The London-born actor of Ugandan lineage stepped on stage at Studio 8H in New York City to host NBC’s late-night sketch comedy series for the first time with this episode, and the first thing he noted was that he is “basically what the royal family was worried the baby would look like,” referencing The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son Archie.
When he said that people often ask him what’s worse, American or British racism, an audience member could be heard loudly exclaiming “American racism,” but he said, “Let me put it this way: British racism is so bad white people left. They wanted to be free — free to be able to invent their own kind of racism. That’s why they invented Australia, South Africa and Boston.”
In his Golden Globe winning and now Oscar-nominated role, Kaluuya played Fred Hampton, a Black Panther leader who fought for the rights of his community. In speaking about the activist, Kaluuya did not expand on the resistance he faced, but he did show a clip of him winning the Golden Globe, when the start of his acceptance speech — which was on Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a virtual show — was muted. “I felt like I was in the sunken place,” he said, referencing his breakout role in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.”
Kaluuya also referenced his family being from Uganda, to loud cheers, which he joked was from “his auntie.”
“My mom is one of 22 kids and my dad is one of 49,” he said. “My family’s sperm is literally about that life. They say Black don’t crack but condoms do.”
Before he kicked off the show, he spoke about a play he wrote when he was only 9-years-old, that he got produced “with real actors and everything” — and that was based on “SNL” cast member Kenan Thompson’s previous television series, “Kenan & Kel.”
“Saturday Night Live” is live coast-to-coast on Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.