Bowen Yang Implies That Not ‘Everyone’ at ‘Saturday Night Live’ Loves Their New Friend Nikki Haley
For reasons known only to Lorne Michaels and his staff, on this past weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live, the show gave Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley two and a half minutes during the cold open to essentially perform her barely veiled stump speech for Studio 8H. Bowen Yang seems to think that SNL should have given her the cold shoulder instead.
Like too many topical sketches throughout SNL history, the seven-and-a-half minute scene about a CNN town hall with former president Donald Trump hosted by Punkie Johnson’s Gayle King and Kenan Thompson playing Charles Barkley struggled to balance its overt political messaging with proper punchlines. The entire sketch is hard to watch as the talented James Austin Johnson careened from Taylor Swift song analyses to January 6th jokes without clear direction, but the most brutally unfunny and unsubtle part of the cold open was the surprise appearance of Haley as a “concerned South Carolina voter” who plays off of Johnson with the charisma and comedic timing of a concerned South Carolina substitute teacher reading an unfamiliar lesson plan off the cue cards.
The controversial Republican politician’s cameo was met with a mixed-to-disappointed reaction from Saturday Night Live’s left-leaning fanbase – as well as a passive-to-actively aggressive post from one of the show's left-leaning stars. Earlier today, Yang posted a photo of Haley’s welcome letter from “Lorne + Everyone At SNL” with the spectacularly sarcastic caption, “everyone! :)”
It’s not a stretch to assume the always outspoken and creatively catty Yang meant this post to be a slight on Haley – her record on LGBTQ+ issues would make anyone in that community unhappy to be compelled to work with her. As an opponent of marriage equality and an anti-trans disinformation distributor, Haley deserves to share the stage with the SNL cast about as much as Las Culturistas should be in the CBS broadcast booth during the Super Bowl.
This side-eyed reaction also comes just one week after Yang made headlines for his apparent apprehension towards Dave Chappelle’s appearance onstage during the curtain call of a SNL episode in which the controversial stand-up didn’t even perform. Despite being one of the most fan-beloved players in the current SNL cast, Yang seems to be feeling spurned by the show's producers and their choice of celebrity co-signers.
Imagine the pissed off post Yang's going to write when Shane Gillis finally gets his SNL stamp of approval.