Amid a whiplash news cycle, “Saturday Night Live” paused to relish a moment in American history that marked the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The show opened with Brown, played by Ego Nwodim, being hosted in the Oval Office by President Joe Biden, played by James Austin Johnson.
Biden said he’d fulfilled a campaign promise to put a Black woman on the high court. Jackson said she was happy to lead.
“I was happy to do my part,” she said, “work twice as hard as the white man my entire life and then spend a week listening to Ted Cruz calling me a pedophile.”
Biden urged Jackson to take a moment and “feel the weight of history” from inside the White House.
Jackson imagined whom she’d want to speak to, and late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, played by Kate McKinnon, appeared. She said there was some justice in the end — Jackson’s confirmation Thursday by the U.S. Senate.
“In the end,” she said, “people do the right thing.”
“I was confirmed to the senate 96 to 3,” Ginsburg continued. “Right? What was your vote?”
Jackson responded, “53-47. A lot of them walked out, and one guy kept asking me if babies are racist.”
Ginsburg: “Ted Cruz?”
Jackson: “You know it was.”
The topic continued on news segment “Weekend Update.” Co-host Colin Jost said that, upon the Senate’s confirmation of U.S. Circuit Court judge as the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh said, “I’ll drink to that.”
Jost eventually returned to the nation’s more pressing news, the fallout from Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards last month.
He noted that Smith was being sanctioned with a 10-year ban on appearing at the annual event.
“But is that a punishment?” Jost said. “He can still be nominated and even win an award. He can even go to the afterparty. He just doesn’t have to attend the four-hour ceremony — where someone is definitely going to make fun of his wife again.”
“I think the real punishment would be to make Will Smith host next year’s Oscars,” Jost said.