Daniel Kaluuya jokes about royal family and Meghan Markle in SNL cold open

Jacob Stolworthy
·2-min read
 (YouTube / ITV)
(YouTube / ITV)

Daniel Kaluuya has been praised for his joke about the royal family during Saturday Night Live in the wake of Meghan Markle’s claims against them.

The 32-year-old actor was hosting the US sketch show for the first time on 3 April, and didn’t hold back in his cold open.

Immediately proving himself as a worthy host, the London-born star who was born 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.’”

He continued: “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.”

Kaluuya was referencing Markle’s claim that a member of the royal family relayed concerns regarding “how dark” the skin of her son Archie would be when he was born.

Daniel Kaluuya didn’t hold back in his first ever ‘SNL’ cold openYouTube
Daniel Kaluuya didn’t hold back in his first ever ‘SNL’ cold openYouTube

Markle made the claim during a sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey, which was broadcast in March.

It was the first time Markle and Prince Harry had been interviewed after stepping down as senior members of the royal family in 2019.

Kaluuya, who arrived on stage to cheers, has been widely praised for his debut stint as SNL host.

Elsewhere in the cold open, the actor compared racism in America with racism in the UK.

“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 racism, so that’s why they created Australia, South Africa and Boston.”

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He also reflected upon accidentally muting himself on Zoom while accepting his Golden Globe for the role of Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah last month.

“I was muted – can you believe that? I told the best joke of my life, and I was muted. I felt like I was in a sunken place,” he quipped, referencing Get Out, the horror film that earned him an Oscar nomination in 2018.

Kaluuya received a second Academy Award nomination for Judas and the Black Messiah. The ceremony takes place on 25 April – find a full list of nominations here.