Daniel Kaluuya hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time tonight, and his witty monologue poked fun at a serious subject, mocked a Golden Globes glitch, and paid tribute to a long-running cast member of NBC’s late-night staple.
The London-born actor began by stating, “First and foremost, I understand that you’re hearing my accent and thinking, ‘Oh no, he’s not Black — he’s British.'” After confirming that he is indeed both, he stated, “I am essentially what the royal family feared the baby would look like.”
Kaluuya expanded on the subject, stating that he is frequently asked which is worse: British or American racism. “Permit me to state it this way,” he stated. “British racism is so severe that white people have fled. They desired freedom — freedom to invent their own brand of racism. Thus, they established Australia, South Africa, and Boston.”
He then discussed his Oscar-nominated supporting role in Judas and the Black Messiah as Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, and a clip of his Zoomed acceptance speech was played.
“I was muted — are you serious? I told the best joke of my life and was immediately silenced. I had the sensation of being in a sunken place,” he said, referring to his other Oscar-nominated performance in 2017’s Get Out.
Turning semi-serious, Kaluuya expressed gratitude for the opportunity to host and referenced a certain 1990s Nickelodeon series.
“When I was nine years old, I wrote a play that was performed at Hampshire Theatre with professional actors and everything,” he explained. This is a true story — Kenan & Kel was the inspiration for the play. And that play led me down a path that brought me here tonight, backstage with Kenan [Thompson]. And I’d like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Mom in front of Kenan and the entire world. God, we thank you. Additionally, thank you, Kel.”