When Saturday Night Live castmember Bowen Yang doesn’t entirely approve of a guest on the iconic NBC late night show, he has ways of making it known.
The latest example is Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, who made a controversial surprise appearance on the show this weekend, during which she played herself in a mock CNN town hall sketch.
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Yang, who has been an SNL castmember since 2019, took to Instagram after the show and posted a photo of a backstage note addressed to Haley that read, “Welcome to Studio 8H! From, Lorne + everyone at SNL.” Yang commented on the post, “everyone! :)”
That post has since been deleted, but here is a screenshot:
It’s an attempt at keeping things subtle — like, if you want to assume Yang is being totally sarcastic based merely on everything else known about his public persona, well, that’s on you. Though some pointed out that the post could be seen as mocking SNL boss Lorne Michaels, as well. The post’s comments were notably disabled.
Before Haley, Dave Chappelle popped up during the closing credits of the previous week’s Dakota Johnson-hosted SNL. Viewers and media noticed that Yang (who is gay) distanced himself — like, physically — as far as possible from the comedian during the curtain call. Chappelle, of course, has been slammed in recent years for stand-up specials mocking and criticizing the trans community.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) January 28, 2024
And then there was Elon Musk.
When the inflammatory X boss was announced as hosting the show back in 2021, he posted on the social media site: “Let’s find out just how live Saturday Night Live really is” followed by a purple devil emoji. Yang wrote in reply: “What … does this even mean” with a sad face emoji.
Other castmembers likewise seemingly objected to Musk, such as Aidy Bryant, who shared a Bernie Sanders quote that read: “The 50 wealthiest people in America today own more wealth than the bottom half of our people. Let me repeat that, because it is almost too absurd to believe: the 50 wealthiest people in this country own more wealth than some 165 MILLION Americans. That is a moral obscenity.”
Since the Chappelle and Haley headlines, many have pointed out that Shane Gillis is hosting SNL for the first time on Feb. 24. Five years ago, Gillis was fired from SNL due to resurfaced clips showing him using disparaging words about Chinese people and homophobic language. Gillis has since gone on to have a hugely successful mainstream stand-up career with two Netflix specials. Yang is SNL‘s first Chinese American castmember.
One should not presume that anything is going to happen with this — Yang follows Gillis on Instagram, for starters. But, you know, maybe keep an eye out.
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