SNL’s mocking cold open: White kid updates MLK on racial progress — and hashtag protests

Saturday Night Live” filled this weekend’s show opening by lampooning taboo racial issues, to hilarious effect, running the gamut from this year’s slate of largely white Oscar nominees to copycat protests dialed in by cellphone.

Celebrated civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. even joined the fun.

In the opening skit, comedian Pete Davidson played a student named Michael who was having trouble with his school assignment on King’s legacy.

King, played by Keenan Thompson, suddenly appeared and began to explain the mark he was able to make on history.

Michael informed King about the progress the country has made since his death, mentioning that America has its first black president in Barack Obama.

“A Baracka what now?” King asked. “Sounds like a Kenyan Muslim.”

Then the movie, “Selma,” came up in the conversation.

“I guess that will be nominated for a lot of Oscars, right?” King asked Michael, who shook his head in response.

“Oh, that mountain is getting really high,” King replied.

Michael ended the segment by telling King that protests over racial injustice continue even 50 years after the leader was killed. But they’re a little different today.

“It’s really easy now,” Michael said. “You just take your phone here, push this Twitter button, then type in #IAmFerguson, or #WereAllBlack, or #Blessed. And then you’re done.”

“That’s how you protest?” King asked. “Oh, my God, that mountain is miles away.”

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Carmine Sabia


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