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Kate McKinnon Said Playing Ruth Bader Ginsburg on ‘SNL’ Was a “Profound Joy”

Morgan Noll
·2-min read

Steve Molina Contreras/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal, Getty Images

On September 18th, we lost a Supreme Court hero. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who served on the nation's highest court for 27 years and has been instrumental in the legal fight for women's rights, died from cancer at the age of 87. Actress and comedian Kate McKinnon, who played the "Notorious R.B.G." on Saturday Night Live and coined the "Gins-burn," delivered a statement to honor the feminist icon.

"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," she wrote, via Deadline. "Playing her on SNL was a profound joy because I could always feel the overwhelming love and gratitude that the audience had for her," she said.

"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."

Mckinnon met Justice Ginsburg last August at an off-Broadway performance of Fiddler on the Roof, and the SNL star was understandably starstruck.

Another tweet shared an image of RBG and McKinnon, and it's equal parts precious and powerful.

The 2018 documentary RBG, which follows the Supreme Court Justice's rise in both the courts and in fame, features Ginsburg watching clips of McKinnon's impressions of her on SNL. In the documentary, Ginsburg calls the skits "marvelously funny" and later, at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018, admitted, "I liked the actress who portrayed me." Then, in an Inception-esque moment, the Justice did an impersonation of Mckinnon's impersonation, adding, "I would like to say ‘Gins-burn’ sometimes to my colleagues."

Just days before her death, NPR reports, Ginsburg said this to her granddaughter Clara Spera: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed." So, she knew that there would be a long and difficult road ahead.

In Ginsburg's honor, head here to prepare yourself to vote in the upcoming presidential election and to keep on fighting the good fight.