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Abby Elliott on SNL: The Bear Star's Amazing Celebrity Impressions

Before playing Sugar Berzatto on The Bear, Elliott was a four-season Saturday Night Live cast member who impersonated Drew Barrymore, Meryl Streep, and Rachel Maddow.

By Samantha Vincenty

In 2024, Abby Elliott earned a Golden Globes nomination for playing Natalie "Sugar" Berzatto on The Bear, sharing the category with acting legend Meryl Streep. But here's a mindblowing fact: Years before that, Elliott impersonated Streep for a "Weekend Update" segment about The Golden Globes. 

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Watch Saturday Night Live Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC and next day on Peacock.  

Like many critically-acclaimed actors before her, from Ben Stiller to Julia Louis-Dreyfus to Robert Downey, Jr., Elliott cut her teeth in Studio 8H as a Saturday Night Live cast member. During her four years on the show, Elliott starred in hilarious sketches alongside Kristen Wiig, Seth Meyers, Bill Hader, and Amy Poehler.

In addition to playing original characters, Elliott also delivered a wide range of celebrity impressions — and, on more than one occasion, Elliott shared the screen with the real star she was impersonating.

RELATED: Watch Will Ferrell, Bowen Yang & John Oliver in an Unaired SNL Sketch

Let's look back a few of Abby Elliott's standout SNL celebrity impressions below. 

Zooey Deschanel, Kristen Wiig, and Abby Elliott as Zooey Deschanel during a Saturday Night Live skit

Zooey Deschanel

Elliott donned a perfect wig and array of cute A-line dresses to play The New Girl star in her recurring "Bein' Quirky With Zooey Deschanel" sketch. Elliott nailed Deschanel's 500 Days of Summer-era look and most importantly, voice (including her singing). 

When the real Zooey Deschanel hosted on February 11, 2012, the actress gamely joined Elliott's Bein' Quirky sketch as a guest — turning in her own solid impression of Mary-Kate Olsen.

Anna Faris

Elliott's take on actress and podcaster Anna Faris is everything a great impression should be: Larger than life, but grounded enough to be recognizable.

Anna Faris and Abby Elliott as Anna Faris during a Saturday Night Live monologue skit

After debuting the impression in 2009's "Celebrity Ghost Stories" sketch, Elliott returned as "Hanna Garis" during Anna Faris's October 15, 2011 episode in a monologue that had us seeing double.

Anna Faris Monologue

RELATED: Robin Williams & Joe Piscopo's SNL Hockey Sketch Is a Nostalgic Blast

Meryl Streep

Elliott played Streep in a visit to Meyers' "Weekend Update," humbly accepting several awards in her signature glasses and updo.

Update: Meryl Streep

Rachel Maddow

Elliott played the star MSNBC anchor in several episodes, and perfectly mimicked Maddow's deliberate pronunciation.

The Rachel Maddow Show: John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi and Charles Rangel

When was Abby Elliott on SNL?

Elliott was a Saturday Night Live cast member from 2008-2012.

The Bear actress joined Saturday Night Live as a Featured Player during Season 34, and was promoted to Repertory Player in Season 36. She left SNL after Season 37.

Abby Elliott as Rachel Maddow during a Saturday Night Live skit

Is Abby Elliott related to Chris Elliott?

Yes. Abby Elliott is the daughter of Chris Elliott, who was himself an SNL cast member in Season 20. 

Elliott is also known for Late Night with David Letterman, the cult-favorite 1990s sitcom Get a Life, and guest roles on shows like How I Met Your Mother and Everybody Loves Raymond. 

Though Abby Elliott was the first child of a previous SNL performer to be cast, she certainly wasn't the first relative to join the show, as Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and John Belushi's brothers were all cast members at different points. And young Season 11 cast member Robert Downey Jr.'s uncle, Jim Downey, wrote on SNL for 30 years.

Watch Chris Elliott in an SNL sketch with fellow cast members Janeane Garofalo, Chris Farley, and Adam Sandler below.

Making Better Love Workshop

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