Awkwafina Is the First Asian Woman to Host ‘SNL’ in 18 Years

Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

During her monologue, Awkwafina pays a quick tribute to Lucy Liu, who happened to be the first Asian American women to host SNL eighteen years ago. Asian representation has come a long way in the past two decades. Now in its 44th season run, SNL brought on actress/rapper Awkwafina, only the second Asian-American woman to ever host the late-night series–Lucy Liu being the first.

During the opening monologue, Awkwafina took a moment to recall a true story about when she found out her idol, Lucy Liu, was going to host SNL. “I was a kid and I didn’t have a ticket, so I knew I wasn’t getting in. But I just wanted to be near the building. And I remember how important that episode was for me and how it totally changed what I thought was possible for an Asian American woman.” She concludes by saying, “Standing here tonight is a dream I never thought would come true. So thank you, Lucy, for opening the door. I wasn’t able to make it into the building back then, but 18 years later, I’m hosting the show.” In the end, she shouted, “I love you, Lucy Liu! Be my friend!”