We’re pretty tough on Saturday Night Live here at Paste, but there’s a simple explanation for that: it’s not very good most of the time. When it is good, we give it the praise it deserves, like with this great sketch from last night’s episode.
The latest installment of Black Jeopardy, a recurring game show sketch from the last few years, sees the episode’s host Chadwick Boseman play the game as T’Challa, the wise and confident alter ego of Black Panther. (You know, the star of the biggest movie of the last few years.) As I wrote in Paste’s review of last night’s episode, the Black Jeopardy sketch has worked every time the show has done it because it doesn’t simply repeat the same formula over and over. The third contestant has always represented a different kind of worldview that shouldn’t be compatible with the one Black Jeopardy expects from its guests, from Louis C.K.’s well-intentioned white man, to Drake’s Canadian black man, to Tom Hanks’s openly racist Trump supporter. The twist this time is that T’Challa answers every question in a deeply respectful and humane way, while the show expects the contestants to be wary and pragmatic about black life in America. So when T’Challa gets a question about the cops, well, just see what his answer is.
In his monologue Boseman made a joke about how SNL’s already done several sketches based on Black Panther. It’s really fortunate that the show had run through those premises before Boseman’s episode—without the pressure and expectation of featuring Boseman in an easy parody of the movie, the writers were able to use him and his character in a more thoughtful and memorable way.
Check it out below, if you haven’t seen it yet.