Sterling K. Brown can check SNL off his bucket list. The This Is Us star completed his long-awaited role as first-time Saturday Night Live host, and it truly was must-see TV for NBC. Not only did Brown poke fun at his starring role on NBC’s number one, tear-filled drama This Is Us, but he gave time to his movie Black Panther.
Brown kicked things off with an emotional monologue that mimicked his show This Is Us.
“Now most of you probably know me from This Is Us, which is the saddest thing you can watch on TV other than the news,” Brown said, before adding that he has a “reputation for being pretty sensitive.”
Sterling, who plays Randall Pearson on the hit drama series, broke down in tears throughout his monologue, at one time even saying, “Get it together, Sterling Kathleen!” (Brown’s middle name is actually Kelby). Sterling also added that after all of the things he has had the opportunity to do over the past few years (This Is Us, The People V. OJ Simpson, Black Panther, just to name a few), performing on Saturday Night Live is the “icing on the cake.” That brought more waterworks for the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning star.
Eventually, SNL regular Leslie Jones intervened.
“Sterling, you gotta stop crying. You are ruining you for me.”
While Sterling K. Brown couldn’t keep it together for his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live, he easily got into character for subsequent sketches.
Brown appeared in a parody promo for a new show called This Is U.S., a drama series about the state of the country under Trump’s White House. Sterling played Ben Carson as the narrator, who sounded suspiciously like the narrator of NBC’s This Is Us promos, described the faux show as “Like This Is Us, but without the parts that feel good.” Diehard This Is Us fans picked up on Aidy Bryant’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders impression that channeled This Is Us’ Kate (Chrissy Metz) and her habit of writing Post-it notes to herself.
Brown gave Black Panther equal time with a sketch featuring a “deleted scene” from the blockbuster movie. Kenan Thompson played one of T’Challa’s (Chris Redd) distant relatives, Uncle M’Butu, while Sterling played T’Challa’s great, great grandfather, and Leslie Jones was his great aunt. Look closely and you’ll see Brown and Jones briefly break up during the sketch as Kenan bites into a still-frozen burger.
Sterling K. Brown also headlined a sketch in which he played a Shrek superfan defending his favorite film against the Oscar-winning Coco. In other sketches, Sterling encountered Sasquatch, played Dr. Love, and did the best Nickelback rendition of this century. Sterling also played “Oscar loser” Common in a Celebrity Family Feud sketch.
Last month, Sterling K. Brown took to social media to share the news of his Saturday Night Live hosting debut with fans.
“This is truly a dream come true,” Sterling wrote. “I’ve watched @nbcsnl since I was a baby. To finally get to host is one of the more surreal moments of my life, but it’s gonna be awesome.”
And awesome it was. Sterling K. Brown ended his Saturday Night Live debut by telling viewers, “I’ll be back, y’all!” Fans already know Brown is as worthy as anyone to become a member of the Five-Timers club, so stay tuned.
Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays on NBC.