'SNL' Adds 3 New Cast Members, Including Gay Asian American Comic

Thursday September 12, 2019

It was reported Thursday that "Saturday Night Live" will be getting three new players for its upcoming 45th season, including openly gay comic Bowen Yang, who is the long-running show's only Asian American performer.

Yang joined "SNL" last season as a staff writer but will now be a cast member NBC said, according to the Associated Press.

Yang has appeared on a number of comedies, including "Broad City" and "High Maintenance." He was also in the Rebel Wilson 2019 comedy "Isn't It Romantic."

He also co-hosts the queer pop culture podcast "Las Culturistas."

After joining "SNL" as featured players, Chile Fineman and Shane Gillis will be regular cast members.

Yang is also well-known online for his lip-synchs to popular pieces of pop culture, including scenes from "The Devil Wears Prada" and Tyra Banks hosting "America's Next Top Model."

The AP notes the comedy show has "taken heat over the years for an overall lack of ethnic diversity, with scant Asian representation among its cast members or hosts."

"Former players Fred Armisen and Rob Schneider both are one-quarter Asian, but neither has been widely recognized for their Asian ancestry," AP writes. "Among hosts, the long history of 'SNL' includes a short list of Asian or Asian Americans, with Awkafina, Aziz Ansari and Jackie Chan among them."

"SNL" returns on Sept. 28 with Woody Harrelson serving as host and musical guest Billie Eilish.

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