This week's Saturday Night Live featured Alec Baldwin's Donald Trump referencing Black Panther's Wakanda. The veteran actor has been appearing in the long-running comedy show as the president for quite some time now. And while the White House staffers, including POTUS, have openly chastised him for the gig, it is still one of the funniest bits in the NBC series right now.
Prior to the release of Black Panther, a running joke on social media suggested that a reporter should attempt to ask Trump about his thoughts on Wakanda. No one attempted to, but it appears SNL mined some inspiration from the suggestion and incorporated it in Baldwin's recent bit on the show where he impersonates POTUS. Considering the president's bias against African nations (infamously calling some of them sh-thole countries), Baldwin's version was more respectful to the fictional African kingdom.
Baldwin tackled a lot of issues in his weekly SNL gig, including the ongoing discussion regarding gun violence in the country and the resignation of White House Communications Director Hope Hicks. But the main takeaway from this week's sketch is his reference to Wakanda, Black Panther's technologically advanced nation in Africa. In true Trump fashion, he championed his campaign battle cry to make America great again while addressing that "we could do better." He said, “They’re all beating us: China, Japan, Wakanda. Wakanda is laughing at us. They’ve got flying cars, people, in Wakanda,” he said, belatedly citing the fictional country's "flying cars." You can watch the full clip above.
Interestingly, the Marvel film included a jibe at Trump despite Coogler revealing that the film wasn't necessarily impacted by the political climate in the country. In Black Panther's mid-credits scene where T'Challa stood in front of the United Nations, ready to let their secret be known to the world, the king talked about building bridges instead of walls. This criticizes Trump's promise of building a border wall that would separate Mexico and the US in the hopes of battling illegal immigrants coming to the country. The plan has been mocked countless times due to its impracticality from an architectural standpoint, but it remains to be the president's most popular agenda. Its chances, however, of coming to fruition are very questionable.
Coogler and Black Panther co-writer Joe Robert Cole did a really good job in bringing Wakanda to life so that it's quickly become a pop culture favorite with people referencing it as if it does exist. People have been chanting the nation’s official salute, “Wakanda Forever” and of course, doing their version of a salute. Meanwhile, a similar-sounding village name in Illinois called Wauconda is embracing their newfound fame by celebrating the success of the Coogler-directed film While, sadly, Wakanda doesn't exist in the real world, adapting some of their codes to live by could be a good starting point to achieve their utopian society.