The 32-year-old actor kicked off his monologue by jokingly addressing a question he thought the audience might have. “My name is Daniel Kaluuya, and first of all, I know you’re hearing my accent and thinking, ‘Oh no, he’s not Black. He’s British!’” he quipped.
“I’m here to reassure you that I am Black,” he added. “I’m Black and I’m British. Basically, I’m what the royal family was worried the baby would look like.”
The timely joke referenced the bombshell interview between Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, last month. During the conversation, the former Meghan Markle, who is half Black, alleged that before her son, Archie, was born in May 2019, an unnamed member of the royal family had “concerns and conversations” about “how dark his skin might be when he’s born.” The comments led many to wonder if the family is racist.
The zinger earned Kaluuya high praise on social media.
“Someone give Daniel Kaluuya the Emmy now for the delivery of that Royal Family joke #SNL,” one fan wrote on Twitter.
“Daniel Kaluuya saying He's Black and I’m British is what the royal family thought the baby would look like was the funniest moment of this episode," added another.
Kaluuya continued to address race and cultural differences between the U.S. and the U.K. throughout his monologue.
“People always ask me, ‘What’s worse, British racism or American racism?’” he said. “Let me put it this way: British racism is so bad white people left. They wanted to be free to create their own kind of racism. That’s why they invented Australia, South Africa and Boston.”
Kaluuya later poked fun at his Golden Globes acceptance speech, where he forgot to unmute his microphone.
“I was muted! Can you believe that? I told the best joke of my life, and I was muted!” he said, before making a reference to "Get Out," his first major movie hit. “I felt like I was in the Sunken Place.”
Kaluuya ended his monologue on a touching note by giving a shoutout to an "SNL" veteran cast member, Kenan Thompson, as he recalled a story from his childhood.
“Before we get started, I just want to say how grateful I am to be here,” he said. “When I was 9 years old, I wrote a play that got performed with real actors and everything. This is a true story. The play was based on ‘Kenan and Kel,’ and that play led me down a path that got me to this stage tonight with Kenan backstage right now.”
“So I just want to take this moment in front of Kenan and the world to say, thank you mom, thank you god, and thank you, Kel.”