‘SNL’: The Iceberg That Sank the Titanic & More of Bowen Yang’s Notable Sketches (VIDEO)
Featured cast member Bowen Yang has only been on Saturday Night Live for two seasons, but he’s quickly become a fan favorite. His on-the-money delivery and willingness to tackle more serious subjects, such as the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes in America, have already given viewers a plethora of moments in which his talent as a comedian shines through.
Initially starting his SNL career as a staff writer in 2018, he was soon promoted to featured cast member a mere season later. In fact, Yang is the first Chinese American cast member, as well as one of the few openly gay male performers to be cast on the show.
With his recent Weekend Update appearance as vain pop-star “Iceberg,” making its rounds on social media, Yang is becoming an SNL force to be reckoned with. Continue reading for more of his best sketches to date.
Yang perfectly nails the intense and slightly out-of-touch SoulCycle instructor stereotype with his on-the-nose delivery of lines such as, “Abraham Lincoln died. It didn’t have to happen.” In only his third episode as a featured cast member, Yang was already winning viewers over through this display of his confidence as a sketch comedy performer.
Kim Jong-un… the Scene Stealer?
Appearing in this sketch as a staff writer before he was promoted to a featured cast member for the 45th season, Yang absolutely steals the show with his hilarious portrayal of Kim Jong-un. He doesn’t speak a word of English in the sketch and holds his own amongst vets Cecily Strong and Beck Bennett and host Sandra Oh.
As Himself on the Rise of Anti-Asian Hate Crimes
In the wake of the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States, Yang appears on Weekend Update as himself to subtly poke fun at Instagram info-graphics as he emphasizes what more needs to be done amidst this issue. However, he also delivers an extremely touching and poignant statement through his call for the Asian American community to “fuel up” during these times of violence. Yang’s ability to navigate both the comedic and serious elements of this segment shows his true colors as a lasting talent on this show.
Iceberg’s Pop Star Reckoning
In this sketch, Yang channels his inner diva as emerging pop-star “Iceberg,” who just so happens to be the same iceberg that sank the Titanic. In an outfit that looks like it was pulled from the 2019 Met Gala, Iceberg attempts to promote their new album while dodging Colin Jost’s questions about their role in the historic tragedy. The segment was certainly a highlight of the episode, once again displaying Yang’s fierce presence and on-point comedic timing as a force to be reckoned with amongst the cast.
Hopping on Weekend Update as “Trade Daddy” Chen Biao, Yang explains the U.S.’ ban on TikTok to Update anchor Michael Che. A mix of both satire and flamboyance, this bit perfectly encapsulates his willingness to bring out the camp factor of any topic possible.
Sarah Lee Featuring Harry Styles
Here Yang proves his worth as both a writer and cast member, putting host Harry Styles in a hilariously uncomfortable position as a social media employee of Sara Lee, who is under fire for his… unique Instagram comments under the Sara Lee name. The sketch went viral post-release, in part due to Yang’s hilariously NSFW comedic writing, but also due to Styles’ willingness to fully embody this awkward character.
Fran and Marty
Showing off his impression chops, Yang appears as a spot-on, and very opinioned, Fran Lebowitz aside an exasperated Martin Scorsese (Kyle Mooney). His ability to absolutely nail Lebowitz’s cadence and tone of voice had the audience cracking up with every punchline. Even Michael Che couldn’t help but bust out a laugh due to the chaotic dynamic created between Yang and Mooney.
Saturday Night Live, Saturdays, 11:30/10:30c, NBC