“You know, it’s actually kind of tough hosting, because ‘SNL’ has already done a bunch of sketches about ‘Black Panther,’ so there’s only bad ideas left,” the said during his opening monologue. “The writers were like, ‘What about a talk show called, “Wake Up Wakanda!”’”
The actor behind T’Challa still managed to have fun at the expense of his character, career and post-movie fame throughout episode. Here are a few of the sketches that still have us cracking up two days later.
The show introduced another overlooked Black superhero at the 2:50-mark of the opener, when Panthro of the “Thundercats” (portrayed by veteran cast member Kenan Thompson in a ton of prosthetic make-up) interrupted Boseman with a proposal. “Come on, dude!” he implored. “I know you guys are doing a sequel, hook a brother up! It’s hard out there for a Black space cat with spiky suspenders!”
Boseman also used the opening to dig at his career of portraying “basically every Black historical figure except Rachel Dolezal.” He concluded the monologue with a brief impersonation of James Brown, who he played in “Get On Up.”
Boseman portrayed T’Challa in this installment of the show’s recurring “Black Jeopardy” segment. T’Challa’s royal upbringing in uncolonized Wakanda made him blissfuly unaware of the racism behind most of the correct answers. He stumbled through optimistic answers involving educational equity and police accountability before finally catching up on a question about a White woman bringing potato salad to a cookout.
Boseman and “SNL” cast members Leslie Jones and Chris Redd starred as fans of “Black Panther” who confront the awkward appropriation of the Wakandan salute by two White moviegoers (Pete Davidson and Beck Bennett). “We know your history, you don’t give stuff back,” Jones noted.