Hey! Kumail Nanjiani will be hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend. Why is that noteworthy?
The number of Asian or Asian American hosts SNL has had in the past four decades on one hand: Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, (and earlier this year, Aziz Ansari. )
In fact, in the show’s 42 year history, the lack of Asian or Asian American cast members has been noted. I guess the show’s producers must think none of us can be funny.
It’s a deficiency the show itself addressed last fall when new cast member Melissa Villaseñor appeared in a sketch about the 2016 Vice-Presidential debate. “Hello, I’m the new Hispanic cast member,” she said in a fourth-wall-breaking moment, “and I’ll be playing Asian moderator Elaine Quijano. Because … baby steps.”
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