her channel, Villaseñor takes on the difficult task of Wiig doing impressions. Putting on various wigs, the comedian nails the subtle mannerisms and quirks of the Ghostbusters actress.