‘Saturday Night Live’ Cold Open Hails Ketanji Brown Jackson, Kate McKinnon Channels RBG


Saturday Night Live” put the spotlight in its cold open on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s appointment to the Supreme Court with a sketch that featured Ego Nwodim as the history-making jurist and Kate McKinnon as the spirit of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The sketch opened with Nwodim as Jackson and James Austin Johnson as President Joe Biden recreating the moment that went viral on social media when the President released a photo of the two watching the Senate’s historic April 7 confirmation vote on C-SPAN2. The barbs, not surprisingly, took aim at the shockingly disrespectful line of questioning that Jackson faced from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and other Republicans.

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Nwodim’s Jackson assured the Commander in Chief that as the first Black women to join the nation’s high court, she had to “work twice as had as a white man my entire life and spend an entire week listening to Ted Cruz call me a pedophile.”

McKinnon joined the sketch as the ghost of the late Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg, who died in September 2020, who appeared (complete with judge’s robe and Ginsburg’s signature lacy collar) to give Jackson advice on surviving the lifetime appointment. She warned Nwodim’s Jackson that her new-found celebrity might seem strange at first. “White ladies will wear buttons of your face like ‘I Voted’ stickers,” McKinnon’s Ginsburg advised.

Kenan Thompson made an an appearance as Thurgood Marshall, the first Black person to join the high court. Punkie Johnson played Harriet Tubman.

Another “SNL” regular, Chris Redd, popped in dressed as pioneering Black baseball giant Jackie Robinson, in a nod the 75th anniversary of his history-making move into baseball’s major leagues. When Redd’s Robinson is told that baseball player salaries average $4 million a year, he screamed into his baseball glove. “I’ve been holding that in since 1947,” he said.

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal returned as host of “SNL” for the first time since 2007. Camila Cabello is musical guest.

Gyllenhaal began his monologue by noting how much the world has changed in the 15 years since he was last on the 8H stage at Rockefeller Center. “That was 400 Marvel movies ago,” he quipped.

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