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Watch: Kate McKinnon’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg “Gins-burns” Kavanaugh on SNL

She brought her calendars along, too.

Kate McKinnon’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg has big plans on her calendar for 2018.
Kate McKinnon’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg has big plans on her calendar for 2018.
Saturday Night Live/NBC
Alissa Wilkinson covers film and culture for Vox. Alissa is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.

Kate McKinnon’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to Saturday Night Live for the season 44 premiere, armed with a few of her signature “Gins-burns” and a lot of barbed comments aimed squarely at Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, with a few left over for Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake.

Weekend Update spent most of its time going after Kavanaugh — “if you took a shot for every time Kavanaugh lied about his yearbook, you’d be as drunk as Brett Kavanaugh was in the summer of ’82,” Michael Che said — but McKinnon’s sketch was the funniest and most pointed. Asked what she thought of Kavanaugh’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing by Weekend Update co-host Colin Jost, she cracked jokes about Kavanaugh’s and Graham’s “unhinged” performances (“and I know unhinged — you should see my joints, Colin”) and called Kavanaugh’s calendars from 1982 a “portrait of the judge as a young d-bag.”

Then she hauled out her own calendar for comparison: “You want to see my calendar from 1982? This ought to be fun. Turn 100. Break glass ceiling.”

Ginsburg’s calendar for 2018 had only one entry: DON’T DIE. “That’s it. That’s all I got to do,” she said. “I’ve been alive so long, I’m restarting my life cycle, like a cicada. I’m going through puberty again. I got all sorts of feelings about Riverdale.”

The real RBG went on record in January as a fan of McKinnon’s impression of her — an impression she only saw after the crew of RBG, the recent documentary about the justice, showed it to her. “I would like to say Gins-Burn! sometimes to my colleagues,” she said at an event promoting the film’s Sundance premiere in Park City, Utah.

RBG was a hit this summer, making more than $14 million at the box office — a sizable haul for a documentary. Along with biographical details and an exploration of Ginsburg’s status as an icon, it also features impressive footage of the tiny octogenarian doing push-ups and planks at the gym. And in one section, Ginsburg chuckles while watching McKinnon’s impression of her on SNL.

RBG isn’t the only film about Ginsburg this year: On the Basis of Sex, a biopic starring Felicity Jones as Ginsburg and Armie Hammer as her husband, is slated for release on Christmas Day.

On SNL, McKinnon’s Ginsburg wound down her appearance with a note of excitement about Kavanaugh potentially joining her on the bench: “We’re gonna be very welcoming. The guy likes drinking games so much, we got one planned for him. It’s called quarters. It’s when me and Sotomayor put a roll of quarters in a sock and beat the hell out of him.”

But lest anyone take her too seriously, she came in with some signature self-deprecating humor: “I’m kidding. I’m kidding. I would never be able to lift a roll of quarters. That’s a self Gins-burn.”

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