Saturday Night Live kicked off its Season 46 premiere with Chris Rock as the host and Megan Thee Stallion as the musical guest. During the Weekend Update portion of the episode, the show paid tribute to late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was frequently portrayed by Kate McKinnon. As many viewers noted, the show's understated tribute was a fitting one for the late icon.
SNL held its Weekend Update as usual, with Colin Jost and Michael Che making jokes about some of the top headlines from the past week. At the end of the segment, after the two hosts signed off, the camera panned over to the audience. Viewers then spotted McKinnon dressed in her Ginsburg outfit. McKinnon's Ginsburg traditionally appeared during Weekend Update, providing a wacky version of the Supreme Court Justice. But, this time, McKinnon didn't utter a single word. Instead, the actor simply placed her hand on her chest and looked up to the sky. SNL then showcased an image of Ginsburg's black judge robe, her glasses, and the words "Rest in Power."
On Sept. 18, Ginsburg died at the age of 87 after battling pancreatic cancer. Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement regarding her passing in which he noted that she died in Washington with her family by her side. "Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature," Chief Justice Roberts said. "We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tired and resolute champion of justice."
Many have paid tribute to Ginsburg in the days following her death. McKinnon also released a statement at the time in which she spoke about the late 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," the actor's statement read. "Playing her on SNL was a profound joy because 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."