Fans are going crazy on social media anticipating the first “Saturday Night Live” appearance of “Crazy Rich Asians” star Awkwafina on Oct. 6. You’ll remember the 29-year-old rapper and actress from the moment she made her grand pajama-clad entrance in the summer’s breakout hit movie. Awkwafina, who plays Goh Peik Lin, takes an old college buddy in hand as the Chinese-American economics professor navigates the social scene among Singapore’s ultra-wealthy. Her husky voice and comedic delivery made Awkwafina a standout even among the cast’s hunky guys and glamorous women including Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding and Constance Wu.
The Jon M. Chu-directed romantic comedy is the first major Hollywood project in 25 years to feature an all-Asian and/or Asian-American cast. Awkwafina has been outspoken in her praise of the actors and activists who are boosting Asians’ presence in Hollywood. “With all the things that are happening, this is a woke time, and whether Hollywood likes it or not, they’re going to have to change things up,” she has said.
Now she is slated to become the first Asian woman in almost 18 years to host “Saturday Night Live”. Lucy Liu opened the show on December 16, 2000. Other hosts of Asian descent have included Jackie Chan and Aziz Ansari.
Awkwafina, whose real name is Nora Lum, has been building a following since the 2012 release of viral hits “My Vag” and “NYC Bitches.” She released 2014 album and a 2015 guide book to the New York you’ve never seen. Highlighted by occasional rants in all caps and doodles of sea monsters over a photo of the East River, the book delivers the rapper’s unexpected and unfiltered personality. She followed up with roles in “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” and this year’s “Ocean’s 8.”
Here’s a sample of how fans are greeting the announcement that Awkwafina will host “SNL”. Mike Rhodes posted this on @mikeprobably: “Every once in a while I get VERRRRRRY enthusiastic about things. This week I became VERRRRRRY enthusiastic about Awkwafina. This just posted and even though I haven’t watched SNL in maybe two years, I’m VERRRRRY enthusiastic about October 6.”
Featured musician on the Oct. 6 “SNL” program will be Grammy-nominated rapper Travis Scott, who is making his debut on the show as well. “Saturday Night Live” is scheduled to resume its 44th season on Sept. 29.