It looked like it was going to mock racist Trump supporters, but it took an unexpected turn.
As expected, the Oct. 22, 2016, “Saturday Night Live” opened with a sketch about the third and final presidential debate of the year and starred Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton, Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, and Tom Hanks as moderator Chris Wallace. The sketch did a perfect job at lampooning the candidates, with McKinnon’s Clinton struggling to appear natural and Baldwin’s Trump acting like a childish boor.
But the second sketch of that night, the unexpectedly poignant “Black Jeopardy,” may have been the best political sketch SNL aired so far in the season.
“Black Jeopardy” has routinely been one of the sketch show’s stronger recurring bits, taking on black stereotypes and white political correctness. In this version, Kenan Thompson starred as the “Jeopardy” host with Leslie Jones and Sasheer Zamata as black contestants alongside Tom Hanks as “Doug” a rural, white Donald Trump supporter in a “Make America Great Again” hat.
As the sketch began, it looked like it would mock Trump’s racist supporters, but it took an unexpected turn by pointing out the similar struggles faced by rural whites and inner-city blacks.
Hanks’ character unexpectedly bonds with the other contestants over lottery tickets, government surveillance, Caitlyn Jenner, Tyler Perry movies, and voter supression. Instead of pointing out America’s racial divide, the sketch chose to illustrate how, in many respects, working class Americans have a lot in common regardless of their ethnicity or where they live.