In his Saturday Night Live monologue, guest host Chadwick Boseman bemoaned that since it has been months since Black Panther graced its way into theaters, most of the best Wakanda-themed sketch ideas were already taken — but his iconic role appeared multiple times throughout the night. Most memorably, T'Challa went on Black Jeopardy on Saturday Night Live. The fan favorite sketch got a major Marvel upgrade.
Not only is this "the blackest Black Jeopardy ever," as Thompson said, T'Challa is the perfect outsider for this recurring joke. In prior "Black Jeopardy" sketches, the odd contestant out has been a Trump supporter, a white African American studies professor, an allegedly color-blind white woman, and a black Canadian. This time it's the regal, moral "big fan" of the game who who has never seen a mean street in his life and struggles to answer questions about barbers and credit scores — or even how to correctly pronounce "aw hell nah."
For example, when asked why you would keep bills in your grandmother's name, the king of Wakanda suggested "to honor her as the foundation of the family" as an answer. "That's really nice," said Thompson. "It's wrong. but it's really nice." Instead of answering that a girl "needs" to get out of her parents' house, he suggests she goes to a Wakandan university to pursue science. It's the perfect showcase for Boseman's goody two shoes hall monitor superhero. He's so enthusiastic and so lost when faced with questions about ordinary problems like Sallie Mae or heated issues like trust in the local authorities.
The only category T'Challa excels at, naturally, is "White People" — which in this game is all about not understanding them. Shuri, who called Martin Freeman's character a colonizer to his face without blinking an eye, would definitely approve. Bland food is something that people of color everywhere are boggled by, no matter where they hail from.
Twitter, of course, was all over it. This sketch is already beloved by fans, and adding T'Challa to the mix was perfection.
It really is one of the best recurring game show sketches.
There's so much more that they could have covered.
One of the best things about Boseman getting cast as Black Panther is that he clearly loves being Black Panther so, so, so much. He's having so much fun.
Basically, the jokes in "Black Panther" are just underlining the cultural discussion in Black Panther about the black experience in different parts of the world. The host and other contestants were just answering his cluelessness about what it means to be an African American, for example, with a little more brevity than, say, Erik Killmonger — whose character in Black Panther made a lot of the same observations.
T'Challa really is from another world and while the comedy show has always tackled political issues, it's cool to see the discourse raised by the film play out on SNL as well.
At the end of the Saturday Night Live episode, another sketch featured two black fans of Black Panther attempting to break down why watching white fans do the Wakanda salute hurt them in their souls... on like a cellular level. We're never going to be done talking about Black Panther and let's hope we never do.
Plus, it was just awesome to see T'Challa again. We're truly spoiled, with Black Panther still in theaters and Avengers: Infinity War just around the corner at the end of the month, and now this little sketch comedy lagniappe — an unexpected treat to tide fans over in between.