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SNL’s Kim Kardashian Konundrum: Why Nasim Pedrad’s Exit Hurts So Much

Kim Kardashian SNL

Every once in a while, one of my random tweets blossoms into its own story. That’s what happened during TCA summer tour, when I tweeted this during the panel for Mulaney, in which Nasim Pedrad talked about leaving Saturday Night Live to do the Fox sitcom.

I spoke with Pedrad later that day (she’d seen the tweet and loved it), and she talked about her Kim Kardashian impression, and mentioned that she would be open to popping up on SNL on occasion to perform it.

With SNL’s season premiere this weekend, the time seemed right to write this Daily Beast analysis of Pedrad’s exit (which was largely overlooked this summer amidst all the other firings and hirings), and how much she — and her Kim impersonation — will be missed. As I wrote,

For better or for worse—okay, for much worse—and in the face of all 15-minutes-of-fame logic, Kim Kardashian isn’t going anywhere, even after seven years in the spotlight. We’re still stuck seeing the reality star plastered on every tabloid cover, starring in endless iterations of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and instagramming and tweeting as if her life depended on it. Pedrad’s take on Kim has been our reward for having to put up with the real thing, and the only acceptable version of Kim Kardashian on television.

It’s also deceptively nuanced. Anyone could simply play Kim as a dim bulb. (Both Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong’s impressions of the other two Kardashian sisters—Kourtney and Khloe, respectively—are cut from the same cloth as their recurring “not-porn-stars-anymore” commercial models.) But Pedrad brought more layers to the role than even Kim herself actually has.

With no logical choices in the current cast to impersonate Kim, here’s hoping that SNL does the smart thing and brings back Pedrad for the occasional “Waking Up with Kimye” sketch. She’s the only Kardashian worth Keeping Up with.

SNL’s Kim Kardashian Konundrum: Why Nasim Pedrad’s Exit Hurts So Much