Friday, 20 September, 2019

‘Saturday Night Live’ Adds Three New Cast Members for Season 45

'Saturday Night Live' Adds 3 New Cast Members, Including First Asian Star Bowen Yang Bowen Yang is SNL's First Asian Cast Member, and He's Gay Too
Adrian Cunningham | 13 September, 2019, 06:58

Saturday Night Live is adding three new cast members for its upcoming 45th season, including the show's only Asian American performer. He'll be joined by Chloe Fineman, a Groundling performer who was also a New Face at the 2018 Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, and Shane Gillis, who was a New Face at this year's festival.

Gillis was unveiled alongside Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang, the first full-time cast member of East Asian descent, Thursday morning as joining the long-running NBC sketch comedy series.

Saturday Night Live has taken heat over the years for an overall lack of ethnic diversity, with scant Asian representation among its cast members or hosts. Yang joined the series as a writer last season before making an appearance as Kim Jong-un. Outside of Studio 8H, he co-hosts the "Las Culturistas" podcast, and has earned fans through oddball videos featuring him expertly lip-syncing dialogue from movies and viral videos.

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The show is back September 28 with host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish and returning comedians including Beck Bennett, Pete Davidson and Colin Jost. He cohosts Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast and appears regularly on The Bonfire on Sirius XM. Other hosts announced so far include "Stranger Things" star David Harbour and "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart.

Calls for comment from NBC and Saturday Night Live were not immediately returned.

"SNL" is produced in association with Broadway Video.