Before I saw this episode, I thought it would be controversial due to its shock value. How dare McGruder poke fun at a black leader who has been almost deified by Americans the country over? I was so ready to be offended by this episode I watched it on Friday Night Fix. And learned I was wrong.
Dr. King was handled with the utmost tact and delicacy in this episode. None of the jokes were directed toward him, rather, they were aimed at the world in which he found himself. McGruder forces us to ask ourselves several questions: if King were alive today, how would he react to our new lifestyles (particularly those of black Americans)? Would he feel the sacrifices of those who fought for civil rights are appreciated? Are we, this new generation, living up to his expectations? In the end we get McGruder's answers: King feels out of place and under-appreciated (he couldn't even get into his own meeting, which was turned into a party); he neither felt that the sacrifices were appreciated nor did he feel the new generation lived up to his standards (his 'truth' speech). Just like A Date With The Health Inspector, this episode becomes McGruder's vehicle for social commentary and, more importantly, a battle cry for black Americans. (The end of this episode: too cool)
So while I only laughed out loud a few times (during the dinner scene and when Huey threw the chair and pummeled the pundit, which struck me as rather Riley of him; Uncle Ruckus throwing bricks), I must say I enjoyed this far more than I would have had it been all laughs.