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Kate McKinnon Brought Her Ruth Bader Ginsburg Impression Back To SNL

Kate McKinnon dressed as Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her Supreme Court robe.
(Image credit: NBC/ SNL)

Kate McKinnon has won herself a lot of fans over the last eleven seasons on Saturday Night Live with a variety of impressions, but a strong case could be made that none had more pop culture impact than her take on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The comedienne busted out her over-the-top take a bunch of times in the late ‘10s, but with the Justice having passed away in 2020, the impression has mostly gone dormant… at least until last night. 

SNL’s cold opening this week started with a conversation between Joe Biden, played by James Austin Johnson (who has also been crushing it as Trump) and the recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, played by Ego Nwodim. After Biden left, Jackson was left alone in the White House to be visited by inspirational figures including McKinnon’s Ginsburg. You can check out the sketch below…

SNL impressions can typically be divided into two camps: those that are going for a really accurate, though slightly exaggerated version of the celebrity and those that are a bit more ridiculous and mostly trying to play up a feature of the target’s personality. McKinnon has always gone for more of the latter approach with her Ginsburg, which has featured workout videos and dancing after sick burns. Something about her energy has really connected with fans over the years, and not surprisingly, there was a lot of excitement at the impression’s return.

The sketch also works well because it’s so topical. We all would have enjoyed seeing McKinnon’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg again if it was just for the hell of it, but it wouldn’t have hit the same way as this one given how relevant the Supreme Court is right now. The shadow of the real RBG is hanging over a lot of what’s happening, and it was nice to see Saturday Night Live so directly address that.

The rest of this week’s episode featured an assortment of weirdness, some of which was a really good time. My favorite sketch was probably host Jake Gyllenhaal appearing on a gameshow, obviously hosted by Kenan Thompson, in which contestants were asked to explain why they liked certain things on Instagram. It went well for exactly none of them, including Gyllenhaal’s significant other sitting in the audience who had to listen to him explain the real reason he liked a photo of a hot woman and her dog. 

Saturday Night Live is currently in the midst of a run of new episodes with some exciting hosts. Jerrod Carmichael hosted last week, Gyllenhaal held down the fort this week, and next week, fans will get a chance to see Lizzo pull double duty as both host and musical guest. We’re also entering prime speculate about the future of cast members time; so expect to see a ton of speculation articles about whether your favorites are staying or going, including McKinnon who has been at the center of leaving rumors for awhile. 

Mack Rawden
Mack Rawden

Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.