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SNL’s RBG ‘Get Well’ Rap Is Weaker Than Ginsburg’s Fractured Ribs

It’s fair to say that “Saturday Night Live” has had its ups and downs. Sometimes, the show is Kate McKinnon singing “Hallelujah” and Kenan Thompson as the tragic hero of a lobster opera. And sometimes, it’s just men embarrassing themselves.

Forget the truly misguided bit this week when the absurdly wealthy co-head writer and “Weekend Update” host Colin Jost called New Yorkers “whiney b**ches” for complaining that Amazon’s new Queens-based headquarters is projected to raise housing costs and drastically gentrify that part of the city. The nadir of the show arrived in the form of a rap about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

There was a time when rapping about powerful Jewish women was this show’s bread and butter! Ah, for the simple days of 2006, when Andy Samberg rapped about eating feces out of Natalie Portman’s shoe. Alas, Pete Davidson and Chris Redd can muster neither the swagger nor the word play.

Their Sheck Wes-inspired number has the lyric quality and performance level of an office birthday parody song. (“Live Ginsburg, and I ride for Ginsburg.”) Even Kate McKinnon as RBG can’t save it — maybe because they barely let her speak.

Behold as Davidson and Redd manage to mess up a rap about an 85-year-old cultural icon who fractured three ribs last week and went almost immediately back to serving the nation:

Maybe the solution is something Ruth Bader Ginsburg thought of herself — when will there be enough women head writers on SNL to make it funny? When all of them are women.

Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny




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