Chadwick Boseman, SNL, Black Panther

Watch Chadwick Boseman play Jeopardy! as T'Challa on Saturday Night Live

Contributed by
Apr 8, 2018

Chadwick Boseman's having a huge year thanks to the success of Black Panther and the impending box-office dominance of Avengers: Infinity War, and this weekend he added to his already unforgettable 2018 by hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time. Since he made his appearance on the show in between two different Marvel Studios releases in which he's playing the King of Wakanda, we all knew some kind of Black Panther-themed sketch was coming our way.

Boseman led off the night by touting Black Panther's massive worldwide impact in his opening monologue, and called the character's rise to prominence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe a historic moment. Another Panther-themed hero took issue with that declaration, though, which led to the unlikely combo of Black Panther and Pantha from Thundercats onstage at the same time. 

That wasn't the real Black Panther-centric highlight of the night, though. Rather than attempting some kind of sketch that was more devoted to Wakandan culture (like the one Panther co-star Sterling K. Brown got when he hosted earlier this year), the show decided to cast Boseman's T'Challa as a contestant on the game show parody "Black Jeopardy!" This recurring sketch usually features two African-American contestants and one white contestant, with the joke being that the white contestant can't keep up with the various rhythms and idioms of the various "Black Jeopardy!" categories and spends most of the sketch trying to catch on to what the black contestants are doing to earn points. In this case, T'Challa has a similar problem as a native of Wakanda he also doesn't understand at first. The sketch manages to milk that juxtaposition for all it's worth, and builds to Boseman saying things like "bland-ass potato salad" in his Wakandan accent. Check it out:

Boseman also starred in a number of other sketches, of course, including one in which he played a scientist whose work led to the first pregnant man, and another in which he sang a very strange song about poor service at a restaurant. The Black Panther jokes didn't end with the Jeopardy! sketch, though. In fact, the show saved one more for the very last sketch, which revolved around a group of people debating whether it's OK for white people to do the "Wakanda Forever" salute. 

Boseman will next be seen as T'Challa in Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters April 27.