We Did It! Every Asian Person Has Hosted SNL
Talk about a diversity slam dunk!
Long-running sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live made history this weekend, when it featured Korean-Canadian actress and third and last Asian on earth Sandra Oh as host.
Oh followed Lucy Liu (first Asian), who hosted in 2000, and Awkwafina (second Asian), who hosted just a few months prior in fall 2018.
The mood at the afterparty, entitled SNL IS DIVERSE, was jubilant. “We did it, guys!” cheered Lindsay Shookus, casting director. “We finished Asian diversity!”
FLEXX caught up with Lorne Michaels, creator and head producer for SNL, to discuss this groundbreaking achievement.
“Our mission statement has always been ‘Gotta catch ‘em all!’ when it comes to Asian diversity on the show. We searched high and low during our entire run for Asians, which you’d think would be easy, seeing as China alone has a population of over one billion people. We didn’t end up looking there, but guess what? We didn’t need to—we still found the only three Asian people on this entire planet and asked them to host. And we did it in just under 45 years!”
“And two in one season? Show me another sketch comedy show on NBC that has been around since the 70s that has had two Asian hosts in one year. You simply can’t!” Michaels said, beaming with pride.
Of course, Liu, Awkwafina, and Oh are not the only three Asian people in the world. In fact, there are five! The others actually include two former cast members, Rob Schneider (fourth Asian) and Fred Armisen (fifth Asian). “We don’t like to brag, but that was pretty revolutionary of us to hire Rob and Fred,” said Michaels. “Once we discovered they were a fraction Asian after the fact, we gave all the white casting directors promotions.”
When asked if Michaels would ever consider putting an Asian person in the cast, he replied, “Sure, if you can even find me a sixth Asian! Ha ha ha ha ha!”