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Whether it’s playing Marvel’s first Asian superhero or becoming the first Chinese American “Saturday Night Live” cast member, anytime Simu Liu or Bowen Yang do anything in the still-very-white Hollywood, it’s hailed as a historic first.
So, naturally it was a groundbreaking event over the weekend when the two linked up on the late-night sketch show where Liu made his hosting debut with hip-hop star Saweetie serving as musical guest.
To both underscore their meaningful representational wins and poke fun at some less notable milestones, including “First Asian Man To Move From Canada Named Simu,” Liu and Yang appeared in a pre-taped segment to battle it out over what they called “Asian Firsts.”
The sketch begins with Yang awkwardly greeting Liu in his dressing room (“What’s up, my fellow yellow fellow?”), as they both express some fatigue about being celebrated for relatively inconsequential feats.
“I just think it’s weird that people keep track of this stuff,” Yang tells the “Shang-Chi” star in the clip.
But soon enough their mutual appreciation turns competitive, as they start to list their various accolades. For Liu, he’s the “First Asian Man To Deadpan On Splash Mountain.” Yang, meanwhile, has the distinct honor of being “First Gay Asian Cast Member To Mispronounce ‘Boutique.’”
“Don’t you think these titles are kind of ridiculous,” Liu asks Yang, before the sketch cuts to both stars accepting increasingly questionable awards with unbridled enthusiasm.
But when they are presented with an unclaimed trophy celebrating the “First Asian Man To Do A Cher Impression On NBC,” both jump at the chance to make history and break into song.
While Liu wins that round, Yang is quick to remind him that he’ll forever come out on top in the representation wars, telling him, “But just remember, Simu ― whatever first thing you do, I’ll always be gay.”
Watch the full sketch in the video above.
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