Idris Elba Transforms Into an Entitled White Woman in SNL’s The Impossible Hulk
"I'd like to speak to your manager."
Last night saw Idris Elba hosting SNL for the first time. The charismatic actor seemed game for anything, and did his best with what he had, but the show felt lackluster overall. It’s a disappointing turn after the terrific John Mulaney episode last week, but the episode wasn’t without its bright spots.
The best sketch of the night was a filmed spoof of The Incredible Hulk, which saw Elba’s mild-mannered Dr. Bruce Banner tranform into a raging beast when he gets upset. But the beast in question isn’t a big green guy … it’s an entitled white woman, played by Cecily Strong. Strong appears whenever Elba gets upset, be it with a store’s return policy or rude neighbors.
Elba does some solid scrunched-up face work during Banner’s transformation, and Strong brings some white lady rage to her character, who is quick to call 911 on anyone she perceives as “aggressing” her. The sketch is funny, but also political. When Elba is pulled over by a cop, the racist exchange is quickly subdued by Strong appearing, screaming at the cop, and filming him on her phone.
The constant 911 calls and the filming evoke BBQ Becky, Permit Patty, and countless other white women harassing black people over nothing such as having a BBQ, walking into their apartment building, or taking their dog to the dog park.
The Impossible Hulk was joined by another politically-themed sketch, which centered on a game show called “Can I Play That?”. The sketch featured Elba, Strong, and Beck Bennett as actors trying to figure out if they can play certain roles or not. The sketch took on representation, with an increasingly confused Elba wondering what roles he can actually play (not a blind man, not Caitlyn Jenner, and definitely not Zazu in The Lion King remake).
The best joke of the sketch was that the show was sponsored by Twitter, taking on the social media platform’s quick use of cancel culture with the company motto, “One mistake, and we’ll kill you.”
What did you think of Idris Elba’s hosting debut?
(via Deadline, image: NBC)
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