Bowen Yang (‘SNL’) on choosing Emmy episode where he plays a gay Oompa Loompa [Exclusive Video Interview]

“I knew it was coming, so maybe? I probably won’t, but let’s just check,” remembers Bowen Yang about learning of his latest Emmy nomination for “Saturday Night Live.” For our recent webchat, he adds that he was on an airplane with spotty Wi-Fi but wanted to see what happened. The news was followed by a bunch of text messages with congratulations. Watch our exclusive video interview above.

For his Emmy category of Best Comedy Supporting Actor, Yang is entering the “SNL” episode hosted by Rami Malek from October 16, 2021. In this installment, Yang earns big laughs in a bug sketch by embodying a sultry Daddy Long Legs (“I’m a father and my legs go on for weeks,” he coos). He later appears as George Takei in a celebrity school game show and as a mattress store employee disturbed by a pair of customers. But Yang really steals the show when he appears on Weekend Update as a proud gay Oompa Loompa who’s worried what his parents might think when they find out he’s gay, since Oompa Loompa Land is quite conservative.

On choosing that episode, he adds, “It’s a nice cross-section of what a cast member can do…. There’s something for everybody.” The Oompa Loompa character (which was one of the top “SNL” viral moments of Season 47) was chosen “because of casting enthusiasm of Timothee Chalamet as being Willy Wonka… It was one of those things where you juxtapose a pop cultural thing with something in the real world that happens on some sort of phenomenal level.”

SEE over 200 interviews with 2022 Emmy contenders

Yang was previously nominated in this same category last year. He was also a contender for Best Variety Series Writing in 2019 for “SNL.” He received nominations from the Writers Guild in 2019 and 2020.

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