There was a subtle and powerful message behind the gag lines in a Saturday Night Live skit this week. Kenan Thompson has a recurring bit called “Black Jeopardy.” This week, the gameshow parody featured Tom Hanks playing a Trump supporter.
Usually Black Jeopardy plays out as another “black people do this and white people do that” bit. Sometimes funny, but unremarkable. For those who have been lulled into anticipating the usual routine, Hanks’ role may have been particularly striking.
Just looking at a stereotypical Trumpster dropped into that setting is enough to bring laughter, but as the skit plays out it becomes almost a parody of itself. In a way, it’s almost a parody of the whole race-humor genre. It turns out, Hanks’ character knows the answers to most of the questions. Why? Because his life is pretty much like theirs.
It might sound silly, but it was an extremely heartening performance. It suggests that figures in entertainment are beginning to recognize the degree of overlapping interests quietly shared by black and white voters, despite their fears and misperceptions about each other.
Take a look: