SNL and Sterling K. Brown mined the success of Black Panther for some jokes about racial stereotypes back in March, and the popular sketch comedy show looked to strike gold again Saturday with Black Panther lead actor Chadwick Boseman’s guest appearance. Boseman reprised his role as T’Challa to appear on the latest installment of Black Jeopardy alongside Leslie Jones, Chris Redd, and Kenan Thompson.
Redd’s character Rashad kicked things off referencing the unspoken rule in black barbershops everywhere: Never take a cut from an untested barber with an empty chair, even if it means waiting two hours. “There’s a reason your chair is empty," Rashad answered.
Jones’ Shanice character put some points on the board early, knocking out a few answers in the “Fid’na” category.
Boseman and the SNL writers set up what may end up as a classic SNL scene by making T’Challa struggle with the nuances of black culture in America. An exchange at the 4:11-mark finds T’Challa explaining the benefits of assisting the police.
“Our ministers of law enforcement are only here to protect us,” T’Challa answers, when asked what the proper response is to a policeman asking for information about local robberies. “Is this correct?”
“It should be,” Thompson’s character notes, in a reference to incidents of ongoing police brutality that drew laughs from the studio audience.
Boseman and Thompson cap the sketch with an old trope about the perceived differences in white and black cooking. When asked if he would allow “Karen” to bring her potato salad to his cookout, T’Challa easily wins the “White People” category.
“It it noble that she would volunteer to cook for everyone,” T’Challa notes. “And although I have never had potato salad, I sense that this white woman does not season her food. And if she does, it is only with a tiny bit of salt…no paprika. And she will probably add something unnecessary like raisins. So, something tells me that I should say, ‘Aw hell naw, Karen. Keep your bland-ass potato salad to yourself.'”
Multiple Twitter users approved of the references.
I don't know who wrote that skit but kudos to @nbcsnl for what was probably the funniest (and blackest) episode of #BlackJeopardy ever. T'challa working through the last answer was brilliant pic.twitter.com/tfLMC8Brp3— JJ Outlaw (@JJOutlaw) April 8, 2018
In my defense, I would never put raisins in potato salad.— Karen Wolsey (@karenewolsey) April 8, 2018
I will work on the spices, though.#BlackJeopardy
This is the greatest 90 plus seconds of 2018. pic.twitter.com/VVFKT3mBv1— Kazeem Famuyide (@RealLifeKaz) April 8, 2018
There are laughs to be had during the entire sketch, but you can skip straight to the 5:15-mark in the video above to watch Boseman and Thompson pull off one of SNL’s funniest bits in recent memory.