Fans are calling the latest episode of Donald Glover's dark comedy Atlanta one of the best episodes of television ever made.

Why? Because Glover went full whiteface to play a character called "Teddy Perkins".

Glover was unrecognisable in the role of Perkins, an ageing musician with glossy white skin living in a mansion while looking after his brother.

The controversial 41-minute episode aired in America ad-free and here on SoHo on Saturday night.

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The episode was based around the character of Darius (Lakeith Stanfield), who headed to the mansion with a U-Haul truck to pick up a piano he'd purchased online.

But things took a sinister turn when Darius met Teddy's brother Benny, who was wheelchair-bound. He ended up being handcuffed to a chair.

Derrick Haywood, who played Benny, revealed to Vulture that Glover went full method for his role as Teddy, staying in character when the cameras stopped rolling.

Haywood admitted he didn't realised Perkins was actually Glover under all that make-up.

"They were calling him Teddy, he acted as Teddy. There was no Donald on set whatsoever. I kid you not ... There was not an inkling of Donald Glover on that set. It was inspiring."

Many said the episode, which referenced Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, had affected them, and some said it could be considered a sequel to recent horror movie Get Out.

In New Zealand, Atlanta screens on SoHo on Saturday nights.