Bowen Yang Is Saturday Night Live’s First Gay Asian Cast Member
Bowen Yang will be making history on SNL’s upcoming 45th season…
Bowen Yang is breaking new ground on Saturday Night Live. In the sketch show’s upcoming 45th season, the actor and comedian will become the first-ever cast member of Asian descent, and the fourth LGBTQ person to join the NBC sketch comedy series as a full cast member.
Prior to Yang, whose parents are from China, the closest the show came to having an Asian-American cast member was Fred Armisen, who is one quarter Korean.
Surinsingly, Yang is only the fourth openly LGBTQ person to join the NBC sketch comedy series as a full cast member. Other past openly LGBTQ SNL cast members include Terry Sweeney, Danitra Vance, Kate McKinnon, and John Milhiser.
Yang first joined SNL as a writer last season. He first appeared on SNL in March, when he played Kim Jong Un in a sketch alongside host Sandra Oh, and he memorably co-wrote (with Julio Torres) the show’s infamous gay porn parody starring Emma Stone.
SNL announced three new hires on Thursday. Alongside Yang, the cast will now include comedians Chloe Fineman and Shane Gillis, who, like Yang, will join as featured players.
SNL‘s 45th season will premiere on September 28 with host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish.