'SNL' Nails Important Point About Aid Programs In Africa With Spot-On, Hilarious Sketch

Ever wonder how international aid organizations determine how much to ask for from donors? So does "Saturday Night Live."

In last Saturday's show, during a sketch called "39 cents," the late-night comedy group took aim at Western charities that collect donations for Africa, lampooning them via a character named Charles Daniels, who serves as a generic stand-in for celebrity figureheads the world over.

"Hello, I'm Charles Daniels," opens Bill Hader, the actor who plays the character in the skit, as soft piano music plays in the background. "For years we've been taking you to villages like this, and showing you the heartbreak of families whose only mistake was being born poor."

"They need your help," he continues, as he rambles through the impoverished village and kneels next to a man doing laundry. "And for only 39 cents a day, you can provide water, food and medicine for these people. Just 39 cents -- that's less than a small cup of coffee, but it can make all the difference to the people of this village."

"Ask for more!" The man doing laundry whispers, surprising Daniels. "Ask for more money. Why [are] you starting so low?"

From there, the sketch continues to satirize the international aid industry, culminating in Daniels acknowledging he has no idea what country he's actually in, other than "Africa."

Despite the controversial subject, Mic applauded "SNL" for making "some valid political points," including questioning the efficacy of long-term aid in general, which critics say creates a culture of dependence and fails to address the underlying issues which create poverty in the first place.

WATCH the sketch in its entirety above.



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