Top 10 Hilarious Bowen Yang SNL Sketches



Top 10 Hilarious Bowen Yang SNL Sketches

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Taryn Crankshaw
He's still relatively new to "SNL," but these Bowen Yang sketches are already classics. Our countdown includes "Bonjour-Hi," "SoulCycle," "Kremlin Meeting," and more!

Top 10 Bowen Yang SNL Sketches

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Bowen Yang SNL Sketches.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the comedian’s greatest moments from his two seasons and counting on the legendary sketch show.

What’s your favorite Bowen Yang sketch? Let us know in the comments!

#10: “Outdoor Cabaret”

One of the biggest industries to take a beating from the COVID-19 pandemic was the arts. In this sketch, Bowen and Cecily Strong play cabaret performers attempting to pull off an outdoor and socially distanced show. Host Jason Bateman plays a neglected piano player as Yang and Strong show off their vocals by singing Judy Garland’s “Get Happy.” The sketch pays homage to New York by referencing things like Sardi’s and the infamous Broadway “Spider-Man” musical. The scene sheds some brightness on a dark point in history by reminding everyone that the show must go on.

#9: “Madame Vivelda”

Set in 2019, but aired in 2020, this sketch sees a group of friends - one played by Adele - go to a fortune teller to find out what the next year has in-store. Little did they know… Yang plays one of said friends, and starts off very excited for the reading. That is, until Kate McKinnon’s Madame Vivelda tells two very confusing fortunes. Yang’s Spencer attempts to back out, but she claims she senses some [“fun travel in your future.”] She then tells him about a Kentucky road trip that sounds… less than appealing. Worst of all is the “terrible” thing he’ll do in June that’ll make him lose his girl friends. Though Spencer doesn’t understand, he apologizes for his future actions - and we’re left uncomfortably but knowingly laughing at the implications of both this and the final vision.

#8: “Kremlin Meeting”

After transitioning from staff writer to full-time cast member, Bowen Yang made his first appearance in this politically charged scene, playing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The premise revolves around Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Mueller Report. For his portrayal, Yang learned and delivered his lines in Korean. The skit features host Sandra Oh, whose role as Dr. Cristina Yang on "Grey's Anatomy" inspired a young Bowen to pursue medicine before becoming a performer. Not only does this sketch mark his “SNL” debut, but is also a full-circle moment.

#7: “Weekend Update: Chen Biao on TikTok”

In 2020, controversy swirled around social media giant, TikTok, when the Trump administration
attempted to ban the video-sharing platform in the U.S. The hot topic made it to the Weekend Update newsdesk and Yang addressed the subject with a character named Chen Biao, a trade rep from China. Biao hilariously calls out all the hypocrisies of the ban, highlighting America's own censorship flaws. Luckily, the ban never came to fruition and TikTok is here to stay. Here’s hoping we’ll be seeing more of Chen Biao in the future.

#6: “U.S.O. Performance”

When “Saturday Night Live” alumni Kristen Wiig came back to serve as a host at the end of 2020, she and Yang brought us one of the best musical performances of Season 46. The pair portrays a World War II medic and soldier treating their fellow service people to a holiday performance. Their song choice is far from “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” but instead a 21st-century pop-dance song called “Love Fight.” The song details cheating allegations between a couple and calls out gender roles in pop music, with Bowen and Kristen serving up some serious vocals. Musical guest Dua Lipa even makes a surprise cameo in the scene, which ends on a surprisingly patriotic note.

#5: “SoulCycle”

Working up a sweat, the "SNL" crew gets physical in this sketch that takes place in a SoulCycle studio class. Pedaling up a storm, Bowen plays a fitness instructor who is auditioning for a permanent position on the coveted stationary bike. He uses his “no regrets” attitude to inspire the class and as things progress, the spandex outfitted instructors’ methods become more and more bizarre. Things even get to the point where Yang’s character confesses to flushing his computer to detox away negative things like racism and intolerance.

#4: “Bonjour-Hi”

In this sketch, Bowen and Kate McKinnon play a pair of French Canadian news reporters, who host what may be the most aimless broadcast ever. Much to viewers’ delight, the newscast never gets to the point of anything with the anchors quickly bouncing from topic to topic. It is full of Canadian and Quebecois references, even featuring a segment with Issa Rae called “Drake Watch,” poking fun at Toronto's fascination with the rapper. Bowen masterfully channels a French-Canadian accent and tops things off with a passionate Celine Dion tribute, belting out “That’s the Way It Is” which can only be described as très magnifique.

#3: “Weekend Update: Fran Lebowitz and Martin Scorsese on New York City”

Soon after Martin Scorsese’s docuseries, “Pretend It’s a City,” profiling writer Fran Lebowitz premiered on Netflix, “SNL” took the opportunity to have some lighthearted fun. During “Weekend Update,” Bowen portrayed the wry Lebowitz along with Kyle Mooney as Scorsese. Providing their two cents about indoor dining restrictions during the 2020 pandemic, the two masterfully execute impressions of the artists, especially Bowen who’s comedic timing is flawless. Following the episode, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Lebowitz stated that she didn’t take too kindly to the impression. But as Yang later stated on "Late Night with Seth Meyers," he took her comment in stride, seeing it as a “compliment.”

#2: “Weekend Update: Do More to Stop Asian Hate”

In this Weekend Update segment, Bowen Yang takes a moment to address the surge of hate crimes targeting the Asian community. In the piece, Bowen speaks as himself, using humor to open up a dialogue. Later on in his speech, Yang asks the audience to “do more” and step up to end racism. The moment serves as a reminder that platforms like “SNL” can activate change and be used to amplify voices. Leaving audiences with the parting words to “ride at dawn” to fight against hate and create safer spaces, he sets in motion a call to action.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Pride Month Song”
Alongside Other LGBTQ+ Cast Members, Yang Performs a Song About Pride Month

“The Negotiator”
Bowen Plays a Cop Whose Partner Accidentally Consumes Drugs & Hallucinates

“Sara Lee”
Bowen & Cecily Strong Play Managers Concerned About Their Social Media Manager

“Bottle Boi”
On Weekend Update Character Who Shows Up to Speak About Plastic Bag Ban

#1: “Weekend Update: The Iceberg on the Sinking of the Titanic”

In arguably his most well-known sketch to date, Bowen takes on a historical figure of epic proportions. Airing a few days ahead of the 109th anniversary of the Titanic sinking, Yang portrays the giant iceberg that took down the maiden ship. Co-created with “SNL” writer Anna Drezen, the premise follows the glacier who feels that their other achievements have been overshadowed by the tragedy. Completed with a paper mache headpiece and glittery blazer, the iceberg is determined to promote their album, hilariously titled “Music” and even performs an excerpt from a song called “Lover Boy.” The sketch is both cerebral, and daring and proves that this moment is just the tip of the iceberg for all the success that lies ahead for this comic genius.