Bowen Yang becomes first Asian American to join Saturday Night Live

The actor and comedian will be a regular on the sketch show, making history as their first fully Asian cast member.

And live from New York, it’s the first ever Asian-American cast member on Saturday Night Live!

The time has finally come. As Asians continue to make strides in the entertainment industry, Bowen Yang was named as one of three new cast members to the 45th season of the comedy sketch show. (Which answers a question we had previously asked in a Cold Tea Collective opinion article about Asian-inherent roles)

The upcoming SNL season premieres on September 28th.

The actor and comedian, whose parents are from China, joined the writing staff last season and appeared as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during the March episode hosted by Sandra Oh. A New York University graduate, Yang has appeared in shows such as Broad City and High Maintenance, and is known for his Twitter impression videos of pop culture moments and characters.

He was also named to Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Hollywood & Entertainment 2019 list, and will be the third openly gay male cast member on the show.

But the SNL announcement isn’t without some controversy.

A video has surfaced of another newly announced member of the show, Shane Gillis, who used a racial slur towards Chinese people during a podcast, according to Variety.

That, of course, won’t stop us from tuning in on the 28th for another entertainment milestone for the Asian community.

Making Asian American media

We believe that our stories matter – and we hope you do too. Support us with a monthly contribution to help ensure stories for us and by us are here to stay.


The future of Cold Tea Collective depends on you.

People chatting at the Making It documentary screening.

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top