Daniel Kaluuya jokes about Harry and Meghan race row as he nails Saturday Night Live debut

Stephanie Cockroft
Sunday 04 April 2021 09:26
Showbiz
(AFP via Getty Images)

Daniel Kaluuya used his opening monologue on his Saturday Night Live debut to address racism in the UK and US – and he couldn’t resist a joke about the royal family race row.

The British Oscar nominee made his hosting debut on the long-running comedy show, and covered everything from Kenan & Kel to his muted Golden Globe speech in his opening gambit.

In their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey last month, Harry and Meghan alleged a member of the family – not the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh – had made a racist comment about their son Archie.

Meghan told Winfrey an unnamed member of the royal family raised concerns with Harry about how dark Archie’s skin tone might be before he was born.

Kaluuya, who was born in London to Ugandan parents, said: “First of all, I know you’re hearing my accent and thinking ‘oh no, he’s not black, he’s British’.

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“Let me reassure you that I am black. I’m black and I’m British. Basically I am what the royal family was worried the baby would look like.”

You can watch it here:

As part of his opening monologue, Kaluuya discussed racism in the UK and US.

“People ask me what’s worse, British racism or American racism,” he told the audience inside New York’s famous Studio 8H.

“Let me put it this way, British racism is so bad white people left. They wanted to be free, free to create their own kind of racisms. That’s why they invented Australia, South Africa and Boston.”

Discussing his Golden Globe-winning portrayal of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in Judas And The Black Messiah, Kaluuya, 32, reminded viewers of the technical issues that marred his acceptance speech during the virtual ceremony.

He said: “I was muted! Can you believe that? I told the best joke of my life and I was muted.”

Kaluuya, who is nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Bafta and an Oscar, nodded to his breakout role in Get Out and said: “I felt like I was in a Sunken Place!”

Kaluuya’s first sketch saw him portraying a game show host and medical doctor asking his black relatives about their reluctance to take the Covid-19 vaccine.

Kaluuya starred as a YouTube prankster in a sketch sending up apology videos from influencers and played a Nigerian father furious about his son changing his degree from medicine to creative writing.

Told the world needs poets, Kaluuya’s character sarcastically responded: “If there’s anything we’ve learned from the pandemic, it’s that the world needs more poets.”

Viewers were pretty happy with Kaluuya’s performance:

Also in the show, musical guest St Vincent performed the songs Pay Your Way In Pain and The Melting Of The Sun.

SNL’s traditional cold open once again featured comedian Chloe Fineman as Britney Spears fronting talk show Oops, You Did It Again.

It sent up the controversy surrounding Lil Nas X and his satanic-themed music video for Montero (Call Me By Your Name) and the “cancellation” of cartoon character Pepe Le Pew.

The cartoon skunk was accused of perpetuating rape culture and has been left out of the upcoming hybrid live-action animation sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy.

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