Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Move over Meghan, Kenan Thompson crashes the Royal Family as Thunderstick

Screenshot: Saturday Night Live

With British national treasure and self described “sexually depraved, foul-mouthed, and dangerous” woman Phoebe Waller-Bridge hosting last night’s Saturday Night Live, perhaps a sketch about the bloody Royal Family was inevitable. (It’s part of your visa,” joked Waller-Bridge about having to do the monologue, but it wouldn’t be surprising if having to play an uptight Duchess was on the list as well.) And while sticking the no-bullshit delightful Waller-Bridge in a dowager’s corsets might seem like a waste, the resulting sketch at least eschewed the standard chummy antics of the royals everyone knows and is for some reason fascinated with in favor of the fictional Duchess of Clerkenwell, who first broke the “mixed-race royal couple” barrier by, in 1972, bringing back to England her lover, the American blaxploitation star known as Thunderstick.

Played by SNL’s longest tenured MVP Kenan Thompson, Thunderstick (real name Jimmy Jay Robinson), the suspiciously Rudy Ray Moore/Dolemite-esque comic and doughy martial arts star of such films as The Return Of Petey Biscuit Bits and Bitch, I Will Shoot You Right In The Face swept PWB’s Duchess out of her designer shoes. Part parody of the public’s obsession with the supposed fairy-tale romances of a group of taxpayer-funded, philandering figureheads, part gleeful celebration of the suddenly timely once more onscreen antics of the indescribable comedy-action dynamo that was Moore, the sketch was all Thompson, as he channeled the unrestrainedly profane splash made by Thunderstick in the royal gene pool. Sadly, even the Duchess’ clipped British charms proved unequal to Thunderstick’s desire for a back-home Waffle House waitress, and the dream of Duke Thunderstick died along with it. (But not before he was instrumental in turning plain old Mixalot into Sir Mixalot, according to the sketch.) With current onscreen Dolemite and SNL legend Eddie Murphy returning to host the show for the first time in forever come December, the sketch looks prime to give us the Thunderstick-Dolemite buddy comedy we didn’t know we wanted but now desperately need.

Advertisement

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

About the author

Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.