At the start of 2008, Saturday Night Live was wondering who should play presidential candidate Barack Obama (who probably wasnt going to win the nomination, but still).

Peele was on MADtv when SNL offered him the part.

In 2008, halfway through the season, they offered a spot on their roster to Jordan Peele, planning for him to be their Obama.

I kind of forgot how to have fun, he explained.

Last nights cold open on Saturday Night Live, which featured four of the shows Black cast members, illustrated how far the show has come in the past decade. The show began with Joe Biden (James Austin Johnson) and Ketanji Brown Jackson (Ego Nwodim) celebrating her appointment to the Supreme Court. I mean, I was the first Black Supreme Court justice, so you must be, what, the tenth, the 20th? Nwodim retorted, Nope, just the third. Throughout the sketch, there was a sense of fellowship among the Black cast members that could remind viewers of Senator Cory Bookers emotional speech during Jacksons confirmation hearingsthe joy of witnessing history after centuries of shared struggle. Acting is a really stupid job. "Quit while you're ahead, kid." Peele would go on to resent Fox for this for the rest of his life and would refuse to show up at the eventual MADtvreunion. This fact came from the One Cracked Fact newsletter. Read: Cory Booker reflects on his speech in support of Ketanji Brown Jackson. COPYRIGHT 2005-2022 Cracked is published by Literally media Ltd., 15 Inventions From Comedies We Need In Real Life, The World's Greatest Catholic? Go from Urkel to Urquell with these inventions. MADtvended in 2009, just a few months into Obamas first term, and just a little bit into what might have been a long SNLPeele tenure. Hollywood would have made Get Out three times if it could have. Rather than linger on their exchange, however, the sketch underscored the historic moment with a poignant one of its own. Justice Thurgood Marshall (Thompson), Harriet Tubman (Punkie Johnson), and Jackie Robinson (Chris Redd) all appeared to offer Jackson their perspective on being the first. The writers used the chasm between then and now to joke about progressor the lack thereof. Often, most cast members in the cold open leap back into frame to participate in the ritual, but both Johnson and McKinnon stayed offstage, leaving the Black cast members to inhabit the space. Gyllenhaal seemed to welcome whatever SNL wanted to throw his way, including playing a flower that gets peed on by a dog, an actor performing the role of the transparently ill Doc Holliday, and several music-heavy sketches that required him to sing. The night that started by appreciating the long-overdue appointment of the first Black woman justice continued with a slate of sketches filled with spark and joyand diversity. The amount of gold mined in all of history can fit into three Olympic pools. Read: 2014: The year TV starts atoning for its lack of diversity? The Black cast members reveled in the historic moment, kicking off an episode full of spark and joy. When has a knock-off of MAD ever been good? Im finally embracing that joy again, and thats why Im back standing on this stage.. Returning to the gig after 15 years, he said method acting had warped his perspective on the craft. Even though SNLand Americastill have far to go, last nights episode was a welcome opportunity to revel in the progress that has been made. McKinnon is one of the shows best character actors, able to exploit a quirk into an entire backstory, and she gamely built a whole world for the mother-in-law from hell out of asides. In Dream Home Cousins, Gyllenhaal played one half of a family team tasked with planning and building a home for a newlywed couple, Lillian (Heidi Gardner) and Pat (Johnson), as well as Pats mother, Bea (McKinnon), and her 27-year-old cat, Charles-David. Yet it was the sketch in which he played the straight guy that turned out to be the most memorable of all. Its pretend and its fun and it should be filled with joy. You'll never believe this, but the Hamburglar is a criminal. Kate McKinnon briefly resurrected her rowdy Ruth Bader Ginsburg impersonation, but the sketch deepened once she exited. NBC hoped Fox would let him out of his contract, which would end in a few months anyway. People didnt expect much from the show at first. Kenan Thompson as Thurgood Marshall, Chris Redd as Jackie Robinson, Ego Nwodim as Ketanji Brown Jackson, and Punkie Johnson as Harriet Tubman on the April 9, 2022, episode of "Saturday Night Live". It wouldnt be the last time they brought someone on mainly to play a politician.

But they only went with Fred because their first choice didnt work out. The big payoff came when Nwodim, Thompson, Redd, and Johnson all gathered to say that famed line, Live from New York, its Saturday night, infusing the normally satirical opening with noted emotion. In the end, they went with Fred Armisen. [Democracy] stumbles, but over time, it moves forward, Thompson as Marshall said encouragingly. Nwodims Jackson conjured heroic figures for advice. Fred isnt Black, and they would in fact darken his face for the part, but Freds got just enough mixed ancestry that hes known for playing all kinds of races. Or, maybe hes playing up his beef with Fox for laughs, but he sure has a reason to resent Fox. The sketch quickly became an opportunity to let McKinnon shine as the cantankerous interjector whose forceful opinions shifted the home design into an absurdist nightmare. This past season, they grabbed James Austin Johnson, famous on the internet for his Trump impression, after years of making people suffer through Alec Baldwin. SNL has struggled with diversity throughout its tenure, but during the 20132014 season, the problem reached a fever pitch. Want more like this, straight from your email inbox, without any ads or popups? Since then, progress has been slow, though persistent. Three years later, though, Peele started a new sketch show with another MADtvalum, Keegan-Michael Key. Join here: 8 Comedy Greats Who Have Never Hosted SNL, Three Candidates to Succeed Lorne Michaels, Rejected Saturday Night Live Sketches We'll Never Get To See. In 2014, Maya Rudolph made a cameo, joining Thompson, Pharoah, and Zamata to explain the elevator altercation between Jay-Z and Solange. The show currently has five Black comedians in a cast of 21, and last night delivered a meaningful cold open that reinforced what representation could look like at the level of a single sketchrich and abundant. Well, Fox did not. Elsewhere, the host, Jake Gyllenhaal, brought a surprisingly playful spirit to the episode. Appearing in the cold open as both Michelle Obama and Oprah, she ran offstage to change costumes mid-sketch while a voice-over preempted the inevitable criticism. If they were going to go with a Black cast member, that would have to be Kenan Thompson, who didnt quite fit the part. The episode felt light and celebratory.

This show really milks nostalgia at supernatural levels. The show had not hired another Black woman after Maya Rudolphs departure in 2007, leaning instead on Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah to dress in drag when necessary. Granted, it wasnt the first time an all-Black cast delivered the shows introduction. SNL continued to fall in love with white guys after that, but it also added Sasheer Zamata in early 2014, as well as Leslie Jones and Michael Che the following season. We agree this is not an ideal situation and look forward to rectifying it in the near future unless, of course, we fall in love with another white guy first, it informed viewers. - These Comedians.

But by 2013, Thompson publicly refused to play along, and the issue grew noticeably strained when Kerry Washington hosted in early November. Still, last nights subject matter magnified the significance. Gyllenhaal was looking forward and SNL seemed to be too. They could always see if Darrell Hammond could nail Obama, and they could paint his face dark if soeveryone loved Hammonds Jesse Jackson impression, right? (LIVESTREAM), 20 Sensational Facts We Dont Want To Keep To Ourselves, 15 Food Mascots And The Felonies I Think They'd Commit, JORDAN PEELE WAS ALMOST A SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE CAST MEMBER (BUT FOX SAID NO), 15 'Saturday Night Live' Cast Members' Stories Of Being Fired, 4 MCU Characters That Need the Thor Comedy Treatment, How 'Better Call Sauls Saddest Twist Was Foreshadowed By A 'Breaking Bad' Bottle, 'Final Fantasy VII' Makers Now Sell NFTs (While Warning That They're Junk), Nope Has Some Amazing Camerawork (That You Will Never See), 20 Nostalgic Facts About the Movies That Inspired 'Stranger Things', 4 Ways Jordan Peeles Get Out Nearly Sunk. A couple years later, they hired another Black cast member, Jay Pharoah, and a couple years after that, Jay took over Obama from Fred.

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