The episode kicked off with President Obama (played by Jay Pharoah) kickin’ back after a long day of being inaugurated. The twist, however, is that he’s soon visited by the ghost of Martin Luther King, Jr. (played by Kenan Thompson.) Obama attempts to discuss lofty, important issues, like whether he’s living up to Dr. King’s legacy and if we’re on the right track as a nation. But all MLK wants to do is discuss Beyoncé’s beauty and the first lady’s new bangs. So basically, the purpose of this sketch was probably to chide us, as a nation, for focusing too much on frivolities and not enough on the issues that really matter.
At the end of the scene, Obama finally convinces Dr. King to get serious and provide him with some real insight and advice: “There’s still work to do. You’re the first black president, but we’re still waiting for our first black magician … It’s 2013 and there’s still not a single black child in the band One Direction.” To this, the president replies, “I mean, do you think there are any that wanna be?” It was clear that Pharoah and Thompson had a great time with this sketch, and their energy helped start the night off strong.