Amassing over $1 billion in global ticket sales didn’t prevent Black Panther from being spoofed by Saturday Night Live, as the sketch comedy show featured a send up of Marvel’s Afrofuturistic hit during its most recent episode.
Chris Redd, Leslie Jones, Kenan Thompson, and Sterling K. Brown flipped the nuanced, heartfelt Black Panther scenes that take place in the ancestral plane Djalia into some familial dysfunction during their parody sketch of a deleted scene from the movie.
The sketch, which you can view in its entirety above, features the Black Panther character T’Challa traveling to Djalia, where he meets several extended family members.
While Jones’ and Brown’s respective turns as T’Challa’s great aunt and great, great grandfather seemingly fit into Wakandan lore, Thompson steals the scene as a relative cut from a different cloth. Over the course of the five-minute sketch, Thompson’s M’Butu character manages to compare the Dora Milaje to Michael Jordan, propositions T’Challa for a vibranium loan, and undercooks a batch of lion burgers.
Brown, who portrays the character N’Jobu in Black Panther, nearly breaks character at the 2:58-mark when Thompson adds in a callback from The Lion King by serenading his burger like Rafiki holding baby Simba.
“Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba,” M’Butu said, before tearing into his burger. “Ooh, nah nah…yeah, that’s still frozen.”
Brown’s character pretty much speaks for anyone who has dealt with the frustration of familial dysfunction when trying to explain M’Butu’s behavior.
“You can’t pick your family,” Brown’s character says.