Add up Daniel Kaluuya’s biggest film roles to date, and he wouldn’t seem to be a comedian. Whether it’s his Oscar-nominated portrayal of Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah, his unlikely fugitive in outlaw road-trip drama Queen & Slim, or his bamboozled boyfriend in Jordan Peele’s horror smash Get Out, Kaluuya plays against outsize antagonists with simmering intensity. But in the latter two films, and nearly everything else he does, there are quiet and carefully crafted comic moments. Plus, he’s been on a number of British sketch shows, so he knows something of the genre’s rhythms. It was up to the SNL writers to determine how best to use Kaluuya’s understated precision, and in the end, they did okay. While some sketches left him without much to do, and others just don’t have quite enough material to explore, a few standouts — such as “Proud Parents” — gave Kaluuya a solid framework to work in some equally solid jokes.
As usual, this week’s sketches are presented here ranked from best to worst.