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Bowen Yang Makes History as Saturday Night Live's First Asian Featured Player

He joins the cast with Chloe Fineman and Shane Gillis

Amanda Bell

Saturday Night Liveis bringing three new featured players to 30 Rock for Season 45, including Bowen Yang, who will make history as SNL's first full-time Asian cast member. The comedian first joined the series as a writer in 2018. Yang joins the acting troupe alongside Chloe Fineman and Shane Gillis.

In addition to writing for SNL, Bowen appeared in a sketch last season as Kim Jong-Un and is also due to appear on Awkwafina's new Comedy Central series Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens. Fineman's previous credits include Search Party and Jane the Virgin, and Gillis is a stand-up comic whose performed at Comedy Central's Clusterfest.

Yang, Fineman, and Gillis are just the latest casting news to be announced for Season 45, after Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kenan Thompson, and Cecily Strong all decided to return to the series. Meanwhile, fan-favorite Leslie Jones will not be returning to the show this fall after confirming her exit earlier in September.

Several hosts for the new season have already been announced as well, including Woody Harrelson, Fleabagcreator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Stranger Things star David Harbour, Kristen Stewart, and Eddie Murphy, who will to the SNL stage after a 35-year absence.

Saturday Night Live returns to NBC on Saturday, Sept. 28.

Bowen Yang

Bowen Yang