Chloe Fineman owns over 100 wigs. A wavy lavender one with thick bangs. A honey-blonde bowl cut. An iron grey pageboy. A streaky blonde mop with charcoal roots, for impressions of Elizabeth Holmes. At least three of the Big Little Lies characters. A Gigi. A Bella. She keeps them in giant, plastic containers in her boyfriend’s garage, in Los Angeles, though she dreams of storing them the way Moira Rose does on Schitt’s Creek, as luxurious centerpieces in her home.
Fineman, 31, and the new breakout star of Saturday Night Live, now has a team of professionals to outfit her in $5,000 wigs on the regular. But long before being cast on the iconic sketch show in September, she was a star. If you missed it, you should watch her recent viral moment on SNL’s Weekend Update segment featuring her startlingly accurate impressions of Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep, Scarlett Johansson, Saoirse Ronan, Renee Zellweger, and Laura Dern. Then you should go back and watch how she propelled herself there, one wig at a time.
Fineman built an Instagram following as an early adaptor to the front-facing video comedy trend. Her talent is palpable—her Instagram feed is a seemingly infinite scroll of her brand of comedy, like a couture TikTok for people born before 2004. Chloe Fineman, it appears, can become anyone.
In some ways, Fineman is a typical Saturday Night Live cast member. Like plenty of past and present stars of the show, the Bay Area native studied drama at NYU and did improv comedy at the legendary Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles. Like her coworkers, she talks about the “crazy hours,” the joy of working with the “nicest group of people,” and the charm of having a job where you get fake-killed by Adam Driver during business hours.
But tell me if you’ve read this before, in profiles of SNL alums like John Belushi or Mike Myers: Recently, Fineman and her boyfriend got into a “domestic dispute” (her words) over the ownership of a Timothée Chalamet wig. Her boyfriend—also a comedian, but the owner of a measly five wigs—wanted it for a character, and accused her of professional sabotage. In 2016, she was banned from returning things to Target. (As she tells it, she was moving a lot at the time and kept buying and returning things like Britta filters. A no-go for many retailers, Target included.) She hypothesizes that she trades tips with her hair and makeup team at SNL more than any of her predecessors (she uses the Kevin Aucoin eyelash curler and a Chanel mascara; I asked because I had to know.) She does an impression of Meryl Streep having an orgasm (and saying, “Oh! It’s delicious.”) When she didn’t like an outfit the Glamour style team put her in for the shoot, she said so.