Entertainment

The best Oscars joke you probably missed, from Trevor Noah

Susan Haas, USA TODAY
Published 12:03 a.m. ET Feb. 26, 2019 | Updated 12:08 a.m. ET Feb. 26, 2019

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From first-time wins to steamy live performances, the 2019 Oscars had plenty of must-see moments.
Courtesy A.M.P.A.S.© 2019

Trevor Noah gets the award for funniest joke almost no one got.

The “Daily Show” host presented best-picture nominee “Black Panther” at Sunday’s Oscars, and teased about the people who think Wakanda is a real place.

Noah said, “Growing up as a young boy in Wakanda, I would see T’Challa flying over our village, and he would remind me of a great Xhosa phrase: ‘Abelungu abazi uba ndiyaxoka,’ which means, ‘In times like these, we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart.’”

Except, um, no. What it really means is, “White people don’t know I’m lying.” 

Oscars 2019: 5 must-know moments from Regina King’s speech toTrevor Noah’s Mel Gibson joke

The audience in the Dolby Theatre wasn’t getting it, but Twitter was falling down laughing. 

User @WakandaQueenMza called the late night host a “legend.” “He just legit lied about what that Xhosa phrase means because he knows only South Africans will get the joke and understand what it means,’ she added. 

@Daryn_H called the phony translation “one of the funniest stunts ever at the #Oscars.”

“Honestly, we needed that inside joke,” @AyandaTankiso tweeted. “Thank you. Trolling abelungu on home soil, yaaas.”

User @Walliesta called Noah a “GOAT,” which translates to the greatest of all time, adding the comedian “really stood on a Global stage and told a joke only South Africans could immediately chuckle at.”

Noah, who had a small voiceover role in “Black Panther, also took a jab at actor/director Mel Gibson, who was accused of using racial slurs during an argument with an ex-girlfriend in 2010. 

“‘Black Panther’ may be an African hero, but his story and his appeal are universal. I know this personally because of all the people that constantly come up to me and say, ‘Wakanda Forever!’ ” Noah said, referencing the film’s famous catchphrase. “Mel Gibson came up to me like, ‘Wakanda Forever.’ He said another word after that but the Wakanda part was nice.”

Contributing: Patrick Ryan

More: ‘Finally the door is wide open’: Oscars’ big winner is diversity

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