If you tuned into Saturday Night Live’s February 13 show last night, you were probably expecting a Kanye performance or two, and maybe Melissa McCarthy reminding us that her penchant for face contortion is the apex of an actual art form. But the decades-old show might have bested last week’s Bernie Sanders cameo (and definitely topped Larry David’s Irish brogue) with the ultimate trump card (or Clinton card, if you prefer): the enduring power of Beyoncé.
While it’s hard to top the debut of Yeezy’s “Ultralight Beam” performance (i.e., the first track from The Life of Pablo) featuring Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin, Kelly Price, The-Dream, and El Debarge (as well as an ensuing rap duel with Kyle Mooney), as well as by Leslie Jones’s genital-centric list of attributes for her perfect man (“good hair, nice skin, smells like an Israeli”), the reaction to Queen Bey’s “Formation” might one of the strongest SNL skits to come out in recent memory, riffing on how pretty much all of white America somehow finally realized that Beyoncé is, indeed, not white.
Cut in the style of a horror movie trailer, the sketch lampooned the reaction to with the release of her #BlackLivesMatter-themed “Formation” music video on February 6, a day which will life in both fabulous and socially-conscious infamy, accurately billing it as “the day that shook the whole white world,” rolling privilege check after privilege check into a ball of delightful, dystopic pandemonium.
One of the best highlights? “Maybe this song isn’t for us,” said a distraught Bobby Moynihan, followed by a terrified Cecily Strong: “BUT USUALLY EVERYTHING IS!”
So yes, white people: Queen Bey, your “girl” Amy, and even Kerry Washington (!) are black and they’re women—even if one of them is on ABC.