Kate McKinnon donned a pair of prop glasses and a black robe and transformed into Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for what seemed like a final time on the Oct. 3 Season 46 premiere of “Saturday Night Live.”
The show paid tribute to Ginsburg, who passed away Sept. 18 from pancreatic cancer, by panning over to and zooming in on McKinnon in her costume, sitting in the front row of the audience for “Weekend Update.” Surrounded by masked audience members, McKinnon put her right hand on her chest and bowed her head slightly. The show then dissolved to a “rest in power” graphic before the commercial break.
McKinnon has portrayed the late Supreme Court Justice for the past few years, most recently delivering a take on how Ginsburg stayed healthy and in shape at home during “SNL’s” first remotely produced episode in April. After Ginsburg passed away in September, McKinnon wrote a statement that said playing her was “a profound joy” and meeting her in real life was one of the biggest honors.
“For so many of us, Justice Ginsburg was a real-life superhero: a beacon of hope, a warrior for justice, a robed crusader who saved the day time and again,” McKinnon said. “I could always feel the overwhelming love and gratitude that the audience had for her. It was one of the great honors of my life to meet Justice Ginsburg, to shake her hand, and to thank her for her lifetime of service to this country.”
“Saturday Night Live” airs live coast-to-coast Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.