Awkwafina is having one helluva year. So far, the 29-year-old New York-born rapper-comedian has two blockbusters, Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians, under her belt. And now she’s adding another feather to her cap: She’s hosting the Oct 6 edition of Saturday Night Live. (The episode will be shown here on Comedy Central the following weekend.).
“Supremely stoked for this,” Awkwafina, whose real name is Nora Lum, wrote on Instagram. She should be. She is the first Asian female to host the Emmy-winning sketch show since 2000 when Lucy Liu did it. Then again, Asian hosts are few and very far between. Jackie Chan (2000), Aziz Ansari (2017) and Kumail Nanjiani (2017) have also hosted the show. Just them. Really.
In total, only four Asians have hosted SNL, which kicks off its 44th season this weekend (Sept 29). If you look at the guest roster, 90 per cent of the hosts are white. MMA fighter and sometime actor Ronda Rousey has done one show, but Mindy Kaling and Margaret Cho have done zilch. What the what?
Given SNL’s not-so-diverse track record, who knows when another Asian will host after Awkwafina. Perhaps SNL producers can consider inviting Awkwafina’s Crazy Rich Asians colleagues Ken Jeong, Ronny Chieng and Constance Wu? What about ex-Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj and Fresh Off the Boat’s Randall Park?
Catch Awkwafina’s Saturday Night Live ep on Oct 13, Comedy Central (Singtel TV Ch 324 & StarHub Ch 516), 10pm.
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