Saturday Night Live earned Andrew Yang’s vote for using newcomer Bowen Yang —- the show’s first East Asian cast member, ever — to portray the Democratic presidential candidate in this weekend’s Season 45 premiere.
In an “Impeachment Town Hall” sketch, Cecily Strong as CNN’s Erin Burnett moderated the “muddled 10-person debate,” starting off by introducing the candidates one by one. (Among the 10, SNL alum Maya Rudolph popped up as quip-happy Kamala Harris, host Woody Harrelson played Joe Biden complete with “high-beam” veneers, and Larry David reprised his role as Bernie Sanders.)
“He was asked to be introduced as ‘the Asian bad boy of tech,’ but I’m just going to say Andrew Yang,” Strong said, before the camera cut to Bowen Yang as the entrepreneur.
“If you think my candidacy is going well, I’m literally giving free money to people and I’m still in sixth place,” the candidate lamented to the town hall crowd.
The real Andrew Yang reacted shortly thereafter on Twitter, “Haha great to see
@BowenYang as me on @nbcsnl,” before asking his “YangGang” to hook him up with video of the bit.
Though Andrew Yang himself was pleased to see Bowen Yang portraying him on SNL, the YangGang’s collective reaction was a bit more measured. Some argued that their candidate is polling higher than “sixth” — in TVLine’s fantastically unscientific poll after the third debate, Yang placed fifth — while others (rightly) critiqued the impression as rather “meh.”
Which was your favorite impression within SNL‘s town hall debate?